I have been a college instructor and tutor for several years. I love helping students achieve their goals and become independent learners. According to my teaching evaluations, 90 percent of students think my methods are effective or highly effective. I also won a teaching award in graduate school.
I teach college history (American, European, and World history) and was a journalist for 7 years so I am also an expert when it comes to writing papers and essays. I scored very high on SAT/ACT/GRE. I graded AP US history exams in 2015.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Purdue University - Bachelors, History
Graduate Degree: University of Kentucky - Masters, History
GRE Verbal: 168
Hiking, Biking, graphic novels, scale models, soccer, traveling, museums, and live music.
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Level American History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I take a student-centered approach and try to help students become independent learners. I emphasize critical thinking skills and writing abilities.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself and get to know the student. I also try to find shared interests. Then, I find out what exactly the student needs help with, what they have already mastered, and what their goals are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I emphasize time management skills, note taking methods, critical reading, exam strategies, and active participation in classroom discussions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I over positive feedback and encouragement on their accomplishments and remind them of the progress we have made towards their goal.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to approach it from a different angle or use a similar example that we have already mastered.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Sometimes working on vocabulary can help - it is hard to understand passages if there are many unfamiliar words. I create flash cards for new vocabulary and ask the student to review them on his/her own time. I also suggest that students consider the context of how a word is being used to try and understand the meaning. If a dictionary is available they can also look it up. It is important not to skip words you don't understand because they will probably come up again.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Make a personal connection and find out what subjects they have mastered. I also try to connect their interests to the subject matter.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Find a book or extracurricular activity that is related to the subject but also interests the student. Or an interesting anecdote or fact.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask them to explain why they chose the answer they selected. I also ask them to discuss the material and explain the material back to me as if I were learning it for the first time.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise their success and remind them of their accomplishments.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Look at graded assignments, the syllabus, and feedback from the teacher. Analyze what they have already mastered and assess the areas where we can make the most improvement.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Find out what learning style they prefer and employ methods that fit that style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Usually textbooks, notes, and assignments (homework, exams, papers, etc.). If it is an ESL lesson, sometimes we can watch "slow" English news programs. If it is about reading comprehension, I urge the pupil to find a book that interests them.