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John

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I enjoy helping kids of all ages understand math. Tutoring my 5 kids has taught me lessons and techniques on effective tutoring. Every one is different and the goal is to get them to truly understand the basics so more advanced math will be easier.

John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelors, Industrial Engineering

Graduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Masters, Finance

Test Scores

SAT Math: 720

Hobbies

enjoy cooking large family meals.

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Business

Clarinet

Econometrics

Elementary School Math

Math

Middle School Math

Music

Pre-Algebra


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Everyone is different, but everyone likes to master a subject. My job is to help the student overcome fear and create building blocks of knowledge. Once a student has confidence on the subject matter we can move forward.

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

Depends on the subject. We need to find out exactly what the student's knowledge base is. From there we need to determine the best path forward.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

That's the main overall goal. Once we build subject matter mastery, the student can apply those skills and learn independently. Every student has that potential once the basics are known.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Entice them to move to higher levels of subject matter. This can be in the form of a challenge for them to work independently, and then show off their new knowledge to me, parents, grandparents or caregiver.

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

I have seen this many times. Through patience and genuine concern, we need to discover what is holding the student back. Sometimes the student has memorized the rule incorrectly. Sometimes the problem is so big we need to break it down into smaller, easier to understand components. We just go one step at a time.

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

My son had this issue. Give the student an easy book or story to read. Once that is complete we go over questions on the story or book. First, we go over simple issues such as who is the main character, then we go back to the story and point out clues in determining the main character. Once the basic skills are there, we move on to another story and ask more difficult questions.

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

The student needs to be comfortable and relaxed. Many times the student has been yelled at or brought to tears. Getting the student to relax and become engaged is crucial to a good start.

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

All students want to be successful. Asking for a tutor shows they want to understand. Giving the student a few, small victories and successes on the subject matters builds confidence, and we add to that knowledge painlessly and consistently.

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

I ask the student to work out a problem or determine an answer. Next, I ask the student to explain how he got the answer and discuss the steps he took just to make sure he has developed good problem-solving techniques.

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

Students need to enjoy and want to learn. Ending the session on a positive note helps. Once the student has solved a few problems on their own correctly, they can build on their success.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I want everyone involved. Parents can tell me where they think the student is having trouble. From there, I ask the student where they think they have trouble. From there, I ask the student to solve some problems to see what they are really having trouble with. For the most part, the students have some of the knowledge but just need someone to piece it all together for them.

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

This is the hardest part. Everyone is different. Opening up an initial dialogue with the student determines how we proceed. If the student resists, we can do a problem together. That initial work through will show where the strengths and weaknesses are. We fix the weakness and build the strengths.

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

My focus in tutoring is to make sure the student understands the material, can get the "A" at school, and understands certain key concepts that are necessary for the next level.