TUTORING PHILOSOPHY Having taught over 1000 high school students while teaching math at St. Michael's Catholic Academy, I have found that each student, regardless of age (middle school, high school or even post-secondary) is a unique person who has their own learning style. The key to successful learning via tutoring is to identify that style and use it motivate the student to gain knowledge. There are two major components to my teaching style: whenever possible: 1. provide more than on... [more]
I was an engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for 25 years prior to becoming a teacher at St. Michael's Catholic Academy. While there, I taught Algebra 2 for nine years. With this experience, I brought a problem-solving methodology to the classroom. In other words, my teaching practice included providing whenever possible, more than one way to solve a problem. I have been tutoring Algebra 1 students since 2010. Part of my teaching style includes visual demonstrations in my lessons whenever possible, using my hands and drawings on paper. I also include what I call, ?extending the lesson?. This means that I add to their lessons topics that would be covered in future math courses. For example, while talking about straight lines and parabolas, I will introduce other figures which includes formulas with higher orders of magnitudes of ?x?. These ideas are to address the different learning styles of my students. As with all of my math students, I tell them I am giving them an empty took kit and that I will be giving them tools with which to solve problems. Some they will use and some they won't - in this course. Keep this kit as it will help them in your next couple of math courses. Secondly, I always ask what steps are being taught by their teacher. I do not want to show them something that they are not allowed to use. For example, many teachers in grade school do not allow cross division in simplifying two fractions being multiplied; they must multiply numerators and denominators first. And lastly, when they do something good, I'll tell them and even ask them to pat themselves on their back.
I was an engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for 25 years prior to becoming a teacher at St. Michael's Catholic Academy. While there, I taught Algebra 2 for nine years. With this experience, I brought a problem-solving methodology to the classroom. In other words, my teaching practice included providing whenever possible, more than one way to solve a problem. I also included visual demonstrations whenever possible, using my hands, drawings on the blackboard, and my one and only 'Parabola Dance'. This was where I moved up and down, and left and right, while announcing changes in the general equation of the parabola. These ideas were to address the different learning styles of my students. Needless to say, I have several success stories in the more than 1000 students that I taught over that period.
I devised and taught for five years a summer school pre-algebra program for incoming freshmen students to St. Michael's Catholic Academy (SMCA). All students applying to SMCA must take a placement exam to determine if they are ready to take Algebra 1 that fall. If they performed below standards, then they were required to take the four-week course. It was an homework intensive course covering all of the topics in a typical pre-algebra course. Grades were kept but the course was Pass-Fail.
I got my start in writing as an Awards Clerk while stationed in Vietnam. In preparation for the position, I perused the files to learn how to properly write the recommendations for the medals. During my tour there, I wrote over 100 recommendations for Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with and without the ?V? device (Valor), Bronze Star with and without the ?V? device (Valor), Army Commendation Medal, and Purple Heart. After graduating with my BSEE from the University of Texas, I wrote over 80 papers covering various topics in the semiconductor manufacturing industry that were published in conference proceedings, technical journals, and trade magazines. I also wrote five books, and edited two books. I also self-published seven books that were shipped to over 20 countries. I wrote over 30 papers while seeking my M.A. at Texas State University (2008) with a major in Remedial and Adult Education. And finally, since 2010, I have published over 160 articles on veterans affairs for the online magazine, Examiner.
The ASVAB exam is quite challenging because it covers nine different topics. The minimum score to join one of five services of our military ranges from 31 to 40. My last student needed a minimum of 50 to get a particular field in the Air Force. After working with her, she took her exam and made a 64. What I have to offer is a series of six steps that will help the student succeed in doing well on this exam. These steps are not included in any study guide you can buy to help you prepare to take your ASVAB exam.
I begin by laying the ground rules, which are simple: if I am going too fast, just let me know and I'll slow down or repeat anything that is necessary. If I am going too slow or covering something they already know, just let me know and we'll move on. The goal here is to establish two-way conversation. As with all of my math students, I tell them I am giving them an empty took kit and that I will be giving them tools with which to solve problems. Some they will use and some they won't - in this course. Keep this kit as it will help them in your next couple of math courses. Secondly, I always ask what steps are being taught by their teacher. I do not want to show them something that they are not allowed to use. For example, many teachers in grade school do not allow cross division in simplifying two fractions being multiplied; they must multiply numerators and denominators first. And lastly, when they do something good, I'll tell them and even ask them to pat themselves on their back. I have never had a difficult time working with youngsters and we always have fun doing math. No, really!
Ear Training is a basic skill of music that allows students to recognize and identify individual notes, timbre, rhythms, scales, chords, pitches, and intervals. Such a skill will help students to become a better musician as they learn to sing or play an instrument. My own experience with ear training began when I was in high school learning chords and playing music on the organ. This led me to the point where, after I heard my own music in my head, I was able to write original songs down on music paper. While in college, I transcribed and arranged my songs for my own ?combo?; we played them all over central Texas. I have now taken several formal college ear training courses. Coupled with my own experience, I can show young students how they can also play the music they hear in their head on their instrument. Then they can learn, as I have, what a truly wonderful and satisfying accomplishment it is!
It seems like I have been around music all of my life. When I was growing up, my parents had a great selection of 78-rpm records consisting of mostly classical and easy listening. I started to listen to Handel?s Messiah every Christmas and Easter ? and still do to this day. After I got my cornet in the 4th Grade, I played Christmas carols on my front porch in San Marcos. Then, I was in the band from junior high through college and still play with the University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band here in Austin. I also currently play with the Austin Community College Swing Ensemble. I dreamed my first song while I was a senior in high school (of course, it was about my girlfriend) and have been writing music every since. I am now taking music classes at ACC and have a goal of getting my next college degree in music. I would love to have the opportunity to show how music can positively affect the lives of young students.
The best way to begin teaching study skills by first determining how a student learns. Although there are several methods that will accomplish this step, the easiest is to find the student?s Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?. From that starting point, a variety of techniques can be crafted to assist the student in learning study skills, improving their acquisition of knowledge, which ultimately leads to better grades. I acquired the knowledge and skills to tutor students in study skills while working on my M.A. with a major in Developmental and Adult Education. I practiced the study skills that I was learning: I graduated with a 4.0 GPA when I received my Masters degree.
I have played trumpet since I was a kid. I played in the Bobcat Band (Southwest Texas State College) in the mid-60s; we played at LBJ's Inauguration Parade after he became president. I then played in the Longhorn Band at the University of Texas for five years. For the last 15 years or so, I have played with the Longhorn Alumni Band. For the last five years, I have played Taps through Bugles Across America at military funerals and special events. And for the last two semesters, I have been playing with the "swing" band (called stage ensemble) at Austin Community College. Lastly, I took two semesters of music theory at ACC.
I got my first Macintosh in 1986 and have owned one ever since. While working at Applied Materials, I prepared Power Point presentations (most people are not aware that Power Point was originally written for the Mac). In 1987, I established communication with AMAT (located in San Jose, CA) and submitted my weekly reports as well as received email via my Mac while on location in Houston, TX. This was the first time in the company's history that this type of communication was established with anything other than a pc. While in Houston, I wrote the first draft of my second book and later published it using Adobe Framemaker. And, in 1992, while working for Ion Implant Services, I used Lotus 1-2-3 for the Mac so that I could develop data and statistics that could be used by the company's pc network. I have always used a Mac - and just ordered a new one.
I received my BSEE from the University of Texas in 1976 and became a practicing process engineer for the next 25 years. My first job was a design engineer for Accelerator's Inc's new ion implanter, a tool used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices. I then worked for Motorola, Applied Materials, Varian Inc., and several other companies. During most of this time, I was considered an expert in my field and was often called to travel to a customer's site to trouble-shoot machine and process problems.. In the meantime, I wrote three books and self-published five books on the ion implant process, the ion implanter, rapid thermal processing, and metrology. I taught electronics courses that led to an associate's degree in electronics at a business college. In addition, I taught my own one-and two-day adult short courses (three of them) throughout the US as well as Taiwan, Germany, and Sweden.