I taught AP Human Geography for 4 years at the high school level, and IB Social and Cultural Anthropology SL for 12 years . Since retiring last June, I found that I missed student contact and the chance to help students achieve their goals. I had excellent test score results for both AP Human Geography and IB Social and Cultural Anthropology SL. Therefore, tutoring seems to offer an opportunity to continue doing what I love, but on a part-time basis.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Marshall University - Bachelors, Education
Graduate Degree: Florida Atlantic University - PHD, Comparative Studies
swimming, biking, yoga, walking, traveling, reading
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first lesson would be to listen to the student's goals and why she thinks she is struggling with a particular class.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most important strategy is for the student to feel comfortable with the teacher. Therefore, the teacher has to be non-threatening and always encouraging to her students. To be successful, the student must be self-confident. Then, both the student and the tutor must assess the student's study skills. Teaching the student to be an independent learner is the most important strategy for success.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to find a way to relate the subject to some aspect of the student's individual or cultural life.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After the lesson, we would review the lesson. One technique may be for the student to write down one thing she learned from the lesson and one thing she is still struggling with.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By having her say one thing out loud that she has learned, or having her write down all she has learned and what she still needs to learn. I would give positive feedback, especially in terms of effort. Most importantly, I want the student to feel relaxed and not stressed during any learning session.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First I would discuss needs with the student. Then, I would speak with the parent if appropriate. I may do a quick quiz on a topic to get a feel for what the student knows.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The main thing is to get to know the student. By discussing his or her goals, and by speaking with the parent and possibly their classroom teacher, I must first understand the student's needs.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencil, iPad, computer, textbooks, and a small white board.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is to get to know your students and understand their needs and goals. This knowledge makes it easier to adapt the lessons to the student's daily life.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching him or her study skills, such as outlining and reading strategies.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By providing authentic praise and reinforcing the importance of any subject.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
First I would provide the background knowledge endemic to that skill or concept. The student needs to understand the "big picture" of any subject before they can understand the subject. Then I would break down the concept into comprehensible parts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First I would provide background knowledge of the reading topic. Then I would review some vocabulary terms that may be problematic in the reading. Next I would encourage the student to read with a pencil or highlighter and to actively attack the material. Finally, I would have the student read short sections of the piece, discuss the issues, and then continue.