As a scrawny shy kid from a poor neighborhood with virtually zero social skills, its amazing how I have trained myself to deliver speeches and interviews with surgical precision.
My hometown of Southport, Fla. was comprised of fishermen and boatyards. The prospect of a college education was slim. Earning a graduate degree was slimmer.
I enrolled in my first college course at age 15 to learn everything I could about technology. Following advanced coursework in computer science, I switched gears and focused my attention on mass media.
I gained communications experience producing television commercials, selling advertisements and reading every self-help book I could get my hands on. The desire to overcome shyness guided me through an unlikely career path that often placed me in the spotlight. This would have mortified me as a child.
As a young adult, I have learned to survive in competitive and stressful environments. I expect tutoring our future leaders to be no different.
My diverse background, creativity and conflict resolution experiences are attributes that separate me from other candidates seeking to assist students with reading, writing, and speaking effectively in the communication and business arenas.
I've earned a B.S. and M.S. in communication from Florida State University, an MBA from The Jack Welch Management Institute from Strayer University, and a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University-Thomas M. Cooley Law School. I also founded and operated an online digital advertising agency - which I continue to operate.
I look forward to helping students expand their creativity and better prepare them for the real-world obstacles destined to occur.
-Michael Morrison, JD, MBA
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University - Bachelors, Communication
Graduate Degree: Strayer University-District of Columbia - Masters, Master of Business Administration
Wakeboarding, scuba diving, boating, reading, writing, law, business, movies, and music.
Basic Computer Literacy
College Application Essays
Elementary School Reading
High School Business
High School English
High School Writing
IB Business & Management
Mac Basic Computer Skills
Middle School Writing
PC Basic Computer Skills
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in developing a stimulating environment where learners go beyond note-taking. Information should be retained and immediately applicable to the real-world. My goal is to teach students to learn on Monday, and apply on Tuesday. I encourage students to probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action. Academia and the real world are often misaligned. My job is to assist students with developing critical thinking strategies to adapt theory to useful practice.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The immediate goal is to establish trust and candor. It is important to make introductions and create common bonds that will lead to a better educational experience.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe it takes a village to develop the necessary skills to tackle common and uncommon issues. The key is to actively listen to students, and immerse them with information pertinent to their individual goals. When a student finds his or her passion, there is no stopping them from lifelong learning.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive reinforcement and real-life stories help to keep students motivated. My primary method is to illustrate the immediate applicability of what he or she is learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It is common for students to encounter learning challenges. When this occurs - and it will - my role is to frame the issues to increase understanding. Ultimately, the formula for academic success is to communicate in terms that the student understands and finds useful.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I had trouble with reading comprehension. Now, I read - and understand - about five books any given month. My job is to bring the words to life. Sounding out, defining, and using words and stories in multiple contexts aid in increasing reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I use every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence. Everyone learns differently. The objective is to deliver information to the student in the best way they can receive, understand, and use it.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would begin with a story. When I was in high school, a brand new history teacher began spouting information about carbon-dating. At first, the class thought the lecture was boring. Then, the teacher retrieved an ancient artifact from his backpack and began passing it around the room while he explained how objects' ages are determined. A few minutes into his presentation, the teacher dropped the object. It shattered when it hit the floor. The class fell silent. The teacher then told us that he purchased the "ancient" artifact from a retail store that very morning. His ability to engage the class and get students excited about history was unorthodox. But, it worked. I bring a similar "out-of-the-box" teaching style to the academic arena to encourage students to think, learn, and grow.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Repetition, role-play, and active-listening techniques are strategies I employ to ensure students understand the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
School subjects can be challenging. A productive way to increase student confidence is to continuously showcase how far the student has come. The student should feel positive about overcoming previous obstacles, and he or she should be rewarded with praise at each level of advanced comprehension.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I begin with learning the depth of a student's understanding of a subject by using probing questions. Afterwards, we work together to build upon what is already known.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Whether the student is a ruler, analyzer relater, or entertainer, he or she needs to receive information in the best format that meets their learning style. After I have identified the student's learning style, I tailor my teaching style to meet their needs for maximum impact.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use storytelling, images, videos, authoritative sources, and other verbal and nonverbal materials to encourage learning during tutoring sessions.