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Joseph

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I have been working with students for all of my professional career. I truly enjoy working and teaching young adults and have been very lucky to be given the opportunity to teach as my career!

A little bit about myself; I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History from St. Bonaventure and a Master's Degree in Education from SUNY Brockport. Following receiving my masters, I began work as a 5th grade teacher at a charter school in the South Bronx. I currently am a high school history teacher at a high school in Manhattan. I love my job and couldn't ask to be teaching anywhere else. My students are some of the brightest and hardest working kids I know and I truly enjoy going into work each day.

I grew up in Rochester, New York. Some of my interests include listening to music, playing/watching football and basketball with friends (Go Bills and Bulls!), and spending time with my friends and family.

Joseph’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: St. Bonaventure University - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: SUNY at Brockport - Masters, Education

Hobbies

I enjoy playing/watching sports, watching movies, and listening to music

Tutoring Subjects

History

AP United States History

AP US History

College English

College Essays

College Geography

College Level American History

College World History

English

Essay Editing

European History

Geography

Government

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School World History

Homework Support

Other

Reading

Social studies

Special Education

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

US Constitutional History

US History

World Civilization

World History

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

As an educator, I truly believe it's not up to teachers to dictate how a student learns; rather it solely relies on the student. Everyone learns differently and it's up to teachers to foster the development of all those different types of learning styles. Whether it's the use of video, reading historical documents, or examining visual aides, everyone learns differently.

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

Although it's extremely important to get straight to the business of learning, understanding each other as humans is equally as important. As an educator, I make it my priority to know the interests and hobbies of my students as well how exactly they learn. In a first tutoring session, I would have a simple conversation of not only what interests you, but also what you expect out of me as a tutor and how best I can assist you as your tutor.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Providing you with the tools you need to become successful inside and outside of the classroom. The wonderful thing about tutoring is the one-on-one attention that is given that you don't see in a classroom of maybe 20+ students. This means I can focus solely on what makes you a successful learner. Whether it's working on study habits, how to successfully extract information from a reading, or the many other tools to be an independent learner, I can help you find and use these tools to be successful.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It's all about tackling many small tasks, one at a time. Sometimes the curriculum of a particular subject can be extremely daunting and it can be easy to become unmotivated. But breaking down exactly what it is you're working on to several small tasks rather than one large one helps the student to feel more motivated, and to complete the task in full. I also would do my best to keep the information relevant to that student's life. It's so much easier to learn when you can apply the material to your everyday life.

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

First, I would work to understand how best a student learns. It's so important to teach to the strengths of the student, and to give them the greatest tools to succeed. Next, doing my own research on strategies to best teach a particular topic that a student is struggling would be my next step. Whether that involves incorporating videos, pictures, text, or whatever/however that student learns best. Lastly, communicating with fellow professionals and teachers on solid practices in educating is crucial for any teacher. I can confidently say that I don't know the absolute best way to teach every student. But I'm always willing to learn and adapt to what works best for not only myself, but also the student.

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

Understanding the student's reading level is pivotal to assist with reading comprehension. To expect a student who reads at a 9th grade level to understand 12th grade text is not fair to the student. Providing them with reading material that is on par with their level is of upmost importance. However, that’s not to say they should not strive to improve that level. Providing an understanding of vocabulary that students will see or breaking down the meaning of certain texts both help greatly in comprehending any text. I would work to teach the importance of reading and then re-reading text to break down the meaning of important phrases or ideas.

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

I like to utilize a student's creative ability in the classroom, especially when working with a student for the first time. As a social studies teacher, using things like videos, political cartoons, and maps can be extremely valuable. Giving students these learning materials allows them to think more abstractly then just reading a passage out of a textbook or solving an equation. Although it's extremely important to be able to solve equations and read passages, having the ability to look at a map and break down every component of it is equally as important.

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

It's so important to make the material relatable to the student and his/her interests. That said, I would look to find ways to relate the material to something in their own life. For example, if we were examining immigration, looking at your own lineage and ethnicity is a great way to become engaged in that topic.

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

It all depends on what we are studying. For things like vocabulary, terms, dates, and people I use repetition and make sure they have a deep understanding of what each phrase/person/date is and are able to explain it back to me. For other material such as ideas, examining and discussing these ideas go a long way in understanding.

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

Enforcing the things he/she are doing well with, rather then just focusing on the material they aren't. All too often, teachers and tutors only want to focus on what a student does not do well with. It's so important to recognize the material you know and feel comfortable with and then build off of that confidence to assist in other subjects.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I feel the best way to evaluate a student's needs is by opening up a communication with the student and having them relay their exact needs to the tutor. Although using formal assessments (tests, essays, exams) to determine strengths and weaknesses is useful, sometimes the best ways to truly understand what a student’s needs are is by simply asking him/her what they need to succeed.

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

By constantly trying to better myself as an educator, I feel like it becomes simpler to adapt to the needs of students. I do this by consulting with other teachers who share similar roles as I. I also evaluate my own teaching styles, and I use an always-open communication method with my students.

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

I always like to keep a computer close by. In such a technological world, using the internet can be the difference between doing well and not well. There is such a vast amount of knowledge found on the internet that it's a shame some educators refuse to use it in the classroom.