I have been involved in teaching,motivating and mentoring all ages of people my entire life. I was a certified instructor for four years in the US Army. I have coached football, basketball,and baseball during the raising of my six children. When I retired from the US. Army, I began a career in education during which I worked as a teacher, curriculum director, and Principal for over 14 years. Additionally, I have taught Martial Arts both in the military and to civilian adults and children. I have always had a passion for teaching and helping people be successful in their lives and wish to continue in this world.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Excelsior College - Bachelors, Liberal Arts-BS
Graduate Degree: American Public University System - Masters, Education-Supervision and Administration
I have been involved in Martial Arts most of my life. Additionally, I love sport shooting,hiking and camping. I have been a basketball and football coach for 20 years.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in building foundations for students. Once foundations are built and maintained, then a higher level of learning in any discipline can be achieved. I, therefore, believe that a teacher assumes different roles depending on the level of the student. At early grades, the teacher should be the "sage on the stage" by instructing students on basic skills. As the student becomes more literate in the subject in higher grades, then the teacher can become more of a facilitator for the student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would first get to know the student by introductions on both sides. I would try to find out what motivates the student, and then give him/her my expectations for our sessions. I would let the student know what materials are necessary, and then begin instruction as soon as possible.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning comes from having a plan to attack learning. I would help a student by teaching him/her problem-solving techniques, no matter what the subject, but techniques that give students a place to start when solving problems. I always found that students that are independent learners always welcome a challenge.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would find other ways to teach them that skill. Good teachers stay up late at night trying to figure out better ways to instruct their students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who have trouble with reading comprehension, normally have trouble with reading fluency. Simply put, they read too slow. First, start them at a place where they will be successful. Most of the time students are passed along and never have a chance to learn how to read. If a student can only read at a 3rd grade level, then they need to start making progress at that point, and then they will be successful.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most important strategy is to ensure the student has confident in you as a teacher. I talk with them until I can get a good feel of why they are seeking help in any particular area. Once I establish the needs of the student, then I can make a plan and proceed.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By giving them the tools to be successful. Most of the time, a student who does not do well in a subject does not know enough in that subject to do well and quickly becomes frustrated. Once they have success, and see that they can do the work, their attitudes will change.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice, practice, practice! Once you teach a concept in a subject, you must guide the student, and then assess the student on a basic level of understanding of the material. After that, the student must do independent practice to reinforce the skill they just learned. At that point, a teacher must make a decision on whether the student understands or must re-teach.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Once again, a student builds confidence in a subject by being successful in the practice that they do. A golf professional hits thousands of balls when he practices for one particular golf club. By practicing perfectly, he gains confidence in that golf shot and is able to repeat these shots successfully.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
First, you talk with the student and see if you can find out any particular problems. After talking, I would give them a short assessment on the problem areas to see if I can get a better idea of how to help the student.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That is the idea of being a good teacher. As a teacher, you must find out how to make that student successful. Students have many ways to learn, and a teacher must find those ways to reach each particular student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always have students write notes, so they will need a three-ring notebook. A three-subject college notebook and loose leaf paper to put inside of three-ring notebooks. They must have pencils and pens. This is a minimum, and it will be more specific depending on the subject.