Studying economics and finance as an undergraduate I found I was very comfortable with both the mathematical and conceptual areas and particularly liked econometrics and statistics. As a graduate student at George Washington I was offered an opportunity to be a graduate teaching fellow and enjoyed teaching recitation sections of undergraduate economics, plus grading upper-level exams, and tutoring other students, including graduate students.
I've taught, tutored or mentored students and other professionals ever since - going on three decades - and as a budding second career have returned to education as an undergraduate instructor (economics) and as a tutor in various subjects. I have a varied and broad professional background in business, finance and economic consulting that has taken me all over the world and I have been fortunate to learn many things. I can offer both a deep subject matter knowledge and an awareness of what many academic subjects are be about in a much wider sense. I have explained all kinds of things to all sorts of people.
My tutoring areas are economics throughout the high school and college levels, finance, general business courses, and introductory statistics. I would be well suited to working with graduate students in the social sciences (sociology, psychology, etc.) and business schools who have not already studied statistics as part of their undergraduate educations.
Like I say, I have many academic and professional interests and also enjoy traveling with my wife, am a film enthusiast, a voracious reader, like to fish and do crossword puzzles, write, and generally figure things out.
I have a vast knowledge of American literature and could tutor in that area as well, plus helping any kind of student - statistics, economics, or others - to better understand texts and the language, to understand what it is they are reading in school, what they are being asked by their professors; and what it is they want to say in response, and how to say it better.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Texas Christian University - Bachelors, Economics
Graduate Degree: George Washington University - Masters, Economics
Film, literature, fishing, music.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that no subject is too hard or obscure to figure out. Too many people think that they cannot master material, particularly quantitative subjects or abstract or symbolic subjects (including the arts). Showing students that they can grasp the subjects, helping them to successively and successfully answer questions and figure things out helps student's gain confidence in their own ability: as long as they are interested, they can learn anything.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would break it down-- the same approach I would take to a math, statistics, or economics problem. Framing the problem, that is - what are they trying to get at? - is the first part of comprehension. If you dive in too fast and too deep you can easily get confused. We would learn to always pull back and consider what is the point we (or they - the writer or the teacher) are trying to get at.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
For starters I would want you to tell me about yourself: what you are good at, what you struggle with, and what you are hoping to accomplish, both educationally and with this tutoring. You should also tell me what classes that are similar to this subject you have taken (in high school or college) and how you did. Next, show me a question in this subject that puzzles you, and we can discuss why and work through it, then come up with a plan to deal with progressively more questions and themes.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We would break the skill or concept down. Up to what point do you understand it? Then let's work on the next piece, see how one part builds upon another. If you're not getting it, let's try that again, a similar exercise with the same concept. When you see a success, and you will, you will "get" the concept. I believe anybody can learn ANY academic discipline this way.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There is nothing like having someone explain or try to teach the material to see if they understand it. Rather than just having the student take a quiz or check a box, it is really most thorough to see if the student can explain to me - perhaps to their friend or parent even - what the material is about, not simply what the answer is to a particular question but the "why" of the thing - why the answer is so; how the material might be used in other academic subjects; and why the material has any meaning in the larger world.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By showing them examples of where they have mastered the subject or similar subjects.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Let the student tell me what they understand about a subject - with some prompting and coaching from me of course - and what they find puzzling. Based on that and what I see we will work on a list of areas to address.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It is best to use the student's questions from their texts, plus some standard or even classic examples of the material that needs addressing. We will work graphically or in short written assignments.