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Michael

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I am a recent graduate in the area of Game Design and Development, and wish to use my skills in Narrative Design to help inspire young writers. My specialty is writing, specifically creative writing. I am comfortable with tutoring grammar and reading comprehension as well. Students who are looking to improve writing and develop creativity in writing would be a great match with me.

Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Union County College - Bachelors, Game Design & Development

Hobbies

Writing, Game design, rock climbing, blogging, creative writing, video games, reading

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Writing

COMPASS Writing Skills Prep

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School Writing

Middle School Writing

Public Speaking

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

To bridge the gap between a student's interests and effective learning. I identify a student's likes and interests, and then try to incorporate those into learning activities.

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

The first thing that needs to be accomplished is a general assessment of the student's ability. I will prepare a short assignment to gauge their ability to write and how comfortable they are writing in their own voice. I will then review the assignment, correcting any grammatical or sentence structure issues. I will walk through the assignment a step at a time with the student, correcting as we go. Any additional work I will assign will be based on what I assessed from the first exercise. This is meant to be a general idea, and should not be taken as absolute. Students are as diverse as the teachers who are instructing them, and learning should not be a set-in-stone method.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By assuring them that they can swim before throwing them in the deep end. Confidence is the key to a student's success, so taking the time to develop that confidence before they are exposed to more difficult assignments is crucial.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By creating and making sure we hit educational goals and milestones. Having tangible evidence a student can track helps greatly with motivation. In the first session, we will come up with an educational plan, goals, and milestones to make sure we both stay on track, and increase the student's chance for success.

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

Identify the shortfall, and then address it immediately. The most important thing to do in these scenarios is to properly gauge the extent of the difficulty. You don't want to quickly diagnose a problem, only to find out it was just an extension of another, more difficult learning wall. This is why it is important for me to know what motivates the student, so that I can prepare learning assignments more suitable to their interests.

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

By developing writing assignments that have elements of reading comprehension. I find that students who are comfortable writing, generally have easier times with reading comprehension.

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

Students are diverse in their abilities and learning, so strategies often have to be molded to fit the learner. The most important universal strategy I use is the creation of an educational plan. With a plan, the student and myself, have a roadmap we can navigate together to ensure we are on a path to success.

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

By connecting their hobbies and interests to the learning activities I develop. The best way to engage a student is to give them something they find engaging.

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

A great technique is giving assignments that are completed while I'm in their presence. This allows me to see if they understand the material or are using outside sources to help improve writing.

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

By building their confidence over time using the educational plan as the road map. Creating milestones, or achievement points, is crucial in showing a student they are making progress. Having something they can visually follow is psychological pleasing to a student and helps assure progress is being made.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Through talking with a student and their parents or teachers, if applicable. I give assignments that are specifically for gauging needs and opportunities.

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

I keep my tutoring philosophy flexible and open for interpretation, that way I can engage with a plethora of students across multiple subjects. What I adapt to, are the specific exercises I assign to students. I try to create assignments geared towards the individual, which is easier to accomplish when tutoring versus teaching a class.

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

I try and keep it simple, and usually only require a pen/pencil, paper, and some sort of electronic writing device i.e. tablet, laptop, etc. Other materials may be used, but I will never ask a student to obtain any specialty materials they don't already have.