A photo of Mike, a tutor from University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mike

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I choose to tutor because I believe in the ability of every student to learn, and it makes me happy to accompany students on their journey to overcome their struggles and arrive at success. I am a likeable tutor who listens and observes well, and provides clear direction. I am able to understand subject matter deeply while being able to break down complex methods into small and easily understandable steps. I am very creative in coming up with unique ways for you to understand concepts that you are struggling with. I can work with you to come up with and execute a good plan to achieve your goals.

Mike’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts Amherst - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering

Graduate Degree: University of Massachusetts Amherst - Masters, MBA

Hobbies

Music

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

Business

College Algebra

College Business

High School Business

Math

Microeconomics


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that every student can lean with the right help. My approach is to make the student feel comfortable, understand their learning goals, and work with the student to come up with and execute a plan to achieve those goals.

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

During a typical first lesson, I would have a conversation with the student to understand what the goals of tutoring will be as well as what their difficulties are. Then we would work on some problems for most of the remaining time and wrap up with a plan to move forward.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Once the issue or issues for a given type of problem has been diagnosed and the correction has been instructed, I like to give the student the opportunity to work on the problem without any interruptions from the tutor. When the student is successful in this way, I like to work with students to agree on a plan for them to practice those problems outside of tutoring sessions to reinforce the newly learned approach.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

One way to help a student stay motivated is to celebrate progress together as a team whenever the student recognizes errors, learns correct methods, and shows that they can now successfully complete problems.

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

When students have difficulty learning skills or concepts, two methods that I like to use are (1) to try to break the concept down into as simple and small steps as possible, (2) I like to try different analogies or visualizations (perhaps tying into something that the student already understands) until the skill or concept becomes understandable.

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

One strategy that I have found successful is to demonstrate that with help the student can tackle problems that they were struggling with, and then celebrate those successes to show that they can succeed in the subject with help.

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

I would help a student get excited and engaged with a subject that they are struggling in by first understanding their motivation. Do you just want to pass a class in math to meet a requirement? Do you need to score well on entrance examinations? Are you intrinsically interested in the subject but are struggling?

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

There are multiple techniques to be sure that a student understands the material. Can the student explain what you are doing? Can you pass a practice test? Can you complete multiple practice questions successfully? Can you answer those questions correctly the next week?

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

Building a student's confidence in a subject is a matter of teaching them techniques that work and celebrating victories.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student’s needs by looking at the syllabus, utilizing practice exams, talking with the student, and closely watching where and how the student tends to get stuck.

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

The ability to adapt my tutoring to the students’ needs starts by establishing a trusting working relationship, asking questions, listening and observing. By doing this, it should become clear how I need to adjust my methods. Also, I always like to use multiple analogies to relate the concept at hand to something the student already understands, until it clicks.

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

Pen, paper, books, calculators.