A photo of Michael, a tutor from Fordham University

Michael

Certified Tutor

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No one ever said that everything we do will be easy. Easy happens through hard work and learning. It doesn't matter how slowly you go so long as you don't stop because then what you do will be worth it.

Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Fordham University - Bachelors, Communications and Media Studies

Graduate Degree: Nova Southeastern University - Masters, Educational Technology

Hobbies

Anything having to do with water.

Tutoring Subjects


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is aligned with that presented by psychologist Carol Dweck. She sees the necessity of a growth mindset in learning where people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

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

In my first session, I would need to first introduce myself and establish my credibility as a teacher and a tutor. Next, I would listen to the student and learn about their likes and dislikes; what he or she views as their strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly learn about their background so that I can help to identify any socio-economic and personal barriers that might be leading to a disruption in the student's ability to cognitively learn.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Learning is not about one process but understanding that there are many processes that lead to the same goal, and once a student realizes that they can find their own path to learning, then the success rate of that student will become greater. There are four types of learners. Identifying what type of learner you are dealing with and giving them the tools that they need to learn in that manner will lead to success.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By helping them to establish a long-term learning goal first, and then working backwards from there to create easily attainable checkpoints along their learning path so that success can be celebrated early and often in order to keep the student motivated.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would remind them first that continual practice can sharpen a skillset, but I would also work with the student to make sure the path that is being taken by the student to learn the skill aligns with the individual's learning modality, and offer suggestions of different methods that could be identified to help the student succeed.

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

Reading comprehension begins with reading ability. If a student can't read, then they can't comprehend. So it stands to reason that ability needs to be addressed and managed so that a student can first be reading "on grade-level." Next, comprehension means a complete understanding of the text. This can come from a few key steps that every reader should engage when reading a text. The key steps include reading any questions that might be associated with the text in a learning environment. The text should be read a number of times to ensure clarity and the reader should stop and ask questions to remain engaged in the text. As far as dealing with questions which might be factored toward reading comprehension, there are a number of methods that can implemented to deal with the type of questions presented (Main Idea, Compare/Contrast, etc.).

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

Identifying their barriers to learning, such as personal and socio-economic status. Identifying their learning modality (audio/visual learner, kinesthetic learner) and maintaining and promoting a growth mindset.

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

The key to wanting to learn is to identify and come to terms with how this learned skill actually applies in real life, and to show it being used in the real-life. For instance, the school that I work at recently had some surveyors come to the grounds. I asked them to come into my classroom and explain how concepts like area and perimeter are an important part of their job.

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

The easiest technique would be to have the student complete objective data collection assignments and track that measurable data to indicate growth. It is important, though, to monitor the subjective data as well through conversation with the student about that student's feelings on their strengths of the skill associated with the material.

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

Repetition helps, but challenges empower. For instance, can a student say that they know multiplication by memorizing the fact families? Confidence comes from overcoming a struggle regardless of obstacles, and that comes from establishing a growth mindset in the student. If the student knows they can achieve, then they will.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

A student's needs are evaluated through analysis of their measurable outcomes data.

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

A teacher constantly has to adapt teaching to fit the learner so that he or she can become better fitted to react to the current educational environment. For instance, there is more than one way to arrive at an answer, therefore a tutor needs to not move quickly to getting an answer but rather find a path of least resistance for the learner to move to the answer by working with the strengths of the learner and not harping on the weaknesses.

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

Typically, I use research and evidence based intervention materials that have measurable outcomes, and resources that allow for re-teaching or individualized and identifiable leveled skills interventions.