Dear Parents and Students;
I am a highly qualified teacher of advanced science at HS and MS level. I am an excellent general education (from age 9 up) teacher too. I've earned a Bachelors Degree in Petroleum Geology and a Masters in International Education. I currently hold a professional Teaching License with the Florida Department of Education for HS science. I am also certified and experienced at teaching AP Chem, IB-DP Chem, MS Mathematics, Geography and World History.
In addition, I have taught intermediate level English as a Foreign Language in China and SE Asia.
I have over 14 years of experience teaching and have taught in highly regarded US Public High Schools and Middle Schools as well as top tier International Schools In Asia.
I am confident I can improve anyone's academic skills in multiple disciplines while building children's confidence in their own abilities.
With my extensive background as a professional educator, school administrator and father of three multilingual daughters, I am ready and motivated to help whoever I can to be a stronger and well rounded learner!
:) Mr. James
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Western Colorado State University - Bachelors, Geology
Graduate Degree: Framingham State University - Masters, International Teaching
Scuba diving, biking, swimming and reading
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Communication is key! I first need to have a conversation to see where the student is with their learning. Then, work with them to see what they are working on so I can familiarize myself with the core learning details. From their, it's a matter of finding a multi-level platform that will produce results. Once I know how the student best learns, I will put together lessons emphasizing what works best. Everyone is different in this regard. In general though, it is a combination of listening, writing, and doing (hands on learning activities). I try to incorporate of all these aspects into my teaching whenever possible.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would try to build a rapport with the student while doing an informal assessment of their skills and discussing coursework they are concerned with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Hold them accountable by expecting them to learn and succeed. This usually takes lot of positive reinforcement, however, there are times when students must be chastised when they are not working toward the agreed upon goal.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Start each lesson with covering work they were expectorated to complete for homework. Review the previous lesson(s), and then push ahead and keep the pressure on (as much as possible).
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try different ways to connect the skill. I typically research various teaching techniques and also discuss learning snags with other professional educators to find alternative teaching styles and/or approaches.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One of the best ways to improve reading comprehension is decoding and through context. The student's level would have a lot to do with which would be the focus, however, more reading is the number 1 best way to build comprehension skills.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I go through a step by step process of getting to know the student to build their confidence in me - start off slowly yet steadily to optimize lessons by combining teaching with guided skill building culminating with independent learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Observe while they work out sample problems. Question and answer sessions. Essay responses to broad and/or specific prompts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Encourage! At first, I may need to demonstrate a solution several times. However, over time, and through a process, students will eventually gain some success. Any small achievement is worthy of praise, which will lead to more enthusiasm and motivation.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Talk with them - discuss school - look at their work and textbooks. See what they like and don't like related to school and academic work. Discuss skills through informal questions and answers.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everyone is different, and each subject is different. I have the ability to work in many areas; therefore, the way I approach the subject varies greatly. Regarding personalities; I am very careful to not offend anyone. This can be difficult, because as teacher I push for growth from my students. I'm always pushing them forward as much as I can (but without losing them).
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A laptop computer, internet worksheets, manipulatives whenever applicable, pens, papers, and textbooks - theirs and mine, sometimes calculators including graphing ones.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Perhaps a short video clip illustrating relevant meaning that drives home the usefulness of the skill being taught. Perhaps I would show various professionals that use the skill we are working through.