A photo of Alan, a tutor from Centre College

Alan

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A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I matriculated at Centre College in Danville. There I studied history and played for the school soccer team. I left with many bruises and a degree in history.

After a short diversion to serve my country in the Army, I moved to Louisville. I worked for the city and later the water company. I returned to school at the University of Louisville. I worked on a Master's degree in Teaching and certification in learning and behavior disorders.

Once certified, I embarked on a career teaching. I have worked at three different high schools, teaching regular and resource classes, as well as coaching soccer. At the moment, I work as a special education teacher inside Our Lady of Peace hospital. There, I work daily to meet the educational needs of students with significant behavioral issues that temporarily prevent attendance at a regular school.

I have worked as a tutor at various times throughout my teaching career. For several years, I worked evenings and Saturday mornings at a Sylvan Learning Center. Later, I tutored individual students through an organization called ClubZ!

I tutor because it allows me to work one-on-one with a student. As a classroom teacher, I rarely get this opportunity. The opportunity for individual instruction gives me the chance to see real progress in the students I have the privilege to tutor.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy coaching (and watching) soccer. I also like to ride my bike along the new trail through the Parklands of Floyds Fork.

Alan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Centre College - Bachelors, History

Graduate Degree: University of Louisville - Masters, Special Education

Hobbies

soccer, sudoku

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

History

High School Level American History

High School World History

Math

Middle School Math

Other

Pre-Algebra

Social studies

Special Education

World History


Q & A

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

By finding a subject they are interested in and using that desire to do the hard work of understanding what is read.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My job as a tutor is to meet a student where he is and help guide him back along the path he must go.

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

Discover what the student likes to do in and out of school, and begin to use his interests (strengths) as a tool to improve his weaknesses.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learning comes from a combination of interest and success. If I meet a student where he is and help him become successful, he is going to discover the joy of learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By making learning fun by demonstrating my enjoyment, finding things that interest the student for work, and finding interesting ways to present the material.

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

Every problem has more than one answer. Every problem can be solved in more than one way. My job is to help the student find his way to grasp an idea.

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

By using things they are interested in as avenues to get them to understand concepts that are difficult for them. And by breaking down harder subjects into smaller bites that are easier to digest.

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

They have to be able to demonstrate that they understand. Independent of my assistance, they have to be able to work through and solve a problem.

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

Success breeds success. By breaking down a larger task into smaller component parts, the student will be able to build up to successfully resolve difficult problems.