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Dennis

I am an attorney and CPA with years of business experience. During the past few years I have been forming and organizing new business entities and teaching the new business owners and their employees the basics in accounting and other record keeping requirements and tax compliance. I have the desire and the ability to teach and am motivated to help a student reach their education goals by utilizing my accounting, tax, legal and business skills and background. I view accounting, law, and taxation as languages that need to be learned to effectively communicate and grow in today's business world. I can remember what it was like not to be able to speak or understand these languages and I am particularly skilled at helping a new or struggling student who is confused or lost in the learning process to understand the basic rules and protocols of these languages and become skilled in communicating with them.

Undergraduate Degree:

Case Western Reserve University - Bachelors, Accounting

Graduate Degree:

Cleveland State University - PHD, Law JD

Reading and walking

Business

College Accounting

College Business

Contract Law

Cost Accounting

Financial Accounting

High School Accounting

High School Business

Law

Legal Writing

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe that I can instill a sense of excitement and desire to learn in the students by showing them the right paths to take in their learning process. Since success is a great motivator, I think that they will be motivated to learn on their own once the begin to see and understand the purpose and tools of the subject.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would constantly reinforce their successes and help them have the confidence to overcome those areas that are confusing them.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

There are many roads to the same learning goal. Some students require visual examples. Other react to oral explanations. If one approach is not working we will continue to change the learning method until we achieve success.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

All too often, students become so fixated on the individual words that they forget what it is they are trying to learn from what they are reading. I have found it helpful in those cases to ask "What to do think the author of what you are trying to read is trying to tell you?" and then discuss the student's answer with them until I agree that they understand the concept to be learned from what they are reading. Usually they can then read the material and understand how it relates to the concepts to be learned. If not we would break the wording down into sections and analyze each section separately until it is understood.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I use examples and humor from my own business background to motivate the student. I try to make what we are learning interesting and also point out how such knowledge will help a student earn a good living and have a rewarding work career. Self-interest is a great motivator.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I will lift the veil of mystery and confusion that the student is struggling with and show them how to understand and use the subject. Sometimes a student can continue to try and learn a subject when they have not learned the basics because students learn at different rates. This is defeating because a student will become lost and discouraged. In those cases it is necessary to go back to basic and show them how those basics are necessary to learn what they are currently studying. This is kind of like showing a student which wrench to take out of their toolbox to tighten a given screw. They may not have understood the purpose of the wrench when they initially put it in toolbox, but once they grasp the concept the rest of the task becomes easy.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Ask questions about what has been learned and ask the student to apply what has been learned to a set of facts. If they can answer correctly they have learned the subject being covered. If not then we have to go over it again until they do.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Constantly refer to and congratulate them on their learning successes and occasionally go back and discuss the really simple things they were initially struggling with but now fully understand.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

At the end of each session ask where the student thinks we are in terms of their learning goals and adjust the learning process to satisfy the student's goals, or explain why they are expecting too much, too soon.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I listen to the student, as well as talk to them and adjust my teaching based on what the student says..

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Written examples, Excel and Word documents, and material that the student wants explained.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Anyone can learn. The secret is for the tutor to determine what the student wants to learn and how they learn (visually, verbally etc.). If they are only listening to me because someone else wants them to and not because they want to learn, we are both wasting our time until I can convince them that it is in their own self-interest for them to want to learn the subject because of what it will do for them in the future. If all else fails, and they still totally lack motivation, I will wish them good luck flipping burgers and send them on their way.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Initially I need to learn what the student’s goals and expectations are. Then I need to determine their present knowledge of the subject, if any. Then I need to find out how they can and like to learn. We will then mutually determine a tutoring plan.