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Alfonso

I am a graduate of Denison University. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology. Upon graduation, I joined an educational non-profit called City Year, an Americorps program where Corps members willing give up a year to serve in effort to bridge the education achievement gap. In this role, I serve as a mentor and tutor to students while working alongside a partner teacher to give students the resources and tools they need to succeed. City Year works in English and Math classrooms and I have the pleasure of serving in an two adaptive math classrooms. While I'm open to tutor English and History and/or Social Studies, I am most passionate about Math. In my experience, helping struggling students think logically and developing procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, and productive disposition, we always seem to have the most fun connecting these skills to other aspect in life. In addition to this, its a pleasure seeing their confidence level boost when they answer a set number of problems correctly. Nothing warms my heart more when a student jokingly tells me, "Mister, back off, I got this." I am a firm proponent of education, believing it to be absolutely necessary for an improved quality of life, and I try to impart this appreciation to all of my students. In my spare time, I enjoy reading that which enriches my life, binge watching my favorite tv sitcoms, hanging out with friends, and contributing to a cause greater than self.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Denison University - Bachelors, Political Science

ACT Composite: 21

ACT English: 22

ACT Math: 18

ACT Reading: 21

ACT Science: 21

Reading, listening to music, tv sitcoms, movies

3rd Grade Math

African History

College Level American History

Elementary School Math

High School Level American History

Homework Support

Other

Political Science

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is pushing students to their full potential. I have different ways of doing this though. One way is through showing care and understanding in being that additional support they need. The only way is displaying a warm/strict mentality; showing students I care but my expectations of them will remain high. If this entails me being a drill sergeant to boost their confidence level, I will do just that to push them to their potential.

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

In the very first session, I set norms and expectations for my students. This will be our mutual contract where I hold them accountable and vice versa to ensure we're making the most of our time together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would like to ensure that my student become an independent learner by instilling in them the confidence to persevere. This obviously comes with time. Over the course of time, I will work with students to develop that concept of gradual release, meaning I talk less and they talk more.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would always highlight a skill that a student is performing well at and use that positive energy to keep pushing them to perform at their highest level. In addition to this, I will also use positive reinforcement to fuel their motivation.

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

If presented with this situation, I would review the skill with a step-by-step process. Going this route will allow me to see at which step the student is making his/her errors on. Also, I will tie logic into developing a general understanding of a skill/concept

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

I would help them identify the word and what it means. Once this is established, then I would ask them how this definition relates to the grand scheme of things we read in this passage.

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

Giving students a break in learning, helping students develop procedural fluency using a step-by-step approach to solving complex problems, and also bringing it back to foundational skills.

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

Focusing on the gains they made with the subject and not the negatives. Also by including names of people they know in the problem.

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

Verbal and written checks for understanding, whether that be a fist of five, thumbs up, sideways, or down, a Twitter post, exit tickets, or other methods I've learned to monitor where they are at.

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

First and foremost, ensure the student that they're bright and can do anything they put their mind to. Second, set high expectations and hold the student accountable in reaching them while being creative and make small successes with the student. Then entail always encouraging them, at their best and at their worst, seeking completion of problems until perfection, instilling a can do attitude in them, and helping them approach the situation with an open heart and open mind.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by focusing on what they're struggling with the most, outside the concept/skill that I'm teaching for the day.

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

By being flexible and realizing that you're there to support the student, not your own personal agenda.

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

Calculator, workbook, white board, pencil, marker, worksheets…