I have always enjoyed working with students, particularly in the areas of English language and literature, and American History. Although I have a full -time administrative position at a major university, I tutored high school students occasionally during the last five years.
Shortly after I graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, I attended The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Early in my career, I taught high school English (10th, 11th and 12th grades) in Newton North High School in Newton, Mass. In this position, I worked directly with students to improve their reading, writing, and critical skills.
I went on to graduate school at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (administered by Tufts, with the cooperation of Harvard University). I received an M.A. from Fletcher, with a concentration in international relations. This education and the related degree led me to opportunities in international business.
I spent more 25 years in the international insurance brokerage area, and had the opportunity to travel throughout the world. In insurance brokerage, I was a senior manager and account executive.
In 2003, I returned to an academic setting to work for St. John's University's School of Risk Management and Insurance in corporate and (insurance) industry relations. In my present position, I design and market corporate training programs. Occasionally I have had the opportunity to review student papers in the risk and insurance area, mainly at the graduate level. During my time at the university, I have published several articles on risk and insurance related topics.
I get much satisfaction from the university environment because my work with clients focuses on training the next generation of professionals in the risk management and insurance specialty. I am communicating and working with younger executives from around the world on a daily basis. Also, I enjoy being part of an educational institution with full-time undergraduate and graduate programs.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Trinity College, Hartford Conn. - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Tufts University (with cooperation of Harvard University) - Masters, International Relations, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts/Harvard)
My hobbies include stamp collecting, reading U.S. History and Literature, and collecting old documents.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is that every student has the ability to learn, and that the teacher should seek to both guide and inspire the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would introduce myself and try to learn more about the student, including his/her hobbies, likes and dislikes. I would give a brief overview of the subject matter to be covered, making sure that the student was comfortable with the planned progression and ready to move forward with enthusiasm.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning with a tutor should stimulate the student's curiosity and cause them to want to learn more on their own. The tutor must encourage independent learning and want to listen to the student's ideas.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would not overwhelm the student with a heavy workload, but would encourage steady progress. I would praise the student's efforts all along the way. If the student was in any way discouraged, I would retrace the areas where the student lacked confidence, and seek to rebuild confidence.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Carefully retrace the main themes and materials in order to learn where the student first encountered difficulty. Then encourage the student to rethink the topic, encouraging fresh insights.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Try to understand the root cause of the lack of comprehension. This could be quite simple or quite complex. Provide the student with exercises in the reading comprehension area, and review the progress with him/her.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First, the student must be relaxed and confident he/she can master the subject content. This must be made interesting to the student. Carefully build on early success so that the student will enjoy the subsequent tutoring.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make the student understand that this tutoring will be a new beginning. Ask the student to release old preconceptions. Try to make every session fun. This will stimulate student engagement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask many questions to be sure the student is "getting it." I would generate informal quizzes, and include a practice test or two.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Make the student feel his answers and insights are important. Tell the student how well they are doing. Praise particularly insightful comments.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through gentle probing, which includes asking the student about where he/she feels his strengths and weaknesses are. Informal quizzes and tests will also help identify needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The tutor must at all times try to understand who the student is, what his/her motivations are, etc. If a student has special needs, you must clearly understand these. This may involve changing the pacing of a particular course.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Tutoring can be online, and of course paper and pencil can work in situations where the meeting is offline.