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Matt

My goal is to provide students with information in an engaging way that transforms their subjects. As a former full time teacher I know how often that the resources given do not always reach all learners. When this happens students slowly start to fall behind or misunderstand what is being taught. I provide my clients with personalized instruction that is not always available due to the lack of time and the high sense of urgency in current classrooms. I strive to keep students on or ahead of the pace of their subjects so that they may feel confident in not only learning new information but also applying it in a real world setting.

Undergraduate Degree:

University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Secondary Education

Tennis, The Outdoors, Guitar, Star Wars, Comic Books, and Video Games

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that every student is capable of lifelong learning. It is an unspoken agreement between students and teachers that if you're struggling, then you must take initiative. Beginning tutoring does not mean that a student is struggling, rather that they are self-aware enough that they need help in a specific area. Every child could benefit from a personal tutor outside of the classroom. My goal is to help students understand not only the content itself, but also how to apply in a real world setting.

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

First and foremost, I like to get to know my students. There hobbies and interests are the first thing I ask about. I also inquire about how they prefer to study and learn things. Then I begin to create self-awareness in students by asking them what they struggle with, how often they study, etc. From that point we set goals and then begin instruction.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Most students are unsure of how to implement or practice what they learn. I like to give students a variety of ways they can individually practice so that when I leave them the information can become internalized.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I'm a huge advocate for extrinsic motivators. Using my knowledge of the student, I motivate them by giving them opportunities to explore their interests for a few minutes. Their time is very valuable and I use any potential time I can to help them take a mental break!

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

I model what it is that students should be able to do at the end of a session. Using broken down steps and procedures, I can pinpoint where it is students are struggling. Most learning happens in multiple steps, so it is important that each step is taught individually and in detail.

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

When students start to read it is very exciting! A common misconception often made by teachers is that if a student can read something once, then they can read it in entirety. I tackle issues with reading comprehension by taking pauses in reading and asking students about the story. I also have them make predictions so that the next sentences they read are being actively read!

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

When first beginning work with a student. I try to incorporate things that interest them into what it is we're studying. Most times this is not that difficult and can be something as simple as creating sentences about their interests, writing stories about why they enjoy something, or utilizing any possible math equations.

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

A story tie-in to content is something students find very engaging. I also enjoy it because it allows me to use my imagination. For instance, when I was planning my wedding with my wife, there were many aspects that included a lot of the mathematical concepts we were going over. Something that you find exciting will also be engaging to students.

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

A short assessment will always be at the end of an instructional session. Thoughtful questions that demonstrate student's understanding of a learning concept will help me decide which direction to take next. If a student understands the material, then we can build upon it and move on, but if there is a disconnect then that can also be identified.

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

Scaffolding instruction is the way I prefer to build confidence. Imagine if you will a video game. The first few levels are tutorials where you grasp the basic mechanics, enemies, and movement of the game. This progresses to the final level which is a culminating understanding of all of the controls, enemies, and other potential hazards until you eventually win. I use the same approach with teaching. I will provide rudimentary forms of a concept at the early stages of learning. Then they will get progressively harder. Finally, I have students show me in a culminating question(s) what it is that we have learned. Those early stages and the proper progression are key to making sure that a student is confident in what they learn.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

With learning being objective based now, we can use objective based questions to see exactly where a student is struggling. There is no guessing involved. Each question is a guide to what knowledge of skill a student is having a difficult time with.

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

I love utilizing technology with instruction if applicable. It is highly engaging to students. Engagement leads to a unique experience that students will remember. With a well-designed implementation of instruction, you can help students pull from memories to internalize what they learn.

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

If a student is struggling with a particular part of the lesson, then I do not spend time moving forward. I poll them asking them what particular part is most difficult to them. If they can't identify it. I will go over the model again. Showing students how to think if given multiple scenarios.