I received a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Politics and a Juris Doctorate from St. John's University. While I spent some years practicing law in New York and North Carolina after passing the bar exams in both states, I found that my personality was not suited to the profession. While I have explored many other career paths, including, but not limited to, equine management, librarianship, and administrative assistancy, I have found myself drawn time and time again to teaching. I have tutored at many different levels, from kindergarten to high school, including a period of preparing jail inmates to pass the G.E.D. exam. I love learning and strive to pass that feeling on to whomever I tutor. I have traveled to every continent except Asia and have found that I have learned as much from that as from all my formal studies. My philosophy is this: if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can discover something new every day.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: St. John's University - Bachelors, Government & Politics
Graduate Degree: St. John's University Law School - PHD, Law
reading, music, traveling, horses, environmental issues
1st Grade Math
1st Grade Reading
1st Grade Writing
2nd Grade Math
2nd Grade Reading
2nd Grade Writing
3rd Grade Math
3rd Grade Reading
3rd Grade Science
3rd Grade Writing
4th Grade Math
4th Grade Reading
4th Grade Science
4th Grade Writing
5th Grade Math
5th Grade Reading
5th Grade Science
5th Grade Writing
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Reading
6th Grade Science
6th Grade Writing
7th Grade Math
7th Grade Reading
7th Grade Science
7th Grade Writing
8th Grade Math
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Science
8th Grade Writing
College Political Science
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
High School Chemistry
High School English
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that each student is different and has different ways of learning. By getting to know the student, I will be able to tailor my teaching methods to elicit the best response from the student I am working with.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin by having a casual conversation with the student in order to get a feel for his/her personality, interests, and motivations. Then I would zero in on what the student perceives as his/her problem areas in an attempt to decipher where the problem(s) lie.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help my student stay motivated by explaining to him/her that even though there might be setbacks, persistence will be the key to working through any obstacles the student perceives. The more practice the student devotes to a particular problem area, the easier the solutions will present themselves.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would work backwards, going back to basics, to decipher where the disconnect is occurring.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Depending on the reading level of the student, I would use pictorial and context clues to help the student understand what he/she is reading. I would ask questions after each paragraph, or even each sentence, if necessary, to make sure the student comprehends the piece being read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try to approach a tutoring session by making the student feel comfortable, not defensive or intimidated. Perhaps I might ask the student what his school experience is like and whether he likes his teacher(s). Does he dread going to school? Does he feel he learns anything useful in his studies? Does he feel a lot of pressure to get high grades?
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to find a connection with the interests of the student and the subject he is having a problem with. For example, perhaps he hates fractions and decimals but is a big baseball fan. I would demonstrate how he can use his knowledge of these subjects to calculate how well his favorite players are performing in various categories.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can assist a student to become an independent learner by showing him how he can solve problems without my help. If my tutoring is as effective as it should be, eventually he won't need my services after some time has passed.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
First, I would observe the student's facial expressions. Does he look confused? Anxious? Bored? If so, he's probably not getting it. The most effective way to evaluate his level of understanding, of course, is to ask him some questions which would require him to show mastery of the subject matter to answer correctly.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I think positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to help a student build confidence. Whenever he grasps a concept, make certain he knows he is progressing. If he's having trouble, remind him that Einstein flunked out of some of his math classes and that what may seem impossible to comprehend today will become clearer as long as he is open to learning.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would develop some sort of assessment test to identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. I would also ask the student where he feels he needs the most help. If necessary, I might contact his teacher in order to make sure we are working on the proper material.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The most important factor in my approach to tutoring is the age and maturity level of the student. If the student is involved in this type of tutoring program, I would hope he was motivated to put in the effort to improve himself. If he is being pressured into being tutored, I might have to devise a way to engage him.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I work with materials the students provide, and supplement that with online materials and workbooks that I supply based on the student's needs.