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I can help with math and science subjects for students of all ages, as well as test prep. I was valedictorian of my high school and have a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Stephen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The University of Texas at Austin - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 32

ACT Math: 36

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 36

SAT Math: 750

SAT Verbal: 700


Camping, hiking, backpacking, reading, archery, running, lifting

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in helping students develop a deep understanding of the fundamentals behind the problems they're trying to solve.

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

I want to keep things light and breezy. I want to get to the know the student and make him/her feel comfortable. Then we will dive in and begin identifying and working on the areas where the student is having problems

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I don't believe in giving answers to students. I want to help them find their own way to the solution. This is best done by having them say their thought process out loud. Slowly but surely they'll gain the confidence and knowledge necessary for them to continue learning on their own. I will also show the resources and discuss the habits necessary for becoming an autodidact.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I'll keep a sense of humor and help keep the student in a growth-based mindset. Frustrations are bound to happen. Everyone gets stuck. It's important for the student to understand that they will stumble, fail, and struggle with difficult subjects. What's important is to keep coming back to the problem day after day.

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

I would have them talk me through their thought process and help explain any missing links. If they are still stuck I would explain the concept in a different way and keep doing so until the student begins to understand the underlying concept.

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

I would ask them to re-write the passage in their own words and then start dissecting what areas they are having a hard time understanding.

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

I would relate it to something they're interested in and give them real world examples of why it's interesting. Depending on the subject, maybe even a small project would help them become engaged.

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

I would ask open ended questions or give them open ended problems. I would definitely not use multiple choice.

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

Developing confidence in a subject takes time and a lot of repetition, combined with quick feedback. Having the student teach someone else the subject is also a great way to build confidence in his or her knowledge.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Both asking the student what areas they think they need help in as well as testing the student to see if there are additional blind spots.

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

I would keep trying different explanatory styles until something "clicks" for the student.

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

It's hard to beat pencil, paper, and a big eraser.

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