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Todd

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I graduated with highest honors from the University of Florida with a degree in Linguistics and minors in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language.

I have been teaching and tutoring in various capacities since 2010, both one-on-one and in groups of up to 150 students at a time. In addition to teaching in the classroom, I have been an informal conversation partner, a field technician for marching bands and drum corps, and a caption head and director (lead educator and manager) for bands and performance ensembles. From these vastly different experiences and environments, I have learned how to adapt my teaching styles not only for the size of the group but also for students with an array of backgrounds, ages, and abilities.

I am able to tutor a wide variety of subjects in the humanities and social sciences but am most interested in tutoring ESL, Spanish language, English grammar and syntax, essay editing, and writing. One of my overarching goals is to help people communicate effectively and use language to portray ideas and better understand one another. Whenever possible, I avoid the lecture style, as I am a proponent of the communicative approach in language teaching and cooperative learning in all fields.

Outside the classroom, I enjoy cooking and all things food! I have worked as a sushi chef and in restaurant kitchens for more than eight years. I also have been involved in music and pageantry arts since 2004 as a performer, adjudicator, or educator. I also love to travel, but I spend more of my free time going to the gym—it is more affordable than plane tickets.

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Todd’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelors, Linguistics

Test Scores

ACT English: 31

Hobbies

Food and cooking, music and visual performance, travel, weightlifting

Tutoring Subjects

Adult ESL/ELL

Conversational Spanish

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

French Horn

Languages

Music

Other

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in cooperative learning and the communicative approach to language learning. I am a strong proponent of explicitly teaching pragmatics.

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

Get to know the student and his/her goals. Assess the starting level for the subject and develop a plan to move forward.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Try to adapt the material or the lesson for a real world setting (language learning). Also, avoid lecturing and encourage the student to talk through the material for his/herself.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Be sure to let the student know when they are making progress, and avoid negative reinforcement.

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

Try multiple approaches, and determine if they're in congruence with the student's learning style.

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

Read passages together and begin with simple facts that they can identify. Then, move into more complex or abstract concepts and ensure to refer back to the source material/passage.

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

Communicative learning versus lecturing. Making sure the student is comfortable and feels like they can ask as many questions as they need.

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

Check for understanding by asking questions related to the material. Ask the student to explain the concept/answer back to me, ensuring they understand the WHY.

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

Making sure to acknowledge progress when it happens. Recognize the student as an intelligent individual, and build a mutual respect.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Communicate. Ask what his/her favorite lessons may have been in the past and why. Try to determine which type of learner (visual, audio, kinesthetic) they are.

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

As many real world tokens as possible. YouTube clips or images, published articles, or bits of conversation from corpora.

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