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I have a B.A. in Theology and Philosophy and a M.S. in environmental science. I have years of experience working with a wide range of students with different educational needs. I have taught: English as a foreign language to primary students in South Korea, lab sciences at American University, political ecology with international students in Thailand, and earth sciences/environmental sciences to young adults in Thailand and Myanmar. My experience is both varied which helps to create a unique and tailored learning experience for my students.

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Jonathan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Catawba College - Bachelors, Philosophy and Theology

Graduate Degree: American University - Masters, Environmental Science


soccer, surfing, music (guitar/cello), travel, food

Tutoring Subjects

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

There are many ways to learn, and therefore many ways to teach. Successful learning is dependent on present information in as many ways as possible and relating it to the real world.

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

The first part of a session will be me learning the interests of my students to better understand how they learn, discuss their motivations, and understand their goals. The second part of the first session would be diving into the materials to help identify patterns and challenges so that following lessons will be as productive as possible.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help students become independent learners by helping them identify methods of learning that work best for them. I can also make subjects more relatable to students, which makes subjects easier to learn.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

There are a number of ways to help motivate students, and it depends entirely on student's goals, methods of learning, and what types of incentives work best for an individual.

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

If a student is having difficulty learning a skill or concept, the first thing to do is identify the cause. Changing the method of teaching the idea may be the best way to learn it.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Students who struggle with reading comprehension can have a number of causes, and the way to help depends entirely on the cause. If the cause is subject matter, breaking it down into smaller portions will help. If the cause is vocabulary, identifying challenging words at the start before diving into the materials will help with reading flow and retention of content. If the cause is interest in subject matter, finding different incentives may help.

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

Helping students take ownership of their learning has always been the most successful. In other words, giving students a reason to learn and succeed.

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

In the sciences, getting students excited about a subject can be as easy as taking the theoretical work and expressing it in practical hands on learning, experimentation or field trip type tutoring.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Assessments by review discussions, answering examples, and paper exams are a few ways to assess understanding.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

One way to build confidence is to show a student how to teach the subject. As a student practices teaching the subject, they gain confidence in it and confidence in expressing the complex ideas.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Initially, needs are based on a thorough discussion of a student’s needs, goals, and expectations during the first lesson. As the student progresses throughout the months these are reassessed based on weekly performance and discussions.

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

Student needs will change and very from student to student and over time. One way to address changes in needs is through adapting teaching styles and methodologies, as well as adapting to locations or areas of focus.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the subject, materials can include textbooks and work sheets, computers and internet, household items for lab experimentation and real world exploration for the sciences.

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