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I am a Columbia student currently completing a degree in Chemical Physics and Mathematics. I love working with students of all ages and approach each session with he intent of teaching the student to the best of my ability and providing them with the information that will help them develop their knowledge on a specific subject and allow them to succeed to the best of their ability through out their time as a student. I have lived in New York City for my entire life and int hat time have gone to school on the upper west side for both elementary and middle school and attended Bard High School Early College II for high school, where I accumulated 48 college credits during my time there. I studied ballet for eleven years at the School of American Ballet and in my free time play tennis and like to play bridge. I am always looking to help students and my piers learn more and use my love of learning to help others whenever I can.

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James’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Current Undergrad, Chemical Physics

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1510

SAT Math: 780

SAT Writing: 720


Tennis, math, ballet, soccer

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to attempt to the best of my ability to translate any knowledge I have on a subject into terms that my student can understand until the knowledge my student has allows them to understand the subject as best they can.

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

In a first session I will discuss what confuses my student and use that to tailor future lesson plans to create a session that allows my student to feel comfortable with the information and be able to absorb of it as much as they can.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can best help a student become an independent learner by making them comfortable with the information they are trying to learn and make them feel as though the information they are trying to ingrain into their mind is within their grasp by focusing on specific areas of study that the student has trouble on and making them less afraid of trying to understand the information.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If the student begins to get discouraged by problems I will begin to work through the problems with them more until they become comfortable doing the problems by themselves. I will logically explain each step to a problem until the student understands what is being done and why it can be done in the context of the problem. If the student continues to get discouraged I will then allow them to take a several minute break to compose themselves so that the whole process does not seem so overwhelming.

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

When a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would spend a few minutes just focusing on each component of the concept individually so that the student is then able to see how the components form the concept as a whole. This, in my experience, has allowed many students to break down a large and complex concept into manageable steps that make sense to the student, and provides a strong grounding in the topic while building the student's confidence.

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

I will start by focusing on smaller passages of reading, as most students develop problems with understanding what they are reading when they try to tackle too much information at once. By focusing on smaller, more important passages, students can then understand the key ideas conveyed by the reading, and use these ideas as a starting point for understanding the rest of the text. This then allows students to better grasp the flow of the text and understand the information the text attempts to convey.

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

When I start working with a student the most effective strategy I can use is to just allow them to focus on the work. I will allow them to tackle problems as they always have and, as the lesson progresses, I will start to suggest small changes in how the student might tackle a specific part of a problem or their work overall. This method then does not overwhelm the student with new ideas while they are trying to understand things that they do not know.

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