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Nels

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This is my 8th year tutoring and 5th year teaching. My experience is diverse and fairly extensive: I've taught and tutored students of all ages in English, History, Science, and Math. I have approx. 450+ hours of tutoring experience, and have enjoyed it thoroughly.
I love teaching, I love tutoring, and I love the students. And it doesn't always have to be serious--in fact, a sense of humor is pretty important, especially if the student becomes resistant or shuts down. My expectations are high, yet attainable, and as long as the student puts in some effort, growth occurs. If you are looking for someone who can help, I can.

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Nels’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Saint Thomas Aquinas College - Bachelors, Liberal Arts

Graduate Degree: California State University-Channel Islands - Current Grad Student, Teaching Certification

State Certified Teacher

Hobbies

reading, writing, traveling, cooking

Tutoring Subjects

Arithmetic

College Essays

Earth Science

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Homework Support

Life Sciences

Literature

Math

Other

Phonics

Reading

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Summer

Writing


Q & A

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

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What is your teaching philosophy?

Get the child excited to learn and you're halfway there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Get them to think critically and creatively on their own two feet.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Set short term and long term goals so they never lose sight of the finish line. Incentive-based learning is also useful for more unmotivated types.

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

Isolate the confusion; identify the problem; re-clarify the point of confusion in a new light, allowing the student to see it from a different perspective. This has been a pretty effective method for me.

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

There is no magic trick to it. If struggling occurs, I have found that 2 things work best: 1) reading at least 20-30 mins every day in a book that is slightly challenging, yet engaging; 2) I would work with the student on shorter readings (e.g. journals, articles, excerpts, etc.) and have the student summarize the text and answer questions requiring close reading and inference making. This typically works.

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

Connect. Ask questions about their life. Show them you care. Don't be so serious. This isn't a business transaction: It's one person fostering the mind of another person. This is an art which takes care, concern, and empathy in addition to the knowledge and high-level pedagogy. Once you have the student's trust, you have their attention.

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

Make it fun. Tailor the subject or concept they are struggling with to the student's likes, hobbies, and interests. If they hate grammar, take the lyrics to their favorite song and use that instead of the ominous grammar book; if they hate science, but love skateboarding, use skateboarding to talk about gravity, force, power, speed, friction, weight, or whatever else fits.

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

Ask them if they "got it." Have the student repeat back to you the concept, fact, or material that was just covered. Always review previously learned material. Reviewing is essential to long term association and recall.

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

Always give them hope; find the good in them, and then show them what you found (i.e. meaningful compliments).

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Find out where they are supposed to be at according to the appropriate standards. Then, find out where the student is in relation to where they're supposed to be. Once a gap is revealed, you have a starting point.

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

Adapting is partly intuitive and partly intellectual. Primarily, you must ask the right questions. Secondly, you must observe the student's responses to what you say and what you do, and finally, you must observe the quality and quantity of work he/she does.

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

It depends on the student. Every student has a preferred learning style. If the student is a visual learner, I would provide materials with lots of images, pictures, videos, etc. If the student was kinesthetic, I would provide more realia than documents and worksheets, etc.


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