I have always been passionate about education. After I graduated from university with a degree in International Relations, I moved to Japan for a year, where I taught English. I found teaching English in Japan to be challenging and immensely rewarding, because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your students make major breakthroughs.
My philosophy is twofold: First, I am not here to give you the answers. I fully believe in the concept of guided learning, which means I will do my very best to give you the strategies and tools that you need to find the answers yourself. Second, that your goals are outside of the classroom, therefor all learning should be anchored by something that isn't abstract. In other words, students should always know how what they are learning will help them achieve their goals.
Outside of the classroom, I spend a lot of time writing because I care immensely about politics. Being able to communicate effectively through writing is an incredibly important skill, and many people don't learn it until they are already in university! If you need help framing your ideas, editing, settling on a tone that works for you, or even just getting started, I'm your guy.
Undergraduate Degree: California State University Monterey Bay - Bachelors, Global Studies
I love a good story, whether that is a movie or a book. I especially enjoy all kinds of sci-fi. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, practicing my foreign language skills, and playing strategy games with my friends.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Guided learning is the best method of teaching. Socrates knew it 2,000 years ago: if you want someone to truly learn something, teach them how to FIND the answer; don't just give it to them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Getting to know the student and their goals is always step 1 for me. Next is finding out what their major problems are, and then developing a plan to combat those issues. Every step of the plan should be transparent, so students know exactly where they are going.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teaching strategies and tools that students can use to learn independently from a tutor is the best method. Don't give the answer to the problem; teach how to solve the problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouraging students is an important part of being a tutor. Everyone needs to be reminded that at times you will reach a plateau, but progress is always just around the corner.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would teach the student a skill or strategy that has always worked for me. Thinking outside the box is sometimes all it takes to break through a major difficulty.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The first trick to improving your reading comprehension is looking for key words, and identifying words that you don't know. When you look up the words you don't know and place them in a proper context, meaning typically shines through. Additionally, students should be encouraged (at first) to simply take it one sentence at a time, so as to not get overwhelmed by more complex texts.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Developing a personal relationship with a student can help you to better understand their learning style. It is important to remember that everyone learns differently, and it's my job to figure out how my student learns most effectively.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to relate the subject to the student's personal interests, or show how the skills involved can be used in a practical way in their life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Through tutoring properly by not outright giving the student the answers, but instead by guiding them to the proper answer through context clues.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Teaching a student the proper skills to answer questions when I am not around is the best way to build confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking the student! Introspection is an important part of the learning process and simply asking can start a conversation.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student learns differently. I change my method based on whether or not the student is a visual learner, an auditory learner, or even a hands on learner. When teaching in Japan, I learned different tactics to approach teaching everything from toddler who knew zero English, all the way up to 80-year-olds who had been speaking it their entire lives.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials depend entirely on the needs of the student. I like to have a small whiteboard with a variety of pens and a laptop computer available to use. As the sessions go on, I am always open to adding more materials or recommending new materials to a student.