I am a U.S History Honors instructor at a local high school. My wife is also a career educator. My degree is in International Studies, with Regional Foci in Latin America and the Middle East. This degree encompasses a variety of topics, from histories of the regions to contemporary economics and politics.I have certification in the state of Florida to teach Social Studies (K-12), Reading, and English (6-12). I love helping people understand the world around them, and how to express their opinions and ideas.
Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida - Bachelors, International Studies with Regional Foci in Latin America and the Middle East
In my free time, I grade papers while Netflix plays. We have a baby boy (Sullivan) who also fills our time. I am writing a novel and short stories, and I love to play guitar.
Basic Computer Literacy
College Application Essays
College Political Science
College World History
Elementary School Writing
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School Political Science
High School Writing
IB Global Politics
IB Social and Cultural Anthropology
IB World Religions
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Technology and Coding
What is your teaching philosophy?
I thrive teaching social studies of all forms, reading, English, and beginning Spanish. I keep a laid-back approach, and work to become a mentor instead of purely a teacher. I work to inspire my students with a hunger for knowledge, especially in history and social studies. As George Santayana said: "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it".
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I ask questions about where they are academically to better understand where their starting point is. I would follow up asking about what their goals are academically as well as in their future career. I would ask them to express their concerns and where their problem areas are to ascertain what their specific needs are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To become an independent learner without inspiration is impossible. Therefore, it is necessary to discover what inspires them and tie it to their academic careers.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
They say practice makes perfect, but a wrestling coach in high school told me that PERFECT practice makes perfect. I would go over where the student is having difficulties in more detail, and come at the issue from a different angle. A different reading or conversational strategy would help increase their perception of the concept, and then repeated practice with different forms of assessment.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's all about what the student's personal goals are. One way or another, there is a way to motivate them. Everyone wants to be better today than they were yesterday; it's just a matter of inspiring them and discovering their personal ambitions.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice! The student would pick a reading topic of something they were interested in or are curious about, and then they would read it once through and take a short quiz for me to assess their level of comprehension and see why they are struggling.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Formative assessments with each session, in addition to final assessments after a series of sessions. Depending on the subject's complexity, they could be multiple-choice, short answer, or an essay.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Practicing and developing their conversational skills about a topic. With history and all forms of social studies, it is a matter of subject knowledge. This applies in the private sector for sales and marketing as knowing your product, and knowing your target audience. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more confident you will be.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Taking the time to discuss what their needs are, and talking about why they feel like they need help in a certain area. After determining their feelings about where their issues are, give a set of a few practice / discussion questions to make sure their benchmark is where they say it is. Then immediately move forward and coach them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make it relevant to their own life. Math will always be needed in the future. So will English Language skills, writing skills, reading, and critical-thinking. Just because they are struggling now doesn't mean they always will.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
There are a variety of different teaching methods available, and each student learns differently. If one style isn't effective, then I immediately pivot to the next.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject and level of instruction, but anything from reading to answering practice questions and having them write a practice short response. It all depends on that student's personal needs.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Asking them directly, and then using formative assessment.