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Thomas

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An experienced professional writer since 2008, I know how to effectively communicate in a variety of arenas. I'm a trained technical writer, but I'm also a published poet.

I have been tutoring professionally since 2011, mostly with working adults and young adults. I come from a long line of teachers on both sides of my family.

Above all, I bring compassion to my work. I have a learning disability which makes me gifted in some areas, but very slow in others. This disconnect made my educational journey a long and difficult one. I understand the thrill of success, but also the despair and discouragement that comes with failure. I know how hard it can be to play the game of getting through school. I also know how to help my students make the most of it. I listen carefully to my students' concerns and tailor my approach to each individual.

I respect my students' time and only ask that they do the same for me. If that happens on both ends, we should get along fine.

I look forward to working with you.

Thomas’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Bachelors, English

Hobbies

Reading, writing poetry, local history, reading comic books

Tutoring Subjects

Adult ESL/ELL

History

American Literature

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP European History

AP Human Geography

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP US History

AP World History

Business

Business Writing

College Application Essays

College Business

College Economics

College English

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

Economics

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

European History

GED Prep

GED Math

Geography

High School Business

High School Economics

High School English

High School Geography

High School Level American History

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

High School Writing

Languages

Macroeconomics

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Other

Personal Finance

Psychology

Public Speaking

Social Sciences

Social studies

SSAT Prep

SSAT- Elementary Level

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

World History

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

It usually takes a few sessions, but I use a method of commitment and follow-up to determine how a student handles challenges and goals. It can take some time before I find out where the threshold of their comfort zone is. Once I've found it, we can work there and help them move forward.

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

I try to meet with students on their level. The first session is my chance to find out where that level is. I may offer some ideas about how our work together might best be pursued, but I spend most of the first session listening to the student to learn about his or her needs and goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students develop strategies that play to their strengths, and that opens their minds to using resources they might never have considered, or feel too intimidated to pursue. If they need guidance, I'm more than happy to provide that.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I see motivation as an important part of how a student learns and works. If that fails, the whole system of how they function can falter. Games have a lot to teach us in this way. Games are fun because their primary function is to make you feel empowered and motivated. There's no one-size-fits-all strategy here, but I don't shy away from experimentation or divergent thinking when it comes to keeping a student motivated to achieve.

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

We do a lot of talking. Since speech is our earliest contact with language, I find that it's an effective bridge for students to cross to comprehension. I may also incorporate art, music, or other forms of expression to help them get there.

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

I ask a lot of questions. For instance: where do they like to study? How are well are their current habits working for them? What do they really want out of the class or project they're working on? The seed of success are already inside the student. My job is to help them find it.

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

I begin with what does interests them; with what already excites them. If I can tie the subject to what they already love, it creates an opportunity for an emotional connection that will lead them to success.

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

This is always difficult, but the key is to ask them open-ended questions. If I've done my job right, they can teach the subject to me.

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

Every class is like a game. If they're frustrated, it's because they don't find the game to be so rewarding. As a tutor, I have the power to provide those small rewards. I can use our time to change the rules of the game and help make the class a game they can win.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I spend a lot of time asking questions, especially in the first visit. I ask them what they're already doing and see if there are ways I can improve upon or even radically change their current approach. I never stay married to any one method. If something isn't working for the student, I'm eager to move on and try the next thing.