I like learning anything new and enjoy reading for fun and to gain information, but I'm not really fond of school. After I practiced law for several years, I went to a community college and studied horticulture. It turned out to be my best school experience. Our classes had fewer than 20 students, our teachers knew us, and we did a lot of hands-on work. One of my worst was an advanced algebra class in 11th grade. I had missed the last week of 9th grade algebra, so I didn't know a core concept, but my teacher never took the time to find out why I was having trouble. As a tutor, I search for multiple ways to illustrate concepts because everyone understands information differently. I've also found that many complex issues are easier to understand if one knows why and how the issue developed. I remember how excited I have been when I learned something new or figured out something that had been too hard to understand, and I want my students to have that excitement.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Houston - Bachelors, Journalism
Graduate Degree: University of Houston - PHD, Law
gardening, nature, political activism, travel, writing, reading mysteries and non-fiction (especially how-to), experimental cooking, giving parties, driving country roads.
Elementary School Reading
High School Business
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
People learn in different ways, and a good teacher knows the subject so well that he or she can present the information in a variety of ways. I look for the principle of a concept and begin with that. I like to use real-world examples and practical applications as often as I can.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd ask about the textbook, the teacher, and previous classes in this subject. I'd find out where the student is having challenges and see if he or she knows why. I'd find out what the student does well in and ask what is different about that class. We'd review the last test or homework.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students need to know how to assess the quality of the information they see on the internet. They should understand their own learning styles and how to find or ask for instructional material that fits that style. Many students could use some help with study habits.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I'd see if there is an underlying concept that the student doesn't know and see if there is an example that the student is already familiar with.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I begin with something the student enjoys reading about a topic he or she know something about. I'd see if the student has learning difficulties and ask the student to read aloud to me.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It is hard for a student to be excited or engaged with a subject that he or she is struggling in. I would challenge the student to find an aspect of the subject that is exciting and to find an application of the topic that is relevant to him or her.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I'd ask a student to explain the material to me and then ask how to explain it to a younger student. I'd ask the student to give three examples of the material in the real world.