A photo of Jonathan, a tutor from CUNY Queens College

Jonathan

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A little about myself. I can honestly say, I am an official history buff. My subjects with which I was strongest are American ( Both North and South America), European and Asian history. I know and am well-familiar with all-time periods within these four areas. The various countries that are part of these four-continents truly interested me now and when I attended college. Specific revolutions ( American, French, Mexican and Russian) are my fortes but I do know certain countries almost "literally" like the back of my hand. USA, Canada, Brazil, Russia and China are countries I can teach you about very much. Whether it is knowing and understanding different periods of history within these countries or just knowing fun facts about certain regions of a certain country, I know them all.

I have an affinity for political science as well. Whether it is American Government or Parliamentary governments. I know them from the inside out. I am also well-versed in the different political systems of the past and present ( Representative Democracy, Monarchy, Communism etc.) But my love for the American political system.


I also am Fluent in both Brazilian-Portuguese and Portuguese-Portugal. I learned Portuguese due to my dad being originally from the island of Macau. I learned Brazilian-Portuguese because my ex-girlfriend was from Brazil. I learned the language because her parents didn`t speak English. I keep a Portuguese journal with me always and I write in it daily. I started my Portuguese journal not only to maintain and even improve my vocabulary, reading and writing skills in Portuguese but to enjoy and write down my adventures as a Flight Attendant. As a Flight Attendant, I do have a limited schedule but my love for tutoring the subjects I love is matched with my love for flying in the friendly skies. My ex-girlfriend was from the state of Parana, With Brazilian-Portuguese, I can tell you about the regional differences in terms of accents, slang and terminology each person from each region uses. A perfect example is " Paranese", when people from this region LOVE to use augmentative and diminutives constantly. People from Parana use the word " Pertinho" a lot.

Currently, I am improving my Mandarin and German. I do have working knowledge with both languages in terms of being conversational and having the ability to read and write. But I would love to improve my German and Mandarin for the purposes and fields of Law, Business and Medicine.

Well, I guess my love for languages started with my mom as she was an ESL- teacher for NYC Public Schools for over thirty years. She taught mainly in Religious schools around NYC. My interest started as a young adult when I studied Italian in Queens College. When I worked at the United Nations, my love and interest peaked as I literally encounter individuals from all over the world with different languages, cultures and countries.I even learned some Romanian but I am nowhere fluent is any way, shape or form, lol.

With learning languages especially but for other subjects as well, every little bit counts. Even small-talk helps. When I am on an airplane with passengers and they don`t speak English or maybe the speak English fluently but they speak in their mother tongue to each other on the airplane, I always make an effort to have a conversation with them.

Jonathan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Queens College - Bachelors, American History

Hobbies

football( soccer) and hockey

Tutoring Subjects

History

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP United States History

AP US History

College Level American History

Conversational German

Conversational Mandarin

German

German 1

High School Level American History

Languages

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1

Social studies


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Whether you need or just want to learn something new, I believe you just can`t read and write about a subject. You have to live it. Whether you are studying AP European History or Portuguese, living something is much more effective than just reading or writing about something.

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

First, I would want to know what their goal for the first session is. Then I would know where their main challenges are. But when it comes to learning, I follow the same moral of the tortoise and hare, " Slow and steady wins the race."

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

There is always something that draws somebody to learn something. Whether it was the love for the past like myself, something drew your attention and passion for a subject, a student probably has lost sight of this due to difficulties with the subject in class or just a mental/learning roadblock.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Frequent contact and remainders of what made them fall in love with the subject. "The path to learning is always filled with bumps and roadblocks."

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

You need to identify what to roadblock is. There is always a path around it. If there is no way around, then the only to deal with a mental roadblock is to go through it.

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

Well, you need to identify what actually is the problem with their reading comprehension; the old saying goes, "Practice make perfect." But being exactly precise is the key.

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

Always listen; some tutors tend to forget that even though you learned a subject in fashion-A, the student that you are tutoring is learning it fashion -B. Always have an "open-ear and open mind."

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

When a student is struggling and is starting to become demoralized, you just need to remind them that bumps and roadblocks in learning a new subject is natural. I know I have faced many roadblocks when I was learning Portuguese.

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

I found especially when learning my different languages, language books were extremely helpful, I still use them still to this day.

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

The confidence of a student in a certain subject is key. Putting yourself in their shoes is something I always do when it comes to confidence building.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Simply ask and review the materials (tests, textbooks, homework etc.) and remind them this is judgement free zone. You are there to help them, no matter what the difficulties are in their subject they are trying to learn.

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

Reviewing their materials is key. Learning method-A is half the time the complete opposite from learning method-B.

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

I usually bring my old notes, tests, homework, etc. Maybe they went to the same school as I did when I was their age. But I do have materials that I find extremely useful.