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My approach to tutoring is to first determine where weaknesses in understanding exist, then to find ways to strengthen the student in those areas. Learning styles vary among students, so whenever possible, I try to match my tutoring methods to each student's strongest learning style. For example, one student may learn best by rote memorization and repetition drills. Another may thrive with analogies and mnemonics. A third student may need derivations from first principles or real life applications to get past a mental block.
I have BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering, and after graduating from college, I worked in the legal / automotive industry for 13 years. I currently work as a substitute teacher in Washtenaw County, Michigan. As an independent tutor, I have been helping students since 1986, primarily in English, math and science.
The ACT math test covers a broad range of topics from arithmetic, discrete math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The supplied choices usually include erroneous answers that could be generated by simple errors. This can give the test taker false confidence in an incorrect answer if they are not very careful. However, since the test is 60 minutes long and there are 60 questions, pacing is necessary. To maximize student scores, both attention to detail and pace must be balanced.
My strategy in helping students improve their ACT math performance has three phases. First, I use an interview and an untimed full-length practice exam as a diagnostic to determine with which topics the student struggles most. Second, I use selections of questions from various sources (including other practice exams, textbooks and my own devising) in a series of shorter timed "sprints" with a focus on topics of difficulty for that specific student. Third and finally, I return to a timed full-length practice exam to measure progress. If there is need and time allows, the process can be iterated.
I hold both BS (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1992) and MS (Clemson University, 1996) degrees in chemical engineering.
During my undergraduate program, I enhanced my learning with additional chemistry courses (descriptive inorganic chemistry, two extra analytical chemistry courses, chemistry seminar and a whole year of research involving maleic anhydride and the ene reaction as a precursor to a motor oil additive), mechanical engineering courses (metallurgy, corrosion) and took graduate level chemical engineering courses as free electives (advanced thermodynamics and two courses in transport phenomena). The summer before my senior year, I did research at the University of Notre Dame regarding gas-liquid concurrent stream mass transfer. During my senior year as an undergraduate, I did further research involving gas phase diffusion and transport phenomena.
During graduate school at Clemson, my focus included numerical methods of analysis, statistics of confounded models, and research in the material properties and analysis of viscoelastic materials and polymer composites, especially with respect to physical and chemical aging. My thesis research analyzed the creep compliance and aging kinetics of a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic polyimide under high temperature aging conditions and thermal cycling, and was sponsored by an aerospace company considering using that composite as a structural material for future passenger aircraft applications.
Art was always one of my favorite and most successful subjects in school. During engineering school and my early career, I frequently needed to draw for technical communications and design. To further improve my skills, and as a creative outlet, I took drawing classes through our local recreation and education program in 2009 and 2010. Since 2010, I have substitute taught in Washtenaw County area public schools, including classes in art, digital imaging, CAD and other courses that require drawing skills, such as geometry, pottery and most science courses.
My approach to teaching drawing is to begin with teaching the student how to see properly, and then to think about how the elements of design (such as line and texture) could best be used to represent what the student sees. I believe it is usually best to start with many smaller, focused practice projects with self-reflection before investing significant time and effort in a larger project.
I have been playing guitar since 1992, and have some performance experience. These days, I mostly play sacred music, classic rock and Americana, but I occasionally branch out to play folk, blues, classical, rock and jazz.
I am very patient and attentive, and I am willing to work with students of any age and level of experience. Besides just learning, practicing and performing music, other areas where I can help guitar students include selection and purchase of an acoustic or electric guitar and accessories, basic maintenance and set-up, posture and hand positions, rhythm, recording, basic music theory, and things to consider when accompanying vocalists or playing as part of an ensemble.
Tutoring sessions typically begin with a dialog about practice since the last session and end with updating any goals.
I began helping other people learn to read in 1986, when the guidance counselor at my high school asked me to do so. Since then, I have worked with a variety of reading and reading comprehension students. I have helped typical elementary students improve their reading after moving to a new school, special needs students with below grade level reading, and cognitively impaired reading students. More recently, I have worked with my own children at home to improve their reading.
Two key areas where I focus my reading and reading comprehension tutoring are interesting content and reading level. Both need to be considered to maximize each individual student's learning. Interesting content prompts desire within the student to read and understand the material. But if the material is either too advanced or too simple, the student may become either frustrated or bored. And even material at an appropriate reading level (just hard enough to require the student to figure out about 2% of the words from context clues) may be met with resistance if the subject doesn't interest the student.
Great tutor — Clark succeeded in making what was becoming an impossible subject for my son something that could be learned and understood. He took as much time as was needed to explain to Josh the lessons that had given in school and helped him to come to the right answers. Thank you very much. ...
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