A photo of Nikolais, a tutor from Portland Community College

Nikolais

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Do not try to give 110% everyday, you'll only end up burning yourself out. But 1%...just try to make yourself 1% better today than you were yesterday...and by the end of the year you'll be over 365% better. It is the small steady changes and growth that make us great!

I believe that each of us has the ability to exceed all our own expectations. That is why I tailor my teachings to the student's methods of learning to ensure the ability for them to grow!

Nikolais’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Portland Community College - Associates, General Studies

Hobbies

Hobbies include Chess, Woodworking, Scrapbooking and other related arts and crafts.

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Business

College Business

College English

Contract Law

Cost Accounting

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Finance

Financial Accounting

High School Business

High School English

Law

Legal Writing

Managerial Accounting

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Public Speaking

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Keep it simple, take your time, have patience and realize that everyone learns differently. Listen to the student's comments and answer the questions. Understanding of concepts gives the student ability, not recitation.

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

In our first session, I would arrive a little early so that I have time to speak with the student about their concerns and build the confidence needed for a strong teacher relationship. Then I'd develop a lesson plan so that the student knows what to expect.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like to teach concepts and guide the student through the steps, not just provide answers. I believe that once the concepts are understood, the student will begin to see the big picture and feel more at ease with the subject matter.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By telling the student that I know from my own personal experiences how hard it can be, and by also letting them know it gets easier and better with time. Plus, because I enjoy my subjects, that comes through in my teachings and helps the students stay engaged.

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

I have 5 children each with their own learning styles. One suffered concussions due to sports and his learning was curved. One is slow to understand reading, and another is special needs. What do I do? I bring that experience and work with the student at a steady pace, with care and understanding of their individual needs.

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

You start with the basics and then find something that interests them. Sometimes it is all about finding the right literature that makes them want to read. We can focus on phonics, surely, but motivating a reader gives greater success.

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

Listening...if I don't listen to the student and just keep moving through the materials, then the student just feels ignored and still frustrated. Plus, I always tell them it is okay to make mistakes...that's how we'll learn together.

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

Relating subject matter to the student is key. If a student can see how relevant the subject would be to them, their interest begins to increase. From there it is just maintaining a positive attitude.

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

I like to have the student stop and repeat the process, steps, or data back to me to show they are getting the basic concepts. Then some written examples would be required. Most of all, I would follow-up with the student to make sure.

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

Baby steps! We start at the bottom and build the foundation. As we build, the student will start to see that they know the material and will begin to move on confidently. I also use positive feedback and ensure the student that mistakes are what makes us grow.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

First I speak with the student to see where they believe they need to help. Then I evaluate their previous assignments and see if this matches the student’s assumptions. Based on those two things, we come up with a game plan and move forward to success.

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

Every person is different. Whether it's a high schooler at middle school level, a struggling adult or child, or even children with special needs...no one method works. I pace my lesson based on the student's ability to stay focused, and continuously provide a positive environment for them to learn.

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

Typically a scientific calculator, graphing calculator, ruler, paper, pens & pencils, tablet computer and whatever the subject calls for. I like to bring formula sheets as well to give the student a chance to search and find the correct formula visually, and then just off the top of their heads.