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I am an educator with substantial experience helping students of all ages and grades improve their confidence and skills in academic activities. My personal approach is one of facilitation and nurture beginning with an understanding of the challenges to be addressed and on-going support to develop successful progress in skills, knowledge, and confidence.

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Joseph’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: BA univ of Va - Bachelors, Political Science and Government

Graduate Degree: Univ of Va - Masters, English/English Educ


reading, travel, golf, movies

Tutoring Subjects

High School English

High School Level American History

High School Writing


Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Social Studies

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I am most interested in helping students learn to be academically successful through effective learning strategies and improved literacy skills. I always facilitate students' learning rather than fill them with knowledge. When knowledge is required, we will discover it together.

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

Chat, discover, and share. We need to get to know one another to be sure our sessions together will help the student accomplish her/his goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By exploring academic tasks together and helping the student learn basic and advanced learning strategies.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By making learning fun.

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

Break it down into manageable parts with mastery occurring when we put all the parts together.

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

I use a variety of strategies, including listening, shared reading, echo reading, and strategic reading, depending upon the student's needs and reading level. In all cases, we would use material appropriate for the student's reading ability.

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

Cooperative learning activities where the student finds immediate success. That helps increase the student's confidence and helps me discover how the student interacts with academic tasks.

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

I would build the student's background by filling in gaps of information and exploring the internet to find answers to questions the student has.

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

Usually conversation shows all. Another option is to have the student develop a quiz on the material, and then have me answer the questions. We can learn lots from what students develop in a quiz.

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

This takes time. Clear, direct, open, and honest conversation about what the challenges are and what it takes to overcome those challenges. Help the student identify the challenge so success comes often.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Interactive tasks like reading and writing about the subjects reveal much about the processing skills involved and the subject matter awareness. So, I would start with some reading task (silent then oral) using the material the student uses in school.

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

I teach kids. End of story. The skills, strategies, and subject matter content are considered in relation to all the needs of the student: intellectual, academic, emotional and physical. As I get to know the student, and the student gets to know me, we make progress across the board and confidence grows along with success.

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

I'll start with the student's materials and supplement them as we go. I have access to lots of materials on lots of levels to modify along the way.

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