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Joe

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I have over four years of child care and education experience in a variety of roles including peer tutoring, substitute teaching, after-school teaching, personal nanny, and camp counselor. I love working with kids and young adults because I love helping them cultivate the skills and confidence they need in school to succeed and reach their goals. There is no greater pride than seeing a student accomplish something on their own after you have given them the help they needed. Coming from a background of intense high school academics, I understand the pressure placed on students to succeed in school, and as a tutor my goal is to alleviate as much of that stress as I can. I want to help students tackle their academics with more confidence and skill by helping students improve the way they approach and organize their class material or test preparation.
I tutor in English, test prep (SAT, AP Literature, AP English Language), Math & Algebra I, and Spanish I-III. My favorite subject to tutor is writing because I love how writing allows students to unlock new levels of academic articulation and personal expression. My teaching philosophy centers around positive reinforcement and creating a low-pressure environment so that students can grasp new methods of critical thinking in their own time and do their best work from a place of sincere understanding. I don't want students to feel like my tutoring is another class they have to attend and struggle to keep up with; I want them to know that this is a time for just them to focus on what they need and how they need to grow.

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Joe’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pace University-New York - Bachelors, Directing; English - Writing; Minor in Film

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2210

SAT Math: 770

SAT Verbal: 720

SAT Writing: 720

Hobbies

My interests beyond tutoring including theatre, movies, television, comedy, music (I'm a huge entertainment fan), hiking, rock-climbing, photography, and food.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Prep

Algebra

AP English Language and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition

College Application Essays

College English

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish

Elementary Math

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support

Languages

Literature

Math

Other

Public Speaking

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to help students acquire the confidence, mental organization, and academic skill to be able to tackle any academic challenge. I think tutoring is about helping a student figure out how they best approach academia as an individual and helping them overcome any anxieties they may have from previous failure or confusion in academic environment. Building a student for academic success starts with a building a student's belief that they can succeed.

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

In a typical first session with a student I would work through an assignment with a student to assess how they naturally think about academic work. I would talk with them about their schoolwork and how they feel about school to help them figure out where they need to focus and improve academically. Most importantly I would want to make the student feel comfortable learning with me and help them start to build their academic confidence so that they can become successful.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I want to help a student become an independent learner by giving them the mental organization and preparation they need to handle their academics on their own. This organization includes how to look at a problem or question, critically think about the response, and how to best structure the response. All of this stems from the student's perspective on the work, so that when they are doing academic work independently they work through a problem the same way they would as if I were there with them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Helping a student stay motivated is simply about making sure they have a positive attitude and are thinking about why this work is important. School often feels like an academic performance for someone else; but if you help a student focus on their academic growth for the sake of personal growth, they often feel more motivated to continue with their work.

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

If a student was having difficulty learning a specific skill or concept, I would approach it from a variety of perspectives to help the student see the material in a new light. I would not rush the student or try to force an approach that isn't working. It's about being patient and helping the student figure out the concept or skill in their own way and in their own time.

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

The most success I've found in tutoring has come from approaching the work from the student's perspective and helping them think about academics in a new way. Telling a student what I do on a test or what I write for a paper isn't going to give them the skills to do those things on their own; I want to help students figure out how they think and how they want to approach academics.

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

Helping a student get excited about a subject really depends on their age and what they would find exciting. With younger students it's best to relate a topic to their interests and make them want to learn and discuss more about how this academic subject relates to whatever it is they like. With high school students it's easier to engage students by relating to them in a friendly way and make them feel as if they're simply getting advice from a friend, rather than being re-taught material by another teacher in their life. At any age, it's about creating a comfortable and fun environment where there isn't academic pressure, but instead room for reflection and growth.

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

I help students struggling with reading comprehension by helping them synthesize the information they can draw from the text independently. Once a student feels they can read independently, then they will begin to develop better reading skills by reading more, but they need to be given the confidence to do so. Taking away the pressure to read specific texts or read at a specific pace allows students to learn more in their own time and develop the comprehension skills they need to keep going.

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

After we have gone over the material, my "test" for a student's understanding of the material is to have them explain their thought process to me once they have correctly done some work on their own. I will not rush a student to this place, but at the end of each session I do have students do work independently so we can see how they have grown and what they have learned in that session.

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

Positive reinforcement is, in my opinion, the best way to build a student's confidence in a subject. Once a student grasps a concept or method there should not be additional pressure to go further before they celebrate the success at hand. A student needs to feel accomplished in the extra work they are doing or they won't want to do the work at all.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Evaluating a student's needs.

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

My tutoring is based entirely around a student's needs. My demeanor, my speed, and my goals are all based on how the student learns and grows in their own way. I want to help a student become the best they can be, but that "best" is a not a universal standard of academic behavior; instead I want students to know themselves and how they learn, and how they need to approach academic material.

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

In a typical session I use the materials from the student's classroom and supplementary material that I find online that most closely reflects their in-class work. This is often worksheets and activities, but varies depending on the subject at hand.


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