I have a BA in History and Political Science from Greenville College in Illinois. I am part of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history major honor society. I graduated with honors and completed an undergraduate honors thesis. I am currently working on a MA in Archaeology and Biblical History; eventually planning to pursue a PhD. I have worked in the IT industry for 5 years and currently teach Government online for Ecclesia College. I have always been passionate about teaching students. As a college academic, I see the needs that students have as they leave high school and enter the university environment, and I want to impact students before they reach that level. Hopefully through tutoring, more students will have the necessary skills they need to excel in higher education. History is my favorite subject to study and teach, however, it is such a interdisciplinary study that I find myself constantly studying literature, politics, government, essay writing, etc. I am always fascinated by the stories of civilization and its development. I am passionate about learning proper writing styles and techniques as it appears to be one of the major issues with current students. Outside of academia, I enjoy playing soccer, hiking, and staying up to date on the latest technology which I apply to tutoring and building relationships with students and help them succeed.
Undergraduate Degree: Greenville College - Bachelors, History and Political Science
Graduate Degree: Trinity Southwest University - Current Grad Student, Archaeology and Biblical History
I love to read and enjoy anything to do with history. On the flip side, I am a tech geek. I keep up with the latest technology. I also enjoy hiking/backpacking and many other outdoor activities. I play soccer on occasion and enjoy super heroes and science fiction. Overall, I have a broad range of interests, which helps me relate to a wide range of individuals.
What is your teaching philosophy?
When teaching or tutoring, my philosophy is to understand the student. Each student is different, and with that comes different issues. It is necessary to understand how the student is approaching the subject at hand to understand why they may be having an issue. Only then can you properly determine the best way to teach that student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I will begin by engaging the student in a conversation about their current study habits and school routine in order to understand how they think. I will work to find the reasons that make it difficult for the student to learn. I will then create a tutoring regiment based on their individual needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In order to become an independent learner, a student must be confident in their study abilities. I will work to build up this confidence and equip each student with the tools needed to succeed in any level of education.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is one of the hardest factors to establish when learning. Many students are not interested in certain subjects. In order to get a student to stay motivated, I will work to build their confidence in their trouble subjects and relate the information to their daily lives so they can see why this knowledge is important. Encouraging each student to keep working and studying also goes a long ways toward motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The worst thing to do when a student is having difficulty is to get frustrated as a teacher/tutor. The student needs to know you are there to help no matter what setbacks they themselves are facing. First, we will work to calm the student down and keep them from feeling frustrated. I will then identify why the student is having difficulty and attempt to create a plan that will overcome the student's issues, and if necessary, work with other people in the student's life who can help.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension may be an issue for many reasons. It may be a learning disability, non-interest in the subject being read, or difficulty in understanding the text. I will identify the student's main issue as well as their own concerns about their struggle. I will then work with and assign reading materials to the student that will help develop stronger reading comprehension skills.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One strategy that has been successful is to always remember to meet the student at their level. It never does a student any good to talk above or at them, but rather to and with them in a way they can understand. This is my first and most important strategy for tutoring.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The best way to get a student interested in and excited about a subject is to show them why it matters in their life. Whether it is relating it to their environment, social life, etc., students need to understand why it is important to learn a subject before they are excited and motivated enough to learn.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Typical assessment techniques I would use are multiple choice responses, flash cards, short answer questions, and deductive reasoning responses. These are good indicators of a students' understanding.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
No student is confident until they see progress. Whatever the subject may be, I first isolate the student's issue with the course or subject matter. I then build a positive relationship with the student so that they do not feel the anxiety from the pressure they might get in a classroom. This will allow the students to open up and begin to understand the subject and how it relates to them. This will boost confidence immensely. I will coincide this with positive reinforcement and an excitement to learn to provide the confidence a student needs to succeed.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate each student's needs based on an open dialogue. I first check their coursework and materials. Then I begin to ask the student about their hobbies and interests. A student's likes and dislikes almost invariably lead to their specific issues and needs. I then identify the problem by asking the student what they find most difficult about the subject or why they do not like it. Students often know what their own needs are. They just need an environment they feel comfortable admitting those needs. An honest and open dialogue with the students can create an environment conducive to evaluating their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I rarely approach with a standard style of tutoring. It is my personal belief that a tutor should engage with the student and learn about their individual needs then develop an individually tailored program for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use any books or materials used by the students themselves first of all. I then add various texts and online resources accordingly. I may use various auditory or visual tools as well, based on the student's need.