I was a Latin teacher for over twenty years teaching all levels of Latin including Advanced Placement and collegiate Latin at multiple schools and universities. I am now living my dream of being an attorney, and the content knowledge and study habits I developed in high school and college helped me on my journey, and I'd love to help you on yours and keep my Latin skills sharp.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mississippi - Bachelors, Classics and Political Science
Graduate Degree: University of Mississippi - PHD, Classics
Trapshooting, cowboy action shooting, hunting, sweepstaking
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy centers on taking seemingly difficult subjects and breaking concepts down into simpler components and showing students how they work together to create complete concepts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I would want to know the student's academic history in the subject and related subjects. For instance, questions like "What Latin textbook are you using? How long have you been taking Latin? What is it about Latin that is most challenging for you? What about Latin is the easiest for you?" I would also want to reassure the student of my abilities as a teacher and tutor - that they are going to get quality help from me.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As the tutor, I feel that is my job, not to do the student's work for them, but to help them with difficult issues and push them toward independence with the subject matter.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students can stay motivated with praise and understanding from the tutor. Validation of the student's problems and constructive movement toward a solution, along with a positive attitude, help keep students on track.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would figure out why the student is having difficulty and figure out how to overcome it, usually by talking through it and using the student's preexisting demonstrated knowledge.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In Latin, the student must learn to look at the complete sentence first, picking out key items such as subject, verb, etc. Then, read through the sentence again for understanding. Then, read a third time for comprehension. Eventually, the process becomes intuitive, but this is a helpful process at first.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found a positive attitude, a gentle disposition, and a thorough, methodical approach to the student's needs to be most successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Over the years, I have acquired a lot of stories and anecdotes to help excite students. I also have a vast array of seemingly useless trivia that invariably can be useful at the right time to excite or engage a student. For instance, regarding Roman mythology, how many people know that Hercules is the middle name of Elton John?
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would want to make sure that the student can accomplish the concepts without my help, so I would have the student tackle some sentences demonstrating the concept and expect them to successfully translate.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Making sure that the student has a full appreciation of what they've already learned helps to build their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to start with some simple sentences and have the student translate for me. I can usually ascertain quickly what the problem is, which is almost always lack of vocabulary knowledge.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I can tailor my tutoring to the specific needs of the student. Some students are more capable than others and need to be challenged. Some are really struggling and need thorough, remedial teaching in the subject matter.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use books and outlines, but mostly blank paper and a pen so the student can watch me demonstrate the concepts piece by piece.