I hold both a Bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy. I have been a physical therapist for 44 years. I have also taught anatomy and physical therapy courses for 30 years at the university level and continue to do so. In practicing PT, I get great pleasure in explaining sometimes difficult scientific concepts to patients so they can understand their recovery and purposes of treatment. In teaching I get the same satisfaction in helping students grasp knowledge and concepts necessary for their achievement. I have developed countless ways to illustrate concepts and knowledge required. I am especially adept at teaching anatomy and exercise science. I would love to help you gain understanding in these areas so you can achieve in any future professional endeavors. I am now semi-retired so I have lots of time and flexibility to spend helping students.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Most students take anatomy for some future professional reason. In that profession the student will not have a picture to look at but will need to have a mental picture of whatever anatomic area he or she is considering. This mental picture is what I want to help the student build. Also, anatomy takes significant memorization skills, and to help with this aspect, I have lots of tricks and memory aids.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to have a back and forth question session to see what the student knows and for them to ask me questions about what I think he or she needs to know.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best mentor I ever had said to me, "let’s keep asking each other questions and answering them until you understand." By doing this I (as a student) started to ask better questions and answering them myself. I like to use this approach.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I hated (and still do) that uneasy feeling of not understanding a concept that I knew was important in my field. When times got tough, I thought about the good feeling I would have when I finally mastered the concept and what that would help me understand in the future.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Pictures and videos help a lot in learning concepts in anatomy. Relating something common that the student understands to the concept helps too.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find if I can relate the subject to something that occurs in her or his daily life that helps the most.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I think if a student can draw and/or explain a picture of the anatomic structure and relationships is the best way. Another technique I use is to have an initial question that the student can answer. Then I turn the question around to see if the student can use the concept "forward and backwards."
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By setting small reasonable goals to achieve and then showing the student her or his achievement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
With nearly 30 years of experience, I have an excellent idea what knowledge and understanding students need to be able to use anatomy in some future school or profession. I use this knowledge to assess their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I ask the student what use will he or she be making of the knowledge or understanding that might be gained. This tells me how to adapt the tutoring to their needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Lots of pictures, drawings, videos.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This happens frequently in anatomy, as the terms are so Latin based and not many students take Latin now. I try to find common words that have the same Latin root that they may know to help them understand the anatomic term.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I make most use of initial questioning of the student regarding what he or she knows. I like to build the student's confidence that he or she at least knows something about the concept of concern.