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Blake

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Hi there!

I have been working in education in some capacity for over 10 years. I taught English as a foreign language in South Korea for five years, and have tutored all ages and ability levels in all core academic subjects. I moved back to the States in late 2015, and now recruit public school teachers for one of the largest urban, public school districts in the country, Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky.

I specialize in standardized test prep, English grammar and essay structure, and all levels of EFL instruction. It's a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to helping you achieve your academic goals!

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Blake’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Middlebury College - Bachelors, History of Art and Architecture

Hobbies

I love travel, studying foreign languages, new and bizarre foods, hiking, swimming, and art!

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The only limits to success are those we place on ourselves. I believe that all students can achieve at a high level through hard work, persistence, enthusiasm, and humor!

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

I get to know the student's personal goals and academic needs, and then we work together to create an individualized plan for success. Building rapport with the student is so important in order to keep their interest and drive motivation!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

As a tutor, my job is to steer students in the right direction and to give them the tools to self-identify mistakes and areas for improvement. When answering a question or beginning a writing prompt, I have students answer first and explain their thought process. This helps students to analyze HOW and WHY they approach problems a certain way. We will then learn about other approaches and methods for attacking a problem, question, or prompt. This method is hard work, but certainly more worthwhile for students.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

ENTHUSIASM is key! If I am not interested in the material, my students won't be either. I keep my energy level high and always have a sense of humor about tutoring. I want my students to look forward to each and every session!

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

Each student is unique! We all learn different concepts and skills at different paces, and we will take as much time as we need to make sure we get it right and see results! I don't believe in skimming over topics that a student doesn't yet grasp. We will try as many approaches as necessary until we find the right one!

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

After five years of teaching reading skills to non-native speakers of English, I can say that reading comprehension can be one of the most challenging academic areas for students. We will work together with proven methodologies with which I have found success in the classroom. With a few simple strategies, students can cut their reading time in half or even one-third, and retain more of the important information needed to answer test questions.

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

Building the student's trust is of the utmost importance. Also, clear communication of expectations (on both ends!) is vital to making sure our time together is productive. And as I mentioned, humor is key! Even though you're studying something dry, it doesn't have to be devoid of fun!

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

Early successes, no matter how minor, should be celebrated by the student and the tutor. This builds confidence in the student, and in turn, keeps motivation high! Students often struggle with a subject because they have lost faith in themselves to ever fully grasp the material. Students must always receive praise for their achievements!

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

The best indication of a student's understanding of the material is to have them explain it in their own words! I always have students justify answers to me and explain their thought process. If they can't do it, then we need to spend some more time on that particular lesson.

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

True confidence in a subject comes from being able to teach it to someone else. As mentioned, strong emphasis will be placed on the student's justification of answers and explanation of thought process. When they can explain it successfully, they feel good about themselves! And I always remind students that any successes they have comes from their hard work, not mine.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

During our first few sessions, I will give students the opportunity to write diagnostic essays or tests in order to see their strengths and areas for improvement. This allows us to focus our time and energy on what the student needs to improve and not waste time on what the student already knows.

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

I have taught thousands on students during my time in Korea, and each students has his or her unique needs in the classroom. I a one-on-one tutoring session, it is easy to alter my methodologies to fit a particular student's needs and learning style. As a tutor, I must be flexible and have a toolkit of different approaches in order to best serve the student.

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

Depending on the class and subject, I will use a different mixture of published texts, news articles, and personally produced worksheets. I rarely teach solely from one source.


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