My highest goal is the success of my students! I pledge to give my best to accomplish this goal, and I expect my students to give their best in return.
After graduation from high school, my educational path led me to Arkansas Tech University. This small, agricultural land grant college is where I learned to appreciate Biology and all things scientific! I attained my BS degree in Biology and entered the teaching profession immediately. About thirty years later I worked with AIU (American Intercontinental University online) and gained the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in the field of Instructional Technology.
My first teaching experience was in Middle School, presenting 6th grade science to young students fresh from elementary school. I soon learned that not all course content is conveyed in the classroom! I saw the great value of individual tutoring to enable students to reach mastery of the subjects, and I began to practice this tutoring process as a part of my toolkit.
My wife and I set off on a wonderful adventure in the late 1970's and early 1980's when we moved to the African nation of Zambia to be teachers and vocational missionaries. I taught Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math and Agricultural Science to students aged from 16 to 24 years in government boarding school. My eyes were quickly opened to the challenges of teaching in a different culture. Many of my students were from remote villages where they had never seen a television or used a telephone! English was the national language, but we had to embrace the unique British "English" spoken in this former British colony. Our car's hood became the "bonnet" and the horn was a "hooter"! Some students suffered from illnesses that were described as the result of witchcraft! I found that tutoring on an individual level was necessary for my students' success and I used this method during our nightly study group sessions throughout my time in Zambia.
Back in the US I took a side journey away from the classroom to work for sixteen years in the Treasury Department (IRS) as a Revenue Officer. My job involved instructing individuals and small business owners in tax matters, which often included the individualized aspects of tutoring.
Nearly fourteen years ago a tremendous opportunity appeared for me to return to the public-school classroom as a teacher of Biology, Chemistry, Marine Science, Physical Science, and Zoology. My students inspired me to seek the very best for them, so I was involved with individual tutoring before school, after school, and prior to major standardized tests such as ACT and Florida Standards Assessments. I also saw that education had evolved into a world of technological fervor! I made use of the new tech tools for education including computers, cell phones, tablets, interactive whiteboards, game-based learning tools, robots and even social media opportunities for collaborative learning and research.
My current tutoring lineup shows Science (including Life Science and Earth Science), Computer Literacy, Basic Computer Skills, and Technology & Computer Science. I hope to add ACT tutoring as well soon.
I am totally a science and technology person, so my favorite subjects are the sciences-especially Life Science, which interests me due to the vast diversity of life on our planet (and maybe others?). There are so many wonderful resources for studying life and the related issues that I am never bored; there is always more to be discovered in the science of Life!
Over the span of several years of teaching, I have developed a philosophy which has served me and my students well. My approach is based on the realization that both teacher and student must have a common goal in order to reach success! Within the classroom or in a tutoring environment, my foremost objective is to determine where the student is starting from what skills and understanding are present and do we both agree about where we need to begin?
I am convinced that we must constantly monitor our progress; both myself as a tutor and my student as the learner, and this is accomplished by formative assessment. We will engage in quizzes or reviews each session to determine whether the concepts we covered most recently are coming into focus, and then decide how to add more concepts or deepen understanding of the ones we are working on. I love to bring in additional resources in the form of diagrams, illustrations, demonstrations, videos and interactive reviews to add excitement and engagement to our sessions.
Outside of the classroom I find much enjoyment in reading- notably science fiction. I like classic works such as Isaac Asimov's "Robot Dreams" or his "Foundation and Empire" series. However, I also seek the more modern writers' efforts such as Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars Trilogy".
Many home improvement projects await my attention, too, with indoor and outdoor repairs and remodeling currently in my sights!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arkansas Tech University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: American InterContinental University-Online - Masters in Education, Instructional Technology
ACT English: 34
ACT Reading: 36
Gardening, home improvement projects, travel