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I am passionate about helping students because I know what it is like to struggle with academics, as well as what it takes to be very successful. Many of the frustrations that people have in the classroom come from not engaging mentally, which means that they're not interacting and ultimately end up shutting down and not learning the material. I am patient and understanding of the needs of students. A typical tutoring session involves reviewing key concepts from the section of reading, doing practice problems from the reading material and working on assignments. In particular I do my absolute best to engage the student by asking appropriate questions in order that the student is able to answer the questions themselves. I also feel that it's important that the student feels like they're in the driver seat since we're working toward their academic goals. I graduated with honors from Washtenaw Community College with an Associate's Degree in General Studies of Math and Natural Sciences. I tutor elementary math through pre-calculus. My favorite subject to tutor is Geometry because the solutions to the problems work like puzzles and are satisfying to solve. My teaching philosophy is to engage the students, get to know the students, encourage their growth and pursuit of goals, and foster a deep sense of motivation to complete their goals. I enjoy playing and listening to music, riding my bike, playing video games and board games, racquetball, and weight lifting. I also play a handful of musical instruments. In 2008 I marched with a drum corps called Phantom Regiment out of Rockford, IL and went on to win a DCI(Drum Corps International) national title with this group.

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Troy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Washtenaw Community College - Associates, General Studies Math and Natural Sciences


guitar, music, gym/exercise, racquettball, bicycling, drawing, reading, puzzles, legos, movies

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in leading the student to answer the questions. This lets me see whether the student is paying attention, and/or motivated. An engaged student will be able to answer the questions that I ask about the problem if they're paying attention. I don't expect the student to be able solve the whole problem off of the top of their head. They should be able to answer questions, piece-wise, about the problem. I reinforce problem solving techniques and step-wise methods to get solutions. I also like to lay out the all of the tools beforehand from that section of the book that the student is doing problems from. In short, I outline the tools and methods, and then question the student to get them to answer the question. This ensures that they are thinking and engaged.

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

In a first session with a student, I like to establish rapport between the student and myself. I also like to see how fresh their arithmetic skills are.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners by positively reinforcing any work that they do on their own time. I like to point out what is possible when students do take learning into their own hands, such as careers, or on a smaller scale, neat projects they can take on with the skills they're learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encouragement and positive reinforcement. Always talk about how work and intention combined can result in wonderful things.

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

I would ask them what they need to learn this skill or concept.

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

I would tell them to read more, especially for fun. Reading for fun is the easiest way to improve overall reading comprehension. As far as taking care of reading comprehension on the spot, I am very patient about walking a student through the problem.

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

My strategies that have resulted in the student being successful, is that the student wanted to be successful to begin with. I strongly believe in being patient, encouraging, listening, and effectively communicating with each other.

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

I ask them what they want to do in life, and then I draw a mental map for them where they are and what they're studying, to where they want to be later in life.

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

I would ask them to read the section beforehand, to take notes on equations and diagrams. I would ask them to figure out what they think is important from the material. I would also ask them to try to come with questions about the material they previewed before the tutoring section. Finally, the most important technique is to foster a strong desire in the student to want to learn and know the information they're learning.

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

Encouragement and positive reinforcement. This also means avoiding negative reinforcement.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking them what they need. Beyond that, any deficient skills will be apparent if there are any.

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

I adapt to their needs by just doing what they need.

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

Books, calculators (TI-83,84,89), Wolfram-Alpha, notebooks, tables (information, unit circles and other diagrams).

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