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I believe in helping students become life-long learners and enjoy seeing their academic progress. I first discovered my interest in teaching as a tutor six years ago. I helped a number of students in small group setting with their reading, writing, and math skills.

In 2015, I received my Master's of Arts, Teaching from Western Oregon university as well as my Teaching License. I am currently Licensed in the state of Oregon and certified in the state of Texas.

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Don’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Oklahoma State University-Main Campus - Bachelors, English/Creative Writing

Graduate Degree: Western Oregon University - Masters, Teaching


My hobbies include movies, video games, reading, and writing books!

Q & A

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

Inquire as to what they hope to get out of tutoring and what they think is the most important area to work on.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy involves meeting students at their academic level. I feel that students need to trust that their tutor/teacher is not going to place expectations they are not ready to meet.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help students become independent learners through the process of "gradual release," which involves modeling, assisting, and releasing the student to attempt the assignment on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I feel that students are more motivated when they can see an authentic, outside the classroom connection to what they are learning.

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

If a student is struggling with a specific skill or concept, I would try to find the learning style that they are best suited for and approach the concept from their individual learning style.

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

Students who struggle with reading comprehension usually have difficulty contextualizing the comprehension questions. I help students by showing them how to read a piece slowly before interpreting the overall qualities of the passage.

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

I have found that clear, concise, and consistent expectations help students the most. By establishing those expectations upfront, students feel more secure and stable with the learning process, which reduces anxiety.

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

I would try to find a "real-world" connection that uses the skills of that particular subject and engage the student that way. For example, if a student is having difficulty with percentages, but they liked sports, I could show them how each sport uses percentages to calculate popular statistics.

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

Formative assessments are a good way to make sure that students understand the material. These can be as simple as having a student answer a problem at the end of a session that encompasses the material covered in that particular session.

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

I build a student's confidence through scaffolding the material so that the student understands the fundamentals of a concept. From that foundation, I incrementally increase the rigor of the concept as the student becomes more comfortable with the material.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

This can be done through a pre-assessment. Usually during the first session, I have the opportunity to assess what a student does or does not know concerning a subject, and from that assessment, I can build a curriculum that meets the student's needs.

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

By determining a student's specific learning style, (auditory, visual, kinesthetic), I can adapt the tutoring to ensure the student's success in the program.

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

I like to use paper and pencil, but I am also comfortable using technology, such as a tablet or other electronic device, if that is what the student needs to better understand the concept.

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