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In 2019 I graduated from Duke University with a BA in Mathematics and a license to teach Secondary Math in the state of North Carolina. This year I will be in Memphis TN working as a Student Success coach with middle schoolers in a local public school. I have extensive experience teaching and tutoring math for middle and high school students at all levels. I have a great understanding of the subject, as well as how it progresses and is measured in schools. Having completed a student teaching term, I am familiar with learners of all shapes and sizes and can accomodate my style of teaching to best suit every student!

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James’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Duke University - Current Undergrad, Computer Science

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT Math: 35

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 35

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1550

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 720

SAT Writing: 760


Soccer, Tennis, Reading, Watching movies

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that the best way for students to learn is for them to work out problems themselves. I prefer to ask provocative questions that lead students to the answer rather than just show them how, or give them the answer. In my experience this is the most effective method of teaching.

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

I would first get to know the student as a person, so that I am not just some stranger! I would then ask some general questions and go through some problems with the student so that I can get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses so that I can tailor my teaching to best assist them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By asking provocative questions, rather than providing answers, it allows the student to work out problems for themselves and become better learners. This way, they gain a better understanding of the material as well as the problem-solving process that is vital to their success in the future.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If I feel a student is getting tired or frustrated, I remind them of how much progress they have made to that point, and would probably give them some extra help for a few questions to get them on track again.

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

I like to hear what my students do in their free time, where they're from, and more about them so that I can relate to them and make our tutoring more enjoyable. I find that sessions go much better when the student and I know something about each other, rather than it being a completely impersonal relationship.

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

The key is to keep the student from ever feeling overwhelmed. I start from the basics of what we're learning, building the student's confidence and engagement. This way, complex problems can become easy when they are broken down into these manageable pieces.

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

Using Varsity Tutors' online platform, I can accommodate for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. I can draw figures and have the student draw them as well, write out the problem step by step, or talk a student through it according to what works best.

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

I would approach it in a different way. I find that more complicated concepts can always be related back to simpler skills that the student knows by heart, and I tap into this to enhance understanding.

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