I am a knowledgeable, passionate, and compassionate tutor. My teaching experience ranges from high school instruction, private tutoring, coaching, preaching, and leading high school youth groups. I have tutored and/or taught in algebra 1, geometry, American literature, world literature, middle school math, middle school science, middle school English/reading, American history, world history, essay composition, SAT prep, SSAT/ISEE prep, SHSAT prep, and GRE prep. I always try to discern what the individual needs and learning styles of my students are and then try to meet them where they are. I believe that there is a great student inside everyone, and it takes the right approach to make that great student manifest.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Davidson College - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: Yale University - Masters, New Testament
SAT Composite: 1480
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 740
basketball, football, softball, fishing, watching movies, reading, composing poetry
7th Grade Math
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Writing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
First, I make sure I am super knowledgeable in the subject area being taught. Then, I try to meet each student where he or she is by discerning his or her unique needs and learning style.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will talk with the students or parents and possibly give an assessment to see where the areas of need are, as well as explain my approach to the student and/or parents.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by not just stressing content, but also by modeling reliable approaches to the material and counseling the student in good study habits.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, I try to focus on the end goal. Sometimes it is difficult to get a younger student to see that end goal, so I will talk about the importance of grades and/or test scores in the big scheme of things.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, it may be because I have not taught that skill or concept according to a learning style with which the student operates. So it would be important to discern the student's learning style. If I still have trouble, I will try talking to some of the skilled educators I know.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help students who are struggling reading comprehension by reading with them slowly and asking them questions as we go along. I gradually get them to try to master larger and larger portions of the text as we go.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found it helpful to start informally; to get to know the student a little bit and show that I care about him or her. I have also found it helpful to talk to the student and/or his or her parents about what they see as the necessary areas of intervention and work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in by both trying to connect it to something she or he is interested in and by calling attention to the goal, and how that goal leads to something that is really valuable to the student, even if the goal itself is not immediately attractive.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To make sure the student understands the material, I get the student to actually demonstrate her or his knowledge. And then later, I come back to the material to make sure the student still knows it.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence in a subject by starting her or him with small challenges, and then building from there. I also believe in lots of positive reinforcement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When a tutor students, I am constantly having them do work in front of me, so I am constantly evaluating their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by determining their salient types of intelligence and learning styles, and then adapting my instruction accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It will really depend on what I'm teaching. I usually use a main text, a small whiteboard, and scrap paper for the student.