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John

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After going to high school in Atlanta, I attended Northwestern University. I was always interested in math, and that led to me receiving a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, although I also took many liberal arts courses during my undergrad days. I wanted to continue my education, so I then received an MBA from Northwestern. Since I was able to waive many required courses, that allowed me to be the first student to graduate with 3 concentrations: marketing, finance and accounting. This knowledge served me well throughout my lengthy business career with both large and startup companies.

I've been tutoring during the past 10 years for students 6th graders up through college, I'm used to being very patient. I don't like to see students worry if they don't know the answer. If a student is lost and struggling in a given area, I like to quickly show them the right way to respond to a problem and then offer them similar problems until they have mastered that topic. I'm big on breaking up tutoring sessions so they're not so boring. Sometimes I use a little whiteboard to explain things. Sometimes I let students teach me. I like practice tests a lot, but they need to work on them for homework so we can maximize our session time together.

Also, from time to time, I like to present students with written materials or Internet links to supplement materials they have used in the classroom. I love surfing on the Internet my favorite subjects are current events, especially general business, computers, politics and sports. I enjoy talking to and giving advice to students about their college plans. Our two daughters attended local Florida high schools and then graduated from Dartmouth and Northwestern. For many years, I have helped to head up interviews of local area students that apply to Northwestern, and I have been involved in many alumni activities, including recently being a board director of the Northwestern Alumni Association for 6 years. I look forward to hearing from you.

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John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering

Graduate Degree: Northwestern University - Masters, Marketing, Accounting, Finance

Hobbies

golf, traveling, games, surfing on the Internet


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that students can best learn by receiving the same information via various methods - different textbooks, websites, and conversations with others. My goal is not to be boring. Practice tests are great because they identify areas for additional learning and provide good experience in test-taking.

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

After discussing a student's goals, a baseline of knowledge needs to be established - typically via a very short practice test. What's identified during the first session will lead to a homework assignment.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By making a topic as "non-boring," interesting, and important as possible. My goal would be to have a student believe that this subject matter is fun and valuable.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By varying the format of our sessions and their homework.

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

Don't make him struggle if they’re lost. Show them in writing the right answer. Then, keep going over similar examples. If that doesn't work well, skip it for now and wait until the next session.

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

Have them underline key words or phrases, but don't have them over do it. Find passages on topics that may be more interesting to them.

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

Try to be fun and relevant. For example, if the student likes athletics, try to lean towards sports. Make sure that the student, parent, and I all have the same goals. Above all, be honest once an assessment can fairly and accurately be made.

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

Come at it differently, maybe mix up the order. Find out where their relative strengths lie and focus on those first. Be a little off the wall; for example, when talking about equations I remind students that I'm an identical twin, and just as twins want to be treated equally, so does each side of an equation.

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

Practice tests for homework and little pop tests during sessions that relate to previous material covered.

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

Frequent compliments and encouragement, but not too much…

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I rely on my lengthy experience to judge a student. Usually, a student either "gets it" or doesn't. Comparing practice tests results to study guide data is also a great way to proceed.

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

I try to put myself in a student's shoes, along with all of the challenges they are going through. I let my empathy be my guide, and I don't hide those thoughts.

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

Text books (even if a student has a different one), study guides, printouts from the Internet, written information and whiteboard dialog from a student and I. I've considered PowerPoint presentations, but I've never quite gotten to there.


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