A photo of David, a tutor from Milligan College

David

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Thanks for dedicating time and effort for considering me as a tutor. This is a reflection of your personal efforts to enhance your personal learning journey. I am familiar with struggling early on in life with learning: I had a severe stuttering and comprehension problem in kindergarten and 1st grade. My mother then decided to take me out of public education briefly for 3 years to teach me how to read and write. Because of her intensive work with me, my love for learning soared and I eventually became the top English and Social Sciences student of my high school graduating class. I would eventually become a 4.0 student in college and graduate with honors. I am a living testament of how a deep love for learning combined with perseverance and willingness to ask for help can accumulate into academic success.

Out of my own personal story of struggle and eventual success I have come to Varsity Tutors in the effort to help students realize their own capacity for learning. With my two Bachelor of Arts degrees and eclectic learning style, I know from personal experience tutoring others in middle school, high school and college that I can offer myself as a versatile and strong resource for your personal academic needs. My vast public speaking experience, writing skills, reading comprehension techniques, and memorization methods all will help you learn how to enhance your own personal learning style.

When I am not working I enjoy running, playing basketball and disc golf, hanging out with friends, and meeting up with friends at comedy clubs. I enjoy watching NBA games, going to the movies, and reading.

I look forward to hearing from you and joining you on your learning journey!

David’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Milligan College - Bachelors, Humanities, Biblical Studies

Hobbies

Running, disc golf, hanging out with friends, basketball pick up games, football, badminton, reading, writing, going to the movies, kayaking, bowling, and going to comedy clubs.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

History

American Literature

AP US History

Basic Computer Literacy

British Literature

College English

College Level American History

College Level American Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Expository Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School World History

High School Writing

Medieval Literature

Middle School Writing

Philosophical Ethics

PSAT Critical Reading

Psychology

Public Speaking

Social Sciences

Social studies

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

World History

World Religions

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is an eclectic approach to both content and the person. My primary assumption is that the student is their own best teacher, and I am simply aiding in their process of learning. This approach allows me to help students who are primarily auditory learners, visual learners, tactile, or a combination of learning styles. I utilize a variety of mindfulness techniques that enhance the quality of a student's ability to remember, comprehend, and critically question content.

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

I typically get a feel for how the student primarily learns. I usually ask some questions regarding their study habits and how they listen and respond to teachers in class, and based off that information I create an outline and step by step plan of how to begin tutoring them on specific content.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

One of the first ways I learned to become an independent learner is by beginning small practices that helped me learn content, like an athlete learns a sport. Much like how a runner or soccer player practices certain drills that enhances certain skills required to play well, I can help a student by giving them at first a list of methods on how to study and read. Some of the techniques I learned throughout high school and college was budgeting time. If I had to read a book by a certain date and write a thesis paper on it, I would set aside blocks of hours at a time to read, and then summarize my reading as I went, tabulating the chapters as I went with key elements. This is one of many techniques I can offer students that better help them comprehend, organize, and then write about content.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

When a student feels discouraged, it can often feel overwhelming, depending on the intensity and amount of work. What has worked for me to remain motivated personally, and has worked in the past helping others, is to practice taking breaks from the work to go do something fun for themselves. Another way to stay motivated is to have the student reward themselves with treats or food. In fact, it is common that students become dehydrated and feel a lack of energy due to nutrition needs rather than competency with material.

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

I break it down into simple parts. For instance, if a student is having a difficult time learning how to use non-verbal cues for their speech, I practice walking through body language and gestures without speaking. Then, we would practice speaking while moving; not necessarily speaking coherently or specifically, but working on movement while speaking. Then, we would use props to simulate the environment so they could get an idea mentally of what it feels like. Then, we work on speech format and structure. Then, we bring it all together.

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

I would have the student take a break to begin; go take a walk or watch something funny on YouTube. Then, we would reconvene and break up the reading into sections and parts. We would avoid reading the most difficult material first and stick with what they understand. Then, we work our way incrementally into the material word by word and paragraph by paragraph until we can get an idea of the general point.

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

I have found that beginning with an exercise of something fun -- perhaps stretching and listening to a funny comedian for 5 minutes, or eating a snack -- is beneficial. This helps to relax the person into wanting to learn. Then, we get an idea of their learning style, what habits they already have in place and which ones they want to strengthen and what ones they want to begin developing. Then, we work on outlining objectives of what we want to accomplish together.

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

If the subject is history or anything related to social sciences, watching a short film or a rendition of the event via movie, show or drama allows the student to get a more realistic idea of the emotion and psychology behind the material rather than it being just a memorization practice. If it is something literature-based, having them research the person who wrote the work, read a little bio and then relating the work to the present day helps get a novel or short story into a more realistic experience rather than just abstract assignment.

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

I would ask questions using material, and insert false statements or false information to test their memory and comprehension. I would have them ask me questions and tell me if my answer was right or wrong. I would have the student summarize to me what they read, detailing it like a reporter or a detective.

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

I start with what they already know, and celebrate and congratulate them on their established knowledge. Then, I would have them remember after the lesson and session what they didn't know and what misconceptions they had by asking them to relate simple facts about the content.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask questions, listen for thinking errors and ask more questions. I listen mostly for HOW they are thinking and what assumptions they bring to the material. I also listen to how they learn and what primarily they focus on.

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

I change my methods by their learning style. For instance, if a student is mainly an auditory learner, I help them mainly through lecture, interactivity, and role-play methods (detective, reporter, teacher/student, actor/actress).

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

I bring a notebook, pen and pencils, and my phone. If we are meeting in the house, I use props and spaces to help convey material. If we are meeting at a library, I use whiteboards. If we are using online portals, I use YouTube mainly to help find artistic renditions of literature and history.