I have always had a love for languages and telling stories, which is our (as humans) ancient way of telling people who we (as individuals and) peoples are. The Internet and the Information Highway we all live on is exciting and entertaining, but it can isolate individuals, as well.
I like to work one on one and teach each person ways to use this information, these languages, to help you through work, school, life and discover how to communicate with others, broaden your horizons and possibilities, your education. I want to free your imagination, while giving you what you need for school, jobs and yourself.
I have many years of speaking English, six years of German and public service jobs, in bookstores, restaurants and retail. I have lived in Japan, Turkey, six of our United States.
I can help you with reading, grammar, writing , editing papers, handwriting and also aid you with being an effective speaker, public or otherwise. English is a Germanic language; I also can teach you two or three levels of German.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Metro State University of Denver - Bachelors, English Literature
Theater, Films, Reading, Walking, Fencing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I will make learning English and German, as well as Public Speaking, educational, entertaining and confidence building.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will find out their needs and discover how we can achieve them and the goals that their school expects of them. Above all, they need to feel comfortable learning new things and ways to improve not only speaking, but listening.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Gather suggestions from them about their interests and what they have to learn, thus achieving a balance between the two. With the Internet available, there are many sites to help them when they are alone. Use it as an educational tool, not just for social networking. Some of the research should be done off-line, from the library and not just Wikipedia. It is work, but it is also stimulating and exercises your mind, increasing your brain power.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would make them always aware of the time they have to finish a task. I will supplement the texts and lectures with hands-on work (obviously) and audiovisuals, and even stories read by native (and well spoken) actors and authors. With the overwhelming amount of information out there, I will keep them focused on the task at hand, but also teach them future possibilities.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would figure out an alternative method to achieve the desired result. We, as humans, are more accustomed to visuals and actions than words. Audios / videos can be really helpful; there is a video for everything imaginable on YouTube. I will give them examples of how to work through similar problems.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Help them recognize patterns and learn words' meaning by the context of the sentence. I will have them read aloud and then listen to me read the same. If they can listen well, they can pick out bad grammar, punctuation mistakes, and run-on sentences, and start seeing the story's progress and possible outcome. Help them realize how important their voice is to give them confidence and realize what a gift and sanctuary reading books can be.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Always find out their personal likes and dislikes. Give them what they need for work or school, but give them pieces of themselves as a reward. Learning by example has been my most effective method of teaching. On the job training is the best way of improving. While doing things, whether it is speaking, listening, tasting new foods, wine, coffee, etc., you have to be engaged to progress.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Tell them alternative versions of those subjects; add music, amusing anecdotes and the pros and cons. The achievements of others who hated these subjects will help. Just help them realize its importance in society or just its value towards furthering their progress.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them tell me what they are seeing and hearing; describe the material re: its purpose and meaning, as they interpret it. I would also have them tell me which parts they were having trouble with. Eventually, I would ask them how they would make the material easier to communicate.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Find out their strengths and weaknesses, and their desires to learn new things, and then diminish their weaknesses, working through them. Figure out their learning curve and change my tutoring to get them through their needs and wants, to arrive at a place where both things are achieved.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Books, music, some history, their voice, my voice, stories, plays, grammar, and phonetics.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By building their confidence in their voice, their opinions, giving them choices (not too many), and asking how they interpret this or that subject. This gives them an assessment of what they know and what they are missing. They are often surprised at how much they remember and, as a result, more confident in their learning process.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Just ask them what they need and want; ask them what the school expects from them. Then, give them more than they expected; let them give themselves more than they expected, discovering more of their identity.