My Formal background is a BS in Biological Science an MA in Educational Administration and an MFA in Fine Arts from UCLA. I have held several Assistant Professorships, as well as a career painter and writer of plays which have been produced/represented in Hawaii and Asia. I have taught for Japan Telecom, middle management and also served as a private tutor to the 6 year old daughter of the Consul to Thailand. Currently, I live in California and I have also lived in Thailand for 10 years and explored during that time extensively throughout Asia and Africa and India. I teach English because of the immediate success that comes with the ability of speaking a word, sentence or paragraph. Pronunciation is an embellishment that I emphasize. My motivation for tutoring is derived from my students; I like to learn about their interests and incorporate these into lessons. I see tutoring as a "duo sport."
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: state university of NY - Bachelors, bioligical science
Graduate Degree: University of California-Los Angeles - Masters, educational admin and fine arts
Travel, culture, and painting
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is a two-way endeavor with a fine line between teacher and student, because the teacher must assess the needs and motivation of the student through the teaching. The student must ask the questions of the teacher; any questions. My style is casual but focused, with continual motivation to reach your goal of speaking English well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Why do you want to learn/improve your English speaking, writing, and comprehension skills, and which need the most focus in your opinion? What are your personal interests/ hobbies/studies outside of school? What is your final goal in learning English?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encourage success. Conduct much review to remind the student of their success.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ask the student questions; probe, and dig into the problem and see if the student sees it from an incorrect perspective. Turn your teaching to suit the mindset of the student's issue or difficulty.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Slow down. Review. Talk the sentence/paragraph through. Ask the student to explain it to you again. Go back and review.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Connect with their interests/point of interest and goals right away.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Apply the lesson to something in their day to day life that is important to them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Phrase the questions I ask in numerous ways from different perspectives. Ask the student to repeat back to me what we just did, and ask how would you use this in day to day life.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
try to get them to apply the material. Test the lesson in a safe setting, e.g. your dog likes marrow bones, not dog biscuits -- is this correct?
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask what they want to achieve and why, and who is their most admired student in class and why. How can you be like them? How can I help you?
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Being very specific about the material, lesson, and intent. Follow the student and what he says and doesn't say, and then adjust my program.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the age of the student. Flashcards, songs, music, examples that highlight their specific interests -- favorite rock star? I would also give them some examples of my own version of the lesson for consideration.