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I first discovered my love of working with children when my cousin was young. I was only 11 when he was born, so in many ways, I was still a kid myself. As I grew, I began doing community service work with children, and loved every minute of it.

In high school, I would volunteer once a week after school at Virginia Avenue Park, where I would help kids with their homework. Since graduating from college, I began tutoring at 826LA, where I am currently in their top 10% of tutors for most hours volunteered. At 826, I help the children, aged from 1st grade to 8th grade, with whatever work their teacher gave to them. Then at the end of every session, we always focus on creative writing exercises.

In addition to volunteering at 826, I work as an Instructional Assistant at Palisades Elementary. I am stationed in a kindergarten class, where I help out on the yard and in the classroom, doing everything from opening bags of chips at snack to leading lessons.

I'm currently in grad school at Antioch University to get my teacher's credential and Master's in Education.

Helping kids with work is my passion and I look forward to tutoring with Varsity Tutors!

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Joseph’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Sarah Lawrence College - Bachelors, Liberal Arts Degree


Film, comedy, Improv

Tutoring Subjects

American Literature

College Application Essays

College Level American Literature

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing


High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing




Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing




Social Studies

World Civilization


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The most important part about teaching a kid is to be able to relate to them. Get interested in what they're interested in - from what books they're reading to what TV they're watching. Any teacher should be able to discuss things with the kids that they love. When you're working with them, try and let them take charge of their work as much as they can, but if they're completely stuck - it's more than fine to lend a helping hand.

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

I'd start a first session with a student by getting to know them, and let them get to know me. Find out what their interests are, and talk about them briefly. Then I do feel that it is important to get work done at the first session as well. So I'd find out what work they most need my help with, and we'd do it together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Let them take complete charge of their work. I'd be there to help, obviously, but in order for them to learn, it's best to let them take charge.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Catch the early signs of their mind wandering, and try and get everything back on task as quickly as possible.

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

Break it down for them slowly, and be patient. Try explaining it a few times. If they don't understand it one way, I'd try again in a different way.

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

I'd take turns reading with them - they'd read a page and then I'd read a page. Some students comprehend what they're reading better when someone else reads to them. However, as it is important for them to read, too, I'd make sure it's a page or two for each of us.

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

I would draw comparisons between it and something else that they are interested in. With history, there are many, many TV shows, movies, and books to draw from.

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

Go over it, time and time again. Go back to previous questions. Repetition helps hammer the concepts into the student's head.

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

Complement all their right answers. If they get something wrong, gently tell them and help show them how to get it right. Then complement them on being able to solve it.

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

Notecards that the student and I then turn into flashcards to study with. Loose paper, books.

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

Get to know them - take part in their interests.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Go over questions with them. If they seem stuck on one in particular, I'd ask similar questions to see where they are stuck and would need my help.

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

Slow down. Repeat concepts until the student gets them.

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