A photo of Christopher, a tutor from Truman State University

Christopher

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Some of my earliest memories are of dragons. I owe much of who I am to the stories of my youth, when I found myself drawn to tales of legend and myth that stirred my heart and ignited my imagination. In time, my interests turned from the fantastical to that which is truly fantastic: stories of human loss and achievement rooted in fact, not folklore, that could surprise and inspire in ways no fiction ever could. Now I seek to promote that same passion in others, to bring to others an approach to history, economics, philosophy, and civics which views each of these seemingly separate subjects as parts of the greatest story ever written: the ever-evolving narrative of the human experience.

Throughout my undergraduate career in Political Science at Truman State University, I allowed my interest in the lived experience of peoples to guide both my choice of elective courses, and the way in which I approached a variety of topics and concepts. I have explored and excelled in courses from economics, to Russian language and history, to the study of governments both domestic and foreign - largely because of an ability to see the common themes and historical threads which wove said topics together, and highlighting the ways in which forces of the past continue to influence the events of the present. In my learning, and now in my teaching, I promote a view of the humanities not as a collection of discrete events or facts to be memorized, but as a process in which we all take part. I find that it's much easier to become excited about a performance when one is a player in the drama itself, and not merely an audience member.

Never content to keep such delightful entertainment to myself, I have sought to share as much as I have learned; occasionally in a formal fashion, as I have through tutoring for Russian language and through my clinical teaching experiences, but more often through informal avenues, bending the ears of roommates, peers, and strangers alike with stories too unbelievable to be untrue. In so doing, I have found that seeing the passion for learning inspired in others is not only a deeply gratifying experience, but a meaningful one. Every time I see a friend or student laugh, recoil, or furrow their brow in response to a story I have told, a video I have shown them, or a presentation I have given, I feel that I have done some small part to form a new connection between them and the greater fabric of humanity, both past and present. I thus seek to teach in a way that creates not only understanding, but excitement, fostering a connection between student and subject that goes well beyond rote memorization or cursory engagement.

Through this perspective, I aim to bring students closer to their educational goals - be that mastery of a content area course, or excellence in standardized testing. My approach to instruction which seeks to involve students in their own learning as much as possible, focusing on presenting content in a way which reflects not only their individual learning styles, but their interests and preferences as much as is possible and appropriate. Furthermore, I am committed to both presenting and assessing content knowledge and skills in a fashion that is as authentic as possible - be that through utilizing practice problems and essay prompts analogous to those found on standardized tests, or primary documents in the study of European History - to ensure that my students' understanding of topics and demonstration of abilities is as genuinely useful as possible.

I've talked quite enough, but I'll quickly mention that my hobbies and passtimes include reading, watching films of all genres and origins, video gaming, and music from classical to rap and metal. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, both personal or professional.

-Chris

Christopher’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Truman State University - Bachelors, Political Science and Government

Graduate Degree: Truman State University - Current Grad Student, Secondary Education: Social Studies

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 36

ACT Math: 32

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 35

SAT Composite: 2220

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 730

GRE Verbal Reasoning: 168

GRE Quantitative Reasoning: 165

GRE Analytical Writing: 5.5

SAT Subject Test in World History: 780

PSAT Math: 70

PSAT Verbal: 80

PSAT Writing Skills: 80

Hobbies

Reading, Painting, Video Gaming, Films and TV.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every student has different goals, abilities, and learning preferences; therefore, I seek to motivate my students through an understanding of their unique needs and learning styles, and to turn this motivation into progress toward their similarly unique academic goals.

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

In a first session with a student, my goal is to come to an understanding of where my student is, and where they want to be. Thus, I aim to establish what my students are looking to gain through tutoring, in the form of time-bound, measurable goals, and to learn as much as I can about my student's interests, learning style, and ability levels. These processes, determined both through conversation and formative assessments, may take more than one day - but they should absolutely start on day one.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The key to this process, in my view, is confidence. My role in tutoring is not to drill rote facts and formulae into students' heads, but to guide them toward the acquisition of skills and perspectives that allow them to confidently tackle problems of any type and caliber on their own. This is obviously a scaffolded process, contingent on high levels of early involvement, demonstration, and guided practice; however, over time it is my ultimate goal to render myself redundant to my students' ability to learn.