Kevin B.


Kevin B.

Tutor

Norfolk, VA 23509

Will travel 0 miles

$45 per hour.

4.91 245 ratings

Tutor with a "Tom Sawyer" approach.

Tutoring is all I do. I have taught English as a Second Language online, with students of all ages all over the world. I work with students local in many subjects; I am a very skilled generalist. While I take education and tutoring very seriously, I also believe that learning should be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Learning while having fun doing so is just as effective, if not more so, than more traditional ways. In short, I like to have fun while I teach and I want my students to... [more]


Vocabulary

We discuss words and word meanings as well as appropriate word choice in composition and speech. Among other things, we discuss the most effective use of a dictionary and a thesaurus.


Grammar

We cover usage, punctuation, word order and sentence structure. I have taught grammar and usage to people of all ages and backgrounds, from normal grammar of all ages to English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia.


European History

I loved History in College and took over fifteen hour's credit, as well as nine graduate hours. I was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the History honor society. We cover all aspects of European History, from the ancient Greeks to current issues. We can discuss the Roman Empire; I studied Latin, through the development of the Carloginian and Holy Roman empires, through the Renaissance and the Reformation.


Microsoft PowerPoint

Too often PowerPoint is taught by its functions: "This is a slide." "This is sound." I teach it differently. I lead the student through the creation of a presentation and I gradually blend in the various functions so the user sees things in terms of what he or she wants to do. Understanding of the various functions flows naturally. Beyond that, asking students to design their own presentations on subjects that interest them gives them a sense of ownership that traditional teaching lacks.


Reading

I teach reading through discussion. I first meet with the student to learn what he or she is looking to learn. Once we have established goals, we go to work. Most often, we read passages and talk about them, looking to identify the ideas or themes that the reading passage involves. Within that, we look at word meanings and uses. I look a several reading techniques, including scanning and more in-depth analysis and how to decide which is appropriate and when.


Writing

Writing is more than putting words on paper. It involves word choice word order, punctuation, spelling and the development of a writing style. Paragraph construction involves topic and supporting sentences. One suggestion in paragraph structure is that a paragraph have at least three sentences: a topic sentence, a supporting sentence and a concluding sentence. An essay involves linking two or more paragraphs. These paragraphs are arranged in an order that demonstrates a more complex idea. There is great skill in choosing the paragraphs and developing a cohesive line of reasoning. Each age has its own needs and interests. I address the student's needs as I understand them. We determine that at our first meeting and develop it as we go along.


Geography

In Geography we study the earth's surface and our relationship to our environments. This includes how societies form based on Geographic locations as well as identification of geographic features, such as the names of rivers, mountain ranges, and islands.


English

In English, we discuss composition and usage, as well as the understanding, appreciation, and analysis of works of literature.


ESL/ESOL

I am TEFL Certified. ESL is the art of teaching those people taking English the skills necessary to understand, process and communicate in English. The process encompasses many skills: reading, writing, comprehension and conversation. I have taught ESL in Saudi Arabia, both in a classroom situation and one-on-one. I have also trained students from Liberia, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Algeria, India and Vietnam in one-on-one environments. I have taught students online from over thirty countries. I have the academic credentials and the international experience to help you.


Government & Politics

We discuss Federal, State and Local governments, the structure of government, how it works, and how leaders are chosen. I worked in State government for many years.


Literature

What became literature was first and foremost entertainment. Shakespeare's plays were written for general audiences. Great Expectations was originally serialized in a magazine. The Hobbit was a story that Tolkein wrote for his children. What makes them literature is that they have an importance that goes beyond the time and place they were written for. Literature needs to be fun before it is analyzed. The reader has to enjoy it. I love discussing literature and I have tutored young people in their understanding and enjoyment of literature. This then helps in the classroom.


World History

We cover South American, African, Indian, and Asian history and Geography. We can cover Mesoamerican, South American, African and Asian empires and cultural development. Additionally, I have eighteen graduate hours in International Studies. My combination of academics and experience can be of great help to you.


Proofreading


GED

I am a teacher and a generalist. On any number of occasions, I have taught Math, English, Social Studies, Science, and any number of electives. If you review all of may areas of certification you can get an idea of the breadth of my certifications. This makes me an ideal GED tutor. I can help you in all of the GED concentrations. I can take difficult ideas and help you understand them. We can also review test-taking techniques that can help your score improve.


SAT Reading

I teach reading through vocabulary and comprehension. We discuss how to analyze passages to understand what they mean; we also review test-taking skills. I love reading and I enjoy helping others learn to read.


SAT Writing

We discuss sentence structure and composition, paragraph structure and composition, and essay composition. We cover vocabulary and usage. We cover test-taking skills.


TOEFL

I am TEFL Certified, and I have over thirty years' worth of teaching. I have taught English Grammar and composition here in the US and EFL abroad, locally and online. The depth and breadth of my experience is considerable, and I love teaching.


ASVAB

I approach the ASVAB two ways: first in content and then in test-taking skills. Each student needs a different approach and the first thing I do is sit down with the test-taker and work out with him what he needs. Discussion moves on to instruction. There are two ways of approaching that as well. Some people need and want a direct instruction approach and others prefer to be guided. Most often it includes both. There are certain techniques that help you get a higher score that just come from knowing how to take tests. I have coached other students in these techniques and they have done well.


PSAT

There are many ways to approach the PSAT. My approach is twofold: We discuss the various parts of the PSAT, then we drill. There are two skill sets involved in taking the PSAT: Knowledge and test-taking skills. I teach both.


ACT Reading

To me, helping someone with ACT reading involves assessing students? reading strengths and weaknesses, Putting together strategies that address strengths and weaknesses, giving the student the opportunity to build on the work we do, and helping the student with those opportunities. I can help students increase their scores with this approach.


ACT English

I have been an English teacher for over thirty years. I tutor students under the ACT format.


Elementary Math

I had trouble with math when I was in elementary school, so I can understand the struggles many children have with elementary school math. I have become a math teacher, and I have helped many students improve their math scores. I teach by gently coaching a student along. We work on problems together and the student then practices by himself while I am there to answer questions. I try and make the class enjoyable for students, and it works!


Elementary Science

My tutoring in Elementary Science varies according to the needs of the student. Scientific study in first grade, for example, is very different from the same subject in sixth grade. As with my other subjects, I like to sit down with the parent and the student to learn what they would like to accomplish through tutoring. We then work together to develop a tutoring plan, one that is flexible for the student. I have taught most types of elementary science: earth science, physical science, life science, and ecological science among others. What is most important is that first meeting and what we develop thereafter.


Elementary (K-6th)

I like to think that I am smarter than a fifth grader. I love working with young people and I have considerable experience doing so. I have taught and tutored basic arithmetic, reading, science, english, phonics and social studies. I would be a very bad choice to teach penmanship. I have found that the best way to teach elementary students in a tutoring environment is to encourage and to draw out. Much depends on the subject. In some cases we can just talk about things and in others more direct instruction is necessary. I know that every child is different and every child deserves a unique approach.


Phonics

"Sound it out, sound it out." That is, in essence, the way I teach phonics. We learn phonics in a very practical way. By looking at short reading passages, adjusted for age, we can show how phonics can help the reader become a very good reader. I like classical phonics, using the phonetic alphabet, but that is just not practical for the average phonics student. Instead, we look at practical pronunciations. I use the Alphabetic method, which includes a discussion of vowel sounds, schwa, diphthongs and digraphs and blend it in with the Whole Language approach. I believe there is no one way to teach phonics and that the approach should be decided through the initial meeting with the parent and the student.


Study Skills

One of the most disappointing things a student can hear is, "You are smart, but you aren't applying yourself. You don't study enough." There is any number of reasons why someone has difficulty studying, and the one I cover here is how to study. I approach this skill from the point of view of a person who had poor study skills and had to learn good ones. I moved on to become a strong and successful student, graduating at the top of my class in high school, college and graduate school. I understand the difficulty students have in developing good study skills and I can help them. Studying is a skill as much as it is a practice. Not every study technique is appropriate for every student, but there is a wide range of skills that can be applied: Memory Training: There are way to teach the brain to trigger memory. These are called "mnemonic devices", and they are simply association triggers. For example, you can show someone the shards of a broken plate and call it "irregular fractions". Note taking: everyone takes notes differently. They are just techniques to help the student remember and to recall as necessary, either to recollect at home or to bring forth at test time. Scanning: This is a reading technique whereby the reader picks up on key words and phrases to help him understand the whole passage. It saves time and reinforces learning. It is also an advanced technique and is not for everyone. In-depth reading: This involves reading carefully, possibly highlighting and making careful notes. The is a very valuable skill, but again it is not for everyone. Time Management: This teaches a student to allocate his time carefully and appropriately. Organization: This ties into time management and carries it a bit further. Organization helps the student keep track of what he needs and when. There are other techniques and skills. I address what seems to work best for the student, and we determine that through discussion and observation.


Theater

I graduated at the top of my class in Speech Communication and Theatre Arts. I have acted, directed worked as a crew member, and been part of a band. The first thing I like to do is meet with a student. We discuss why the student would like tutoring and what he or she would like to accomplish. We then put a lesson plan together. I think working together is very important, because the student needs to own what he is working on; it needs to belong to him or her. There are many different aspects of theatre to discuss: traditional proscenium stages to theatre in the round or projected stage. We can discuss different styles of acting, from method acting to the classic style. We can look at different performance types: opera, operetta, drama, comedy or improv. Again, we look toward what the student wants to accomplish and proceed from there.


Speech

I am an experienced speech teacher; my undergraduate degree is in Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, and I have taught many the fundamentals of good speech: American pronunciation, word choice, sentence structure and diction. I was captain of the speech team in college and won many awards in speech and debate. I qualified for and competed in seven national speech tournaments.


Criminal Justice

The criminal justice system is the means by which violators are arrested, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated. Our system presumes that a person charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. It also guarantees both the accused and the complainant certain rights. I have been involved in the court system for many years, providing support to District Attorneys, Public Defenders, Clerks of Court, Magistrates and their respective staffs.


Social Studies

I have worked in state government for many years. I have taught social studies at both the grade school and high school levels.


Classics

The classics can be much more enjoyable. These are timeless stories of honor, glory and human foibles. The Iliad is a story of jealousy, anger and betrayal. The Odyssey is one of the greatest adventure stories ever written. It features terrible monsters and stories of loyalty and conquest. The Aenied is a tale of loss and destiny as well as a tragic love story. As a Latin student in high school, I translated parts of the Aenied. I teach the classics with an appreciation for the stories and with a look to modern times. For example, the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series is steeped in classical literature. The "Harry Potter" books make many classical references. I teach the classics not so much to appreciate them as to enjoy them. I invite students to join me.


IELTS

I have been a teacher of English as a Foreign Language since 2010, when I went to teach in Saudi Arabia. Since then, I have taught students from over thirty different countries. I have been a teacher and trainer for over thirty years. I am TEFL certified and I hold a Master's Degree.