I am a semi-retired adult who does not wish to sit idle. Instead, I prefer to plant good seeds into the lives of others. Further, I have discovered that I not only love to teach but that I am quite good at it.
While I am doing quite a bit of private tutoring on my own, I am now looking for ways to expand my reach. Accordingly, your organization may be a good fit with my skills and abilities.
Note that I do not intend to quit my private tutoring practice. So, although I've indicated my times of availability, I will schedule actual tutoring sessions on a first come-first served basis.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Texas AM University - Bachelors, Nuclear Engineering
Graduate Degree: Duke University - Masters, Business Administration and Management
wood working, creating, general repair and tinkering, flying, outdoor sports, walking/exercising, yard work.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I teach understanding. Although some things need to memorized, I generally hate memorization. I believe in helping a student thoroughly understand the foundation of a concept so that memorization comes naturally.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd start with getting to know some key things about the student's difficulties, strengths, and weaknesses.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
What I always do! I rarely tutor students who are not having such difficulties.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I tell them a rather lengthy story about my own school days. I suffered with a severe lack of focus, but I eventually learned to overcome it by making myself read. Whenever I turned a page and realized that my mind had been wandering and that the previous page was a total mystery, I made myself go back and read it again. By doing this I eventually broke my day-dreaming habit and began to put myself in the story.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
This all depends on the student's personality. Often I do whatever it takes to either make the student laugh (with dumb jokes), or I get them interested in a piece of related trivia that brings their subject matter to life.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would do my best to show them the benefits of becoming proficient in that subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask lots of questions. After showing the student a procedure for completing a certain mathematical task, I immediately make up a similar problem and ask them to solve it on their own. There is a huge difference in seeing a solution and discovering and completing a solution on your own.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I repeatedly show them they do indeed know how to accomplish the tasks required by the subject. There is no substitute for practice work.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I gently test them on related problems and questions, but I'm careful to watch their body language so as to not exasperate them prematurely. We have to have fun along the way.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I simply follow their cues and become whoever I need to be to keep them engaged and learning.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Lots of scratch paper! I help them work on problems beside them, so they can see and follow. I draw many sketches wherever appropriate, and I usually sit to the left of the student at the study table so that they can see my paper and so that we can easily pass it back and forth.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Although learning can be tough, sometimes I have to remind them of what can happen if they don't finish the race. If the student is an athlete the metaphor immediately applies. If the student is not an athlete I find their common ground and use the same approach with whatever it is they do relate to.