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I love education, and that is why I decided to make a cereer change to become a Elementary School Teacher. I have been hired as a Kindergarten teacher, and would love to spend my summer tutoring a number of students. I am certified up to 6th grade, and have passed the assessment tests for Varsity Tutors so that I can tutor a wider range of subjects. I am very passionate about education, and every student is precious to me. No matter how many students I am working with, I will make sure that each and every one of them gets the time and dedication that they deserve and need. I look forward to working with Varsity Tutors, and most importantly, with the students and families who are looking at me as a potential tutor. Feel free to contact me with any questions, I'll be sure to answer very promptly. Thank you for taking the time reading this and for considering me!

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Tommy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: SUNY College at Cortland - Bachelors, Childhood Education


Board games, lacrosse, skiing, running, hiking, anything that can get me outdoors.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School

Elementary School English

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


High School English


ISEE- Lower Level






SSAT- Elementary Level


Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Education needs to be fun. I believe students learn best when they are not realizing that they are in a lesson. Teaching needs to be hands on, engaging, creative, and collaborative, while at the same time providing the structure and discipline students need.

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

In a first session with students I first spend time getting to know them. Having some kind of relationship with students is key, I believe, in order to effectively teach them. Once they get to know me, they will be more apt to listen to me and respond to my teaching methods.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would slowly increase the amount of work the student would be expected to do independently. I would also need to teach some essential learning skills so that they would be able to complete work accurately without me being there. Those skills would be the toolbox the student needs to complete their work.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If a student is really having trouble staying motivated, then I believe some kind of reward system needs to be put in place. Students would know that they have to complete their work in order to reach their goal or reward.

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

If students were having a difficult time learning a skill or concept, I would take a look at how I was trying to teach that skill or concept. I would have to change my teaching style in order to meet their learning style so that they could master the skill or concept.

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

Students who are struggling with reading comprehension need to be reading texts that interest them and reading texts at their reading level. I would make sure both of these are happening, and then focus on other strategies going forward.

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

Whenever I have worked one on one with a student, the best strategy I have found to work is to form meaningful relationships with them. They respond to my teaching better when they know who I am and how I teach. Other than that, learning needs to be fun, and I always try to keep things up beat.

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

If students were struggling in a certain subject, I would change up the teaching methods so that they can get excited about it. Whether it is finding games we could play or certain areas of interest within the subject, there are many ways to get children excited about learning, and I would explore those ways to make sure that they are excited about what we are learning.

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

I would constantly be using informal assessments to make sure students are understanding the material. Thumbs up/thumbs down is simple but works very effectively. I would also use formal assessments from time to time to make sure that a student understands material from many different sessions.

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

I like to use an exercise called a Brain Dump. If students, for instance, feels that they don’t comprehend an introductory fraction unit, I would have the students write down on a blank piece of paper all the information they think they know about fractions. Often times, the student writes down much more information than they think they know, which helps build their confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would take a 3-tiered approach to identifying students’ needs. First, I would listen to the family and what they think the student needs. I would then try to contact their classroom teacher to see what their input is, and lastly, I would also evaluate where I think a student may be struggling.

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

I would use my informal assessments to make sure my students are retaining the information we are learning. If I feel they aren't, then I would try different teaching strategies to find the one each student learns best from, thereby allowing me to meet each student's needs.

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

During a tutoring session, I like to have a mix of worksheets, manipulatives, games, books, and presentations. I feel that this varied mix of materials would allow me to find what each student responds best to and is most engaged with.

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