I have experience teaching ACT and SAT test preparation, paralegal training, and currently assist my sister with her first-graders one day a week. I come from a family of teachers, so I have plenty of resources.
I previously tutored students for the ACT and SAT for another company. Nearly all my students showed improvement, some of them very significant improvement. I personally have always done exceptionally well on standardized tests.
I practiced law for fourteen years. I have excellent verbal and writing skills. I also read quite a lot, so I have educated myself on any number of subjects.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Loras College - Bachelors, Sociology and Social Work
Graduate Degree: Marquette University - Masters, Law
Photography, history, baseball, college basketball, and whatever else might attract my interest.
AP US History
CLEP American Government
CLEP College Composition
CLEP Social Sciences and History
College Level American History
College World History
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Political Science
High School World History
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Be patient. Make things interesting. Aim high. Students can often achieve more than they think.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It depends on the subject. For test prep, I usually have a discussion of the mechanics of the test, how a few extra correct answers can significantly raise a score, and starting on test-taking skills. In any instance, it is important to develop a rapport with the student and try to make the student comfortable.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By instilling confidence. I try to demonstrate something interesting about the subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think teachers can offer encouragement and help the student set goals, but students ultimately need to be self-motivated. If they do not want to be there and do not want to learn anything, they won't.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try and break it down to as simple steps as possible. If it is something a student continues to be stuck on, it is probably a good idea to take a break and work on something else and return later.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, try to determine if the student has a particular learning problem. That is sometimes the case, and if so, schools and school districts are required to address it. However, this often requires persistence on the part of parents. Depending on the student's reading level, it may be necessary to step back and move on to something simpler to encourage confidence.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Get them to relax. Tell them you like working with them. Mean it.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
A student who is not already interested in a subject will not be unless the teacher is. I find the subjects I teach to be interesting.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask the student to explain it back. Work with the student on how he or she might put it in writing.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Particularly with test preparation, I have found that students are often under a great deal of pressure, much of it self-generated. I typically try to tell them that if they have gotten this far in school, they are smart enough to do well on the test. I also try to point out that their entire future is not dependent on how they do on a standardized test. For other students, there is likely to be at least something that a student can do well. That is a good place to start.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Discuss it with their parents. Listen to them.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Again, patience. In the past, I have rescheduled sessions to accommodate students, extended sessions for them, and tried to refer them to available resources.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have an extensive library. I have prepared materials for particular subjects. For the English sections of entrance exams, I stress grammar and have prepared materials for this. I also bring along a dictionary and suggest that the student get one.