A photo of James, a tutor from Missouri Baptist University

James

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I am interested in tutoring online and helping students increase their knowledge of American History.
I enjoy working on genealogy, documenting family history and photos.

James’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Missouri Baptist University - Bachelors, Religion

Graduate Degree: Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - Masters, Pastoral Care

Hobbies

Genealogy


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy of teaching focuses on student-centered teaching. I feel it is important to engage the student in active learning through activities that promote an excitement in gaining new knowledge and understanding of a specific academic area. Teaching activities need to encourage critical-thinking and problem-solving skills as the student reads through texts and new information. These skills will translate into other areas of their life. The teaching environment should also include a caring and trusting atmosphere where the student feels the teacher is sincere in helping them through the educational process.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Keep records of the student's errors. Note what type of errors; how the student writes and explains the material. Look for gaps in the learning process and for areas where the student needs assistance.

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

Review areas the student is struggling. Try different strategies to assist. Continually adjust teaching techniques to increase the learning process.

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

First, I would introduce myself and tell a little about my experiences and education. Ask them to tell me a little about themselves. Have some time to get to know each other. Find out about their interests. What are their thoughts about this new class? What type of resources do they need to help them learn the material? How can I best assist them in learning new material? Set out some ideas to follow to help in the learning process.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Help the student set up a study plan. Provide a variety of ways to study. Many people need visual supports or study aids. Suggest making ways to take notes/outlines, have picture references for new material to learn, and/or use notecards to write main points in a lesson.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Provide encouragement. Point out what they have learned at each stage of the course. See how every new piece of information or completion of tests will build on their knowledge and ultimately finishing the course. Look forward to learning new ideas. Know that they have accomplished a lot through their hard work.

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

When a student has difficulty with a concept, it would be good to present the concept in different ways. Provide examples that would help to clarify the concept. Possibly provide other texts that present the concept more clearly. If needed, use visual pictures or drawings to help. You may need to find something concrete, such as an object(s) that would represent the concept. Continue to look for ways that would help the student to improve their understanding of the text presented.

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

Students with reading comprehension may need to use a variety of techniques to increase their reading skills. They could highlight the main point in a paragraph, highlight the main words in a sentence, or take a paragraph apart and look at each sentence separately. Help them to learn to find the main points or ideas in each paragraph to better comprehend the text. Students could underline words they do not understand in the paragraph. Have a dictionary ready, and review words they do not know. Begin a "dictionary" of their own with words relevant to the subject in order to help in future reading material.

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

I first need to know what areas the student feels they need help. I want to build on their strengths, and together we work to help them in the areas they struggle. We may try different strategies to see what will be most beneficial. Strategies could be for them to start with a short section of text and let me know if they understand the concept, or complete a short quiz. Both of us need to know where we need to focus in the study process.

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

We could look for something in the subject they find interesting. Look for outside sources that could be similar and provide new information to make it more engaging. Encourage a desire to learn more about the subject.

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

Ask the student to complete a short quiz, write a short outline that would include the main points of the material, or tell me the 3 steps covered in the material. Ask them if they have any questions or what specifically do they not understand.

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

Approach learning new information with lots of repetition presented in different ways. The student may need to write a sentence defining main words in the material. Keep a notebook or outlines of each lesson. Memorize important information. Read material more than once. The point is to know the material well and be prepared to compete all the answers correctly.

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

Materials used would include online resources, such as dictionaries, maps, calculators, and history websites. Look for online stories that relate to the subject.