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I was born and raised in Iowa. Upon graduating from high school, I enrolled at The University of Iowa where I double majored in Fine Art and Japanese Language and Literature. During my freshman year I was awarded a summer scholarship to study aboard in Tokyo, Japan at ICU. This experience sparked my interest in studying and living abroad in Tokyo, so upon returning after summer abroad I enrolled in another year long study abroad program at Meiji University. After finishing my undergrad, I returned to Tokyo where eI went on to advance my studies by enrolling in a Master's program at Tama Art University. Here I studied Typography. Also while attending school in Japan, I worked part time and eventually full time at an English Language school. Upon finishing my Master's, I decided to stay in Japan and pursue my career there and found my first job at Japan's largest advertising agency Dentsu. About a year later, I was later recruited to join Dentsu's sister company The Goal which is a fashion advertising agency. I spent about 10 years living in Japan before returning back to the United States. I have an excellent understanding of the Japanese Language as well as the culture, traditions and history. I think that one of my strengths is that I am very patient and understanding when it comes to teaching someone something new. I am also very passionate about design, fashion and music.

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John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Iowa - Bachelors, Japanese Literature and Language

Graduate Degree: Tama Art University - Masters, Graphic Design


Languages, Graphic Design, Typography, Fashion, Music, & Movies

Tutoring Subjects

College English



Graphic Design

High School English



Technology and Coding

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in teaching my students in the way that they want to be taught. I think that it is very important to be open and listen to what they want to help them achieve their goals.

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

In order to get a clear understanding of what my student would want in a lesson, I would first start with a series of questions and ask my student what his or her goals and objectives are. I would then ask him or her what their difficulties are. Then I would create a lesson that caters to these needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I try to help all of my students find practical ways that allows them to optimize what they have learned with me outside the lesson.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I try to keep my students motivated by being positive and listening to what their personal struggles and concerns are.

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

If a student has a difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would break it down into simpler understandable parts that allows them to understand and not feel so overwhelmed.

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

I personally have struggled with reading comprehension, so I would begin with shorter reading material and gradually increase the reading material length overtime.

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

I believe that listening to student's concerns and problem areas and working with them to overcome these is the best approach.

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

I would try to find a study method that relates to something that they are interested in or passionate about. I struggled with Japanese a lot, so I would read material about design to keep myself motivated.

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

After teaching new material, I always do a practical review where my students have to answer questions or use the skill on their own to show they fully understood.

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

I believe that being encouraging and pointing out the areas they are doing right and excelling is the best way.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I always ask my students what they believe their needs are first before beginning a lesson.

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

I cater my lessons and focus on what they need most to help them achieve their goals.

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

I usually will prepare materials for the lesson myself, but if the student has materials they would prefer to use, I will use those as well.

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