Learning is for everyone. If teacher and student work together, they can achieve success. The measure of a good teacher is the success of his/her students.
I work as a writer, editor, and public speaking coach. I have been doing this for 20+ years.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Education is not limited to just a few people; everyone can learn, and a good teacher finds a way to help students understand the subject material. Using different ways to explain things, allowing for time to practice, and then having the student become the teacher ensures that students comprehend, apply, learn the information, skills, and tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond. This is especially true for older students returning to the classroom, and for students who have had trouble finding success in their studies. Learning is for everyone.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session, as well as the first few minutes of every session, is a time to talk about the subject, the student's experience with it, what he/she identifies as the problems in understanding it, and what progress was made since we last spoke. The first session will be an overview of the student's concerns, experience, and also a time to set a strategy to work on learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to become an independent learner is to become a teacher. If you must explain something to another person, you tend to learn it better and faster. My expectation is that our roles will slowly change so that when we meet, the student explains to me the problem and the solution.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Progress is measured in small increments until we experience a breakthrough. Explaining how we learn, what we do well, and how we can use other knowledge and abilities to master a new subject keeps us motivated and focused. I say 'us' because the student is not alone; the role of the tutor is to make the learning easier by being a guide. Once the student knows the way, they are motivated by the thrill of success.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are many things to do, some of which include revisiting the subject, trying new exercises, talking it through, and even enlisting the help of the student's family and friends.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would practice using familiar texts, and then have the student critically read it to better comprehend it. By reading a familiar work (even a short story), a student can readily grasp the idea of active reading. Building skills and speed takes time and practice.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful strategy is to learn, test, explain, and review material. Talking about the subject in a variety of ways seems to help build confidence and competency.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
After I explain our strategy to learn the material, I would hope that the student's confidence would improve. As we master skills together, the excitement of success should not only engage the student, but also help him/her master it and be excited about success!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
A combination of testing, discussing, and having the student teach me assures a solid understanding of the material. We should never learn just to pass a test, but rather learn to master the material. Testing then becomes an afterthought.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student's confidence is boosted by becoming knowledgeable and competent.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It takes more than a test. Students are often aware of their weaknesses and shortcomings in their studies. So discussion, oral testing, and samples of previous work all help. I am also an expert in my field, and I usually can judge pretty quickly what we need to do to be successful.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would verify their understanding of the material by asking questions and practicing with them. After this we can then discuss what would help their learning. It is all about communication, and we are partners in a quest for knowledge.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Whatever we can find that helps build understanding and skill.