I have been a professional tutor for the past 20 years, specializing in the maths, sciences, and test prep for 8th grade - college. I am a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, but I have also attended Umass Dartmouth and MIT.
I like tutoring in the Socratic method (asking questions to further the students' knowledge) but also frequently employ direct analysis and incorporating other facets of base knowledge to help the students understand the material.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Southern New Hampshire University - Bachelor of Science, Applied Mathematics
Math and science news, music (violin), board games (specifically euro games like agricola, power grid, pandemic, etc)
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
ISEE-Lower Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Middle Level Mathematics Achievement
Middle School Science
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like tutoring in the Socratic method (asking questions to further the student's knowledge) but also frequently employ direct analysis and incorporate other facets of base knowledge to help the students understand the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It depends on the specific situation, but I generally go over past experiences with the subject matter, ask when they first began to have difficulty with the material, and look for holes in past knowledge while covering the current material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Most students have small holes in their knowledge that are preventing them from moving forward independently. I make it my job to find those small holes, fill them in, and, once that is complete, build the student's confidence by asking basic questions about strategy, etc., for the student to employ on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
There is nothing less motivating than a student who is not performing well. I help the student gain content knowledge and then help them gain confidence. I find that this is usually more than enough to motivate students and have them become independent learners.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Most of the time, a student who is having difficulty either has holes in previous base knowledge or has not explained the current material in a way that they understand. I discern which case is applicable to the student and address it. If the student needs the information addressed in a specific way, I will re-teach the material in a learning style that would be beneficial for the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Many students struggling with reading comprehension tend to read too quickly or read words instead of ideas. I have students start to develop reading comprehension by taking frequent breaks in reading, have them take brief notes about what they read, and analyze how the new section ties in with the previous section.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that the most successful strategy is to ask the student questions to determine when they first started having difficulty with the material, determine where they have holes, and address the needs that the particular student has.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The excitement comes with success. Even small successes in getting to understand the material can be used to leverage excitement in a student! I tend to chunk material into sections and help the student understand the sections, bring the sections together, and then show them how they all fit together to get the full understanding of the material. Breaking the concepts into chunks allows for them to see their progress as we move through the stages, not just when they can (or cannot) answer a single problem correctly at the end of a session.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask questions. The questions I ask to develop understanding in a student are different from those I use to determine a depth of understanding. To teach, I use easy questions which can be answered from information that I know the student knows well or that can be inferred from the previous set of questions the student answered. To determine the depth of the student's knowledge, I use deeper, more holistic, or extension questions. I listen to the reasoning the student employs to understand the depth of their knowledge on the material.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Students all learn differently, are motivated by different things, have different interests, etc. I have ample experience with determining learning styles and employing instructional design into my lessons.