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Paul

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I've had a passion for helping others ever since I was a teen. From helping young scouts learn new skills, to teaching students new ways to practice math, developing other people's skills has always given me a sense of joy and accomplishment.

I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to help anyone find new confidence in themselves!

Paul’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Iowa - Bachelors, Industrial Engineering

Hobbies

Film, movies, hiking, climbing, outdoors, basketball, football

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Art

Basic Computer Literacy

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Geometry

High School English

Industrial Engineering

Mac Basic Computer Skills

Math

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Office

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

PC Basic Computer Skills

Photography

Photoshop

Pre-Algebra

Public Speaking

Science

Social Networking

Technology and Computer Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that everyone has the capacity to learn. We may all come from different families, different settings, and have different brains, but those who have a desire to better themselves can achieve great things! Teaching is a great way to help those who want to grow and learn. It helps both the student and the teacher. It provides a medium in which the one who learns discovers more of their own capabilities, and the one who teaches understands more about the world. All you need is patience, determination, and a desire to be better, and the rest comes naturally!

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

A typical first session would involve creating a baseline relationship between student and teacher. What is the subject? Where is the student at in their current level of education on this specific subject? How can I, as a person, relate to this student in a way that they trust me to teach? Learning can often be a daunting task, that sometimes creates feelings of embarrassment. My goal is to express to the student in whatever way they communicate, that I'm here to help them. I'm excited for them to put forth effort, to struggle if necessary, and to see that they indeed are trying. With great trust, comes the great opportunity to exceed past their own expectations!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Just like any physical movement or exercise, the brain is a muscle that can be trained and strengthened. With more practice, comes more familiarity and more confidence. Teaching sessions aren't just about understanding the material, but providing the student with an opportunity to learn how they learn with a mentor. They can use this time to ask questions and find guidance, so when they continue to learn on their own, they have the knowledge and confidence to do so.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Confidence grows from seeing positive results come forth from your efforts. When learning new material, failure to understand repeatedly can be demotivating. To overcome this bump simply requires a pivot in the learning technique and subject material. By shifting to easier concepts, or previously learned material, the student can gain back confidence in themselves. We use this momentum to drive them back into their new concepts with a fresh look and motivated perspective. Also, always reminding them that failure is merely a sign that they are trying!

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

I would first get an understanding of what exactly it is that they're having difficulty with. Sometimes, it may be a deeper problem or a much more basic foundation in the learning material making the new skill seem foreign. By looking into the roots of their concept level, we can figure out how to approach the material in a different way that would be more effective for them.

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

First, give the students a purpose for reading. Give them something to read they enjoy or get pleasure from. Help them to think actively as they read, encouraging them to monitor their own comprehension. Offering questions such as, 'What are you getting out of this?' or 'How does this make you feel?' Then, helping them to review the content and relate what they have learned to what they already know. By linking these two together, the student can see the minimal difference in reading things they enjoy, and reading things that are required. It's merely forcing your brain to work the same way!

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

Positive reinforcement will always be the most successful approach. Without confidence, the ability to learn and push yourself becomes very difficult. Constantly reminding them that they are smart, and they are trying, is enough to be successful in it's own right. Rewards can be a helpful tool as well, creating a physical connection to their success thus reinforcing their confidence.

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

Trust always come first. If the student trusts the teacher, then the student will know what they're doing is for their benefit and that no type of subject or material is a form of punishment. To better engage a student, I would motivate them through activities that may increase their interest, and make subjects relatable to them in some way. Also, giving them background information about the subject and discussing the little things that they might be excited about. Using those could extrapolate their excitement for the rest of the subject material!

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

I believe in avoiding yes or no questions. It is too easy for a student to skim through a subject by reducing their responses to one word answers. Instead, I'd have them explain their subject material to me in the terms they understand. Giving them an opportunity to teach me their new subject material will not only show me they've learned it, but also reinforce their own understanding.

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

After completing an assignment or specific subject, it's a great time for the student to review the material. This gives them an opportunity to see the improvement that they've made and feel better about themselves. If they can relay to me the material they previously didn't understand in a way that makes sense to both of us, then clearly they can see how far they've come!

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Talking to them, observing them, and building an understanding of their previous accomplishments and skill levels.

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

Every student is different; therefore, every student has their own specific method needed to teach them. This makes every student special! The way I teach them is a result of the evaluation of them. Listening to them, figuring out what's worked for them in the past, and molding that into a teaching method that best suits their needs. Finally, reflecting after every session on what worked and what didn't work, reinforcing the benefits of trying, making mistakes, and making ourselves better from it.

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

Material changes depending on the subject and the student's specific teaching methods. It's having an ability to adapt your materials so that the student will benefit in the most positive way. I personally think visualization of the subject matter, and seeing how it's broken down, can be one of the most helpful tools. Using objects to grasp math concepts, pictures to better understand language, or drawings to visualize problems can all be helpful tools for learning!