I tutor Elementary through Middle School including adult literacy. Subjects include:
reading, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, math, states and capitols and more!
My presentations are high energy lessons utilizing math games and puzzles, computer software and visuals.
I have been a tutor since 1987 and have volunteered 1000s of hours at area schools.
My students may use a low powered FM station to write their own radio show. This entices them to read/write and be creative
Undergraduate Degree: University of Michigan-Flint - Bachelors, Earth science
Graduate Degree: Michigan State University - Masters, Education
Bicycling, traveling, beaches, baseball, hiking, kayaking. MLB fan of Detroit Tigers.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Humor and empathy go a long way in dealing with kids struggling with their studies.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First is a "getting to know the student" lesson. We engage in small talk about family, school, and interests to develop a rapport with the kid.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By explaining how a radio station works and having the student work the "board". I have the kid write a short summary of what he learned. Same with the pitching machine, which is a pneumatic device. I have them write on how the machine works and the technique of catching a high fly ball in varying conditions.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
That rarely is a problem with my presentation. The games are to amuse and teach concepts. Also, kids do their best so they can use the radio station or pitching machine after a good session.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Gauge the kid. Is it an off day? Something bothering him? Discuss any problems. Sometimes it's best to stop for awhile as frustration builds and tackle the problem later.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I find out what the root of the problem is.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It's essential to develop a trusting relationship with the student. I use a lot of humor so that they realize if they mess up, it's not the end of the world.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I use gamesmanship. I have tons of games, puzzles, and software to keep the kid focused and engaged. I use positive reinforcement.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Charts they can write on and computer games. Also, I out of the blue may ask them how to spell Wednesday or what is 16/24 "put on a diet"? I challenge them with difficult questions such as reduce 13/91, or is 91 prime or composite?
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Continual reinforcement using different methods until it becomes as easy as "falling off a bicycle".
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By observing their behavior. Is the kid giving effort? A lot of psychology is involved in motivating kids. Sometimes I need to trick them into doing well as I go into different "characters" to enhance performance.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By gauging their behavior. After 29 years, I've seen it all. Empathy goes a long ways. Patience is a virtue. Stay positive.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use math tables and charts with transparent sheets with dry erase pens, whiteboard for puzzles and games, tons of computer software, math games, tachistoscope, eye exercises for reading comp exercises, spelling software, radio station, maps, globe, money, meter stick, thermometer, and video cam for "newscasts".