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Patrick

I hold an MA in history from the University of Houston and graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University. Let me help you ace the verbal section of your standardized test.

Critical reading sections can be tough if you aren't prepared for them! I scored in the top 98% on the verbal section of the GRE, and want to share my expertise with you. Don't be intimidated by the vocab and critical reading sections of standardized tests. With my techniques, anyone can confidently get the score they need on the SAT or GRE.

In addition to test preparation, I am available to tutor APUSH, AP European History, public speaking, literature, and writing. With over two years of experience as an educator at a Tier-1 University, I can guarantee that you or your child will receive the care and commitment of a qualified teacher.

Undergraduate Degree:

Texas A & M University-College Station - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree:

University of Houston - Masters, History

SAT Writing: 720

GRE Verbal Reasoning: 168

GRE Analytical Writing: 5

Has published book reviews for an online magazine and enjoys cooking.

What is your teaching philosophy?

The primary goal of teaching is to inspire confidence in the student and to equip them with the necessary skills to achieve their desired goals. I believe in assessing a student’s proficiency in the subject at hand and designing a learning curriculum to match their individual needs. I find that students have different learning styles and aptitudes: some require step-by-step instruction, while others prefer to try and solve a problem on their own. Regardless of what the student prefers, I am ready to provide that for them. In addition, I believe that familiarity with the subject and nature of the test inspires confidence and decreases anxiety. Therefore, I believe in recreating the testing environment at home so that the student will be comfortable when it comes to test day. Finally, I believe in displaying enthusiasm for the subject so that the student sees that learning is something to get excited about, and can be a rewarding experience in its own right.

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

First I want to get to know the student on a personal level so I can connect with them and understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie. I might have them discuss their experience with the topic, their perception of their own abilities, and what they want to accomplish with our tutoring sessions. Then I would have them take a preliminary aptitude test so I can best see what they need to work on, so I can craft future lessons to their needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A student can become an independent learner when he or she has self-confidence and the proper resources to continue education on their own. Fostering a positive mindset and openness toward education are crucial to help students become independent learners. As a tutor, I can provide the students with the skills and tools necessary to master a defined objective. Showing students that they can achieve their educational goals will inspire them to continue on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It is difficult to stay motivated in an age of distractions. I help students stay motivated by breaking up long-term objectives, such as acing the SAT, into short, easily defined sections. That way the student doesn’t get overwhelmed by an insurmountable task, but works to complete manageable assignments. Letting conversation flow naturally between the educator and student also creates an open environment that isn’t overly rigid or stifling.

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

Remind the student that it is OK to struggle with certain concepts and skills. Tell them to recall all the other concepts they used to struggle with, but have since mastered. If the student gets stuck and frustrated, we would skip that particular concept and move on to something else and revisit it later.

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

Break the passage down into manageable pieces, using graphic aids if necessary. Have students ask themselves questions about the passage that will get them thinking about the material from a different perspective. I would ask leading questions, if necessary, to try and get the student on the right track.

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

Present the material in a way in which it is meaningful and accessible to the student. Reading, writing, and history can all seem like a chore if they are dealing with a topic that the student has no connection to. If those subjects can be linked to a hobby or passion of the student, than they become more accessible, and become tools that will help the student in life.

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

I would ask students to summarize the material, avoiding yes/no questions so that I can see if they are comfortable with the material. Give intermittent quizzes and content assessments, and measure those against previous attempts by the student.

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

Start off with easy material so as not to intimidate the student. Have them progress slowly, building on concepts they have already mastered. Positive reinforcement for correct answers and demonstrated improvement.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The best way is to ask the student what they think they need. Often, a student knows exactly which concepts or subjects are giving them the most difficulty. Quizzes that cover the entirety of a subject can also be helpful in identifying where a student needs the most help.

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

Asking the student for feedback helps immensely. Once a student lets me know where they need the most help, we can work together in that area. Assessments also identify areas of weakness that attention can be shifted to.

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

Test prep books, dictionaries, grammar websites and guidebooks, news articles, YouTube videos, blogs, and textbooks.

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

Talking to the student and getting to know where he or she is coming from. Once the student feels comfortable working with me, they will be more willing to open up about where they are struggling, which helps me craft my lesson plan to their needs.