I learned economics in business school at Duquesne University and subsequently worked in wholesale banking and investment banking. My approach to teaching economics is that you cannot live in the US and not have a basic understanding of economics. The terminology and the drawing of graphs may elude you, but the concepts are embedded in you. I use aspects of my students lives and their interests to create meaning. Economics can be fun and economics can be exciting if you have the right instructor
Undergraduate Degree: Duquesne University - Bachelors, Business administration, economics
screenwriting, Datsun Z cars, autocross, precision driving, weight training
What is your teaching philosophy?
To remove the jargon and to use everyday examples to create actual meaning. Economics is not difficult, but the traditional way that economics is taught is what causes difficulty.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'll ask my student what economics is, and listen for a very technical and rambling answer. After this, I will ask my student what all of that means. I drive home the fact that rote memorization is not the way to excel in economics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By giving them strategies to understand what the particular topic is about, as well as how to organize the information in a way that is more fitting to how they learn. I also show them how to go step-by-step to solve confusing economic problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I get really excited when they get an answer right. I slowly begin to discuss things like economic statistics in our normal conversation, so that speaking economically becomes second nature.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Use a different approach, draw lots of pictures, make them draw lots of pictures, and then ask them to explain it to me.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I begin to point out the syntax and grammatical structure that is used in the explanation to show them how to assess the text. I make them read aloud and ask them "so, what does all that mean", all the while being entertaining.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I would ask them what they know about economics, how they feel about economics, and show them why I love it. I am funny and well-read in the topic, so this makes them curious to learn.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them not only why it is important, but how useful this information is for everyday life. I then tell them that knowing this gives them an edge over everyone who doesn't grasp this material. I give real-world examples, and tell them to take their time and to not get discouraged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
They have to draw all the graphs correctly, explain how the curves move, and then explain it all to me. If they can't do this in a reasonable amount of time then they have to do it again.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start them with some easy questions. When they answer them correctly, I'll pretend like I have no idea what the answer is. After a few minutes, I compliment them on how quickly they grasped the material. In a matter of time, they will take the lead.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I give them a blank piece of paper, and then make them write out everything that they know about economics.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I do an assessment during our first session, and then adapt my teaching style to reflect what is missing in their knowledge.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Just a pen, paper, and my razor-sharp wit.