I am an educational professional with 16 years of experience teaching middle and high school students in both public and private school environments. I have degrees in both history and business. My teaching experience includes history, government, literature, English, logic, and rhetoric. I have and continue to use a variety of methods in the classroom including textbook based materials, discussion, and lectures. I utilize a variety of differently learning styles in the presentation of materials including auditory, visual, and oral.
I look forward to seeing how I may be able to help your student reach their potential; whether they need assistance keeping up their class, getting ahead in preparation for their next level of education, semester exam preparation, or summer work. If your student home schools; I am available to you as well.
Due to my football coaching responsibilities, my schedule is limited through October. Beginning in November I will have a much wider window.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Middle Tennessee State University - Bachelors, History, Business
Reading, hockey, woodworking, cooking, farming
College Level American History
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I try to meet a student where they are at that time. I have no preconceived ideas on what they should know and how well they do in any given subject. I do not compare. I want my students to just be better today than yesterday. If we have enough of those types of days, then goals will be met.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is comprised of building skills. There is nothing innate about it. Learning those skills, whether it is reading, reading comprehension, organization, note taking, inquisitiveness, or any other aspect of learning takes practice. Learning is not isolated to school. We should all strive to be not only independent learners, but lifelong learners.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Incentives matter. Students need to realize that what they are doing now has impacts on their future. They are preparing for the next step. If in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or working on graduate work, that is preparation for a next step. Help them realize this will go a long way towards them staying motivated.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are several ways to grasp a difficult concept. One is to look at it a different way. Relate it to the student in terms of what they already know and understand and build on the concept from there. Another is repetition. We do not learn anything by watching someone else do it. We learn by doing it ourselves. That may involve breaking the concept down to its principle parts and grasping each part individually and rebuilding the concept back to its whole.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Start small. Begin with small sections and build from there. Some who has comprehension problems will not remember a whole magazine article or maybe even a whole chapter in a book. Start with a page. Start with a paragraph. Start with whatever they can do and build from there. There are also devices that the student can learn to help them with reading comprehension. We would work on those skills until larger sections can be retained.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know them. There is a trust that has to be established between student and teacher. That is not accomplished by assigning problems or worksheets or reading. They must realize that what their parents and I want for them may not be immediately gratifying, but what is best for them and their future.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
View that subject in a different point of view. History is usually taught through textbooks with review question in the back and vocabulary with no real relation towards the student. No wonder they don't like it. Teach history as stories that have relevance today towards the student's life. Then their interest may be tapped.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
If someone can teach a lesson, then they know the lesson. I have learned more as a teacher then I ever learned in school. I use different ways to have the student teach me about the material. Even if worksheets are used do not look at them as worksheets, but outlines. I write outlines in a way that they are simply breaking the greater story down to its particular parts, which can then be reassembled into the whole by the student. The use of devices is helpful. Songs are incredible devices that help us learn information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence is a process. Start small where the student is currently with his/her skill level. Continue to add new levels of expectation and growth and eventually they will begin to see the things of which they are capable.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Need evaluation is a combination of questioning the parent and the student. Using not just verbal questioning, but pretesting as well. See what they can do and build from there.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
No one learns the exact same way as someone else. Determining how a person learns will help with their ability to learn the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would typically get to know the student and the material with which the student is dealing. Find out what the student's goals are and determine their willingness to have tutoring. We would then formulate a plan on how to attain those goals.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The materials used would depend on the goal of the session. If the goal is simply to do homework, then the assigned materials would be necessary. If skill building, then materials for that particular skill or skills would be needed.