I am an experienced teacher who is dedicated to helping people improve their language skills. I've been a teacher for the last ten years with a diverse background. Teaching is my passion. It is the only job I see myself doing. I feel most comfortable when in front of a class or helping others on an individual basis.
I first starting tutoring in 2001 while studying to be a secondary English teacher at Eastern Michigan University. This experience helped kindle my passion for teaching, especially working with students one on one. After receiving my bachelor's degree in English education, I went back to my alma mater to refine my knowledge in English literature and writing. While studying for my MA in literature, I worked closely with my classmates in study groups. We helped each other break down difficult texts into their essential parts, thus making class discussions and term papers easier to manage. After graduating with honors, I started working at a small community college in Dearborn, Michigan. At Henry Ford Community College, I taught two sections developmental composition. My classes focused on grammar, usage, voice, and creation. Most of my students were either students who spoke English as their second language or who were first generation college students. After a year at HFCC, I spent seven years teaching English as a foreign language in South Korea. I mostly worked with elementary and middle school students, but I did have some adult students as well. I loved helping non-native English speakers improve their language skills, and I loved seeing my younger students develop in all language areas.
Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, listening to music, and spending time with my wife and dog. I am an avid reader who enjoys all genres of writing. I also enjoy listening to all sorts of music and discovering new bands and/or artists.
Undergraduate Degree: Eastern Michigan University - Bachelors, English Writing, Language, and Literature for Secondary Education
Graduate Degree: Eastern Michigan University - Masters, 20th Century/Contemporary English Literature
books, music, board games
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is student-centric. I try to help my students find the answers for themselves through motivation, scaffolding, and redirection.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During our first session, I would like to get to know a student and what s/he wishes to study or improve upon. I would also like to get to know the student personally in order to create a comfortable learning environment.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by showing her/him study skills that will help her/his study skills. I try to do this through modeling, note taking, and mnemonic devices.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I try to help my students stay motivated through positive encouragement, active listening, and compassion. I always try to help my students believe in themselves and to work past their struggles.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When my students express that they find something difficult, I always ask the following: what is the problem, how can I help, how can we look at this another way to make it easier to understand? I try not to let my students get discouraged, and help them in any way I can when they face a difficult subject or concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In my experience, reading comprehension can be improved in multiple ways. Some activities I have tried in the past have been story retelling, mind maps, outlining, and narrative drawing. I always try to tailor my lessons and delivery to best suit my students.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best strategy I use is just to listen to my students' wants, needs, and concerns. The best thing a teacher or tutor can do is listen to her/his students in order to develop lessons based on what they need.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I try to get my students excited about subjects by showing an active interest in it myself. If my students don't share my enthusiasm, I try to see what they like and how I can incorporate their likes into the subject we're currently studying.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
*redirection *retelling *art *reteaching *summarizing *writing
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build my students' confidence by being an available teacher who actively listens. I also encourage my students through compassion, positivity, and dedication.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate my students' needs through conversation. I find that tests, while helpful in assessing ability, often repel students. I think evaluation through conversation and skill demonstration is less intimidating, and just as accurate as tests.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Being a student-centric teacher allows me to easily adapt to my students' needs. As a teacher, I understand that each individual understands and processes information differently. It is my duty to help my students process information to the best of their abilities, and in a way that makes most sense to them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Depending on what we're studying, I often try to incorporate materials that my students enjoy talking or learning about to boost their language skills. For example, if my student shows an interest in science or mathematics, I try to have that student incorporate those interests into the language skills we're trying to improve.