A photo of Danny, a tutor from St. Olaf College

Danny

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I have always a passion for curiosity. The buzzword "lifelong learner" has been around the education world for quite some time. But I want to have a lifelong curiosity. I always want to know things work and how to better understand things. I bring that same passion for curiosity to everything that I do, especially teaching and tutoring. Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to bring someone closer to their capability. My biggest teaching motto has been: "I don't teach based on what I know my students can already. I teach based on where I know they are capable of going and what they are capable of doing." I believe that people should always strive to know more. Curiosity makes the world a better and, frankly, a more fun place. If I can instill that lifelong curiosity into even one of my students, I would have reached success.

I also firmly believe that conversation is a huge part of a successful teaching/learning process. No one knows how the students learn better than the students themselves. I constantly check in with how students are doing, often before I tell them how I think they are doing. This constantly dialogue allows us to form a better connection and does nothing but allow me to teach and the student learn better. I want to know their goals, interests, hobbies, learning styles, and anything and everything in between. This process is not a dictatorship but a partnership.

I look forward to getting know my students and helping them on their educational journey!!!!

Danny’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: St. Olaf College - Bachelors, Vocal Music Education

Graduate Degree: Boston University - Masters, Music Education

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 30

ACT Math: 34

ACT Science: 34

SAT Math: 800

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1: 750

SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 700

Hobbies

Music; Cooking; Hiking; Biking; Swimming; Coloring; Mini-Golf; Math

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I like to use a more hands-on approach to teaching and learning. Instead of telling my students the answer, I give them hints and how to get there and let them create the journey. I am a supportive teacher but I always push my students to succeed. I don't teach based on what my students can already do, I teach based on where I know they are capable of going and what they are capable of doing. I also make sure to talk with them. No one knows how the students learn best more than the students themselves. I bring multiple approaches and vantage points, ready to hit every possible arena and hopefully perk the students' learning style at some point.

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

I would certainly have many conversations with them, especially if this was an ongoing tutoring relationship. Even with young students in some regards, no one knows how the students learn better than the student themselves. I want to know how they like to learn, what they like to learn. I want to know their interests, their goals, where they want to go, what they want to do. I want to gather as much information as I can because you never know what nugget of knowledge might allow me to better connect with them and therefore teach them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can assist them by not giving them answers until they find them themselves. If you have never failed, then you have never tried hard enough. I will teach my students the necessary steps. I will give them an extensive toolbox, and I will even give them an instruction booklet on how to build- but I will not do any of the building for them. Eventually, I will be able to take the training wheels off and let go of the handlebars.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

There are plenty of tools for this. I would need to figure out what motivates them. I could do something like a sticker chart, some sort of reward system, or sometimes, all that is needed to showing the student what they can do. I sometimes like to help my students visualize where they want to go and what they want to do. What are their goals? Not their parents'. Not their teachers'. What do they want to do? We can then go from there.

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

I always try to bring multiple vantage points to my teaching: kinesthetic, visual, aural, etc. If nothing seems to be working, I will talk with the student; break down what exactly they don't understand. Maybe it is just one part of the equation instead of the equation as a whole? Maybe if we break things down into a simple of steps as possible, we can better diagnose the problem. Sometimes the solution is as simple as putting it away for a bit and moving on to something else, even if that something else is eat a snack or talking about the soccer game last night. Sometimes the brain just needs a break.

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

I have found that if I try little pieces of everything and see what works, I can better understand how the students' mind works. Lots of conversations, lots of experiments, lots of trial and error. I say it often.... if you have never failed, you have never tried hard enough. We may not be successful right away, but I am very stubborn. I will figure it out. We will figure it out together.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Simple.... I talk to them. Conversation is a big part of my teaching. I want to constantly know how my student feels they are doing. I form my opinions on their progress. But I want to know how they feel they are doing.