I graduated from the Honors College at the University of Mississippi, William Faulkner's old stopping grounds, with a BA in English. After college, I served two years as a mentor to undergrads at the University of Virginia where I witnessed, first-hand, the acute pressures of being a student at a top-30 university. Now, I am a Masters student at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis County. When I am not studying or tutoring I am going on a hike with my wife, reading Harry Potter, or watching basketball. I am both a nerd and a people-person: I love a night in, reading fiction, and a night out, at Busch Stadium watching the Cardinals. Why I tutor: to watch students grow in academics and in character. Favorite subjects to tutor: 1-ACT English and Reading (I took the test 3 times as a high school student...I know); 2- Writing (college or high school papers).
Taking a test or writing a paper? Cross-reference Matt Damon, at the end of "The Martian": "At some point, everything's gonna go south on you... everything's going to go south and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem... and you solve the next one... and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mississippi - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Covenant Theological Seminary - Current Grad Student, Divinity
Playing and watching basketball, reading fiction, hiking.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
1. Every student has dignity 2. Every student is different 3. With help, every student can do it
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
On a scale of 1-10, see how they are feeling about the assignment (1-entirely discouraged, 10-confident and encouraged). Learn how they learn. Are they visual, auditory, both?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Develop a strategy. There comes a time when the tutor is gone and the student has to fend for themselves. They'll need mental checkpoints on which they can depend.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Matt Damon, at the end of The Martian: "At some point, everything's gonna go south on you... everything's going to go south and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem... and you solve the next one... and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home."
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Encourage them to breathe, have patience with themselves, and recognize that this is a process.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Read through the text again and try to put it in to your own words. Underline all names; circle all concepts; put a question mark by terms you do not understand.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Ask questions. Listen. Find out how they learn. Every individual learns differently. For some, pictures or graphs help. For others, they don't help at all.