A photo of Alex, a tutor from University of Michigan

Alex

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Hello! I'm so excited to be tutoring with Varsity! I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance and Art History from the University of Michigan. I am a writer for The Huffington Post, and an actor and musician in Chicago! While in college, I gained experience tutoring for HSPT, ACT English, Reading, and Writing, as well as college essay writing, drama, and public speaking. I firmly believe that my tutoring style goes beyond the classroom environment, and my students are left with life skills and confidence building that carry beyond the test.

Alex’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Michigan - Bachelors, Theatre Performance, Art History

Test Scores

ACT English: 30

Hobbies

Seeing Theatre, Playing Piano, Writing Essays, Watching Gymnastics

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Any lesson I provide exceeds beyond the classroom, beyond the test, and should affect my students in their day-to-day life.

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

First, I would find why the student has sought out tutoring. Second, I would work with the student to assess their particular trouble spots. Third, I would go through a comprehension assessment to find the cause of these trouble spots.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Every student should play the role of active participant in any lesson. By guiding a student to search for their own answer and providing an open environment to ask any questions necessary to get there, my students take the session into their own hands.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I remind my students that the importance and value of a positive mindset will be their biggest influence. I also encourage my students to remind themselves of their goals and their reasons for seeking help. This, in turn, helps to further establish discipline and persistence.

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

I am a firm believer in the use of variety in teaching. There are three basic learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Every student relates to these styles differently. By assessing what particular style is inherent in a student, I widen my variety of activities, and therefore, provide a larger platform to find alternative methods for students.

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

I take a step-by-step method in reading comprehension. Reading is all about making connections between what you are reading and what you have already read. As they make connections in what they are reading, I monitor my students' understanding of what they are grasping easily and what they are having trouble comprehending. I do this with methods such as having a student summarize key thoughts of each paragraph, and how that fits into the overall hypothesis or theme of the text.

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

I first talk to a student about why he or she is seeking out tutoring. I then discuss with him or her how my particular tutoring methods can help him or her achieve their goals. This helps establish a foundation of success and positivity during moments of frustration.

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

I ask a student questions of both content and conclusions based on the content. For example, if a piece of text covers why a subject is feeling sad, I ask my student for evidence of why the subject feels sad.

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

I provide words of encouragement, praise for successful performance, and help him or her to learn from failure. For example, if a student continues to misspell multiple words, I look to see where the common thread is in the misspelling. I show the student areas where he or she should be extra vigilant, along with words of encouragement and praise.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First, I set a relaxed, friendly environment, where the student is free to trust what I have to offer. Second, I ask questions about the student's general background, and slowly integrate deeper questions to understand the root of their difficulties.

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

I take a student's age, level of proficiency, and extracurricular activities, and consider these all when evaluating their learning style. This goes back to determining whether a student thrives most in an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learning environment. Once I evaluate these factors, I am able to effectively gear my teaching style to each student, uniquely.