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Michigan State University
GVSU (Graduate Coursework)
My philosophy can be summed up in one word: simplify. As I see it, my job is to take misunderstood concepts and find strategies and methods that will make them understandable. My goal is for you to spend the fewest amount of dollars in the shortest period of time. If I accomplish that, then I feel I've done my job.
I have successfully tutored students from elementary school to college master's programs covering such topics as Fractions, Quadratics, Microbiology, Anatomy, TESOL and Linguistics.
To help illustrate my success, 85% of my algebra class at Colegio Americano de Guatemala passed with a 3.0 or better as measured by normative achievement standards. I also taught basic math/pre-algebra in the Summer Migrant Program at Fennville Public Schools; all students showed a minimum 35% improvement in operational competency. As an ESL teacher, I raised reading/writing scores a minimum of 25% when measured against normative standards. Additionally, I was able to raise basic math competency over 85% in three weeks for the students in the Vámonos tutoring program. Finally, my TESOL students in the master's program at GVSU earned a final grade of 4.0. I provided linguistic tutoring and writing support for their final project. My philosophy can be summed up in one word: simplify. As I see it, my job is to take misunderstood concepts and find strategies and methods that will make them understandable. My goal is for you to spend the fewest amount of dollars in the shortest period of time. If I accomplish
Tom is a reliable and patient tutor. He helped my son tackle algebra when it became complex in 8th grade. He now has a better understanding of how to solve problems and is pulling his grade up. I highly recommend Tom.
In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.
In addition to getting certified with WyzAnt, I've spent over 2.5 years teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 20 different countries looking to enter major colleges and universities in the United States. Because many of these students needed to take the TOEFL/IBT, I taught, as part of the curriculum, TOEFL/IBT test taking strategies. TOEFL/IBT is a normative standardized test very similar to ACT and SAT.
Additional experience includes teaching ACT Prep at Huntington Learning Center in GR. Just before starting my Spanish program at GVSU, I spent a year teaching ACT Prep to high school students in the greater GR area at Huntington.
As a student, I have taken all math classes Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Calculus 1 and 2. I have taught Algebra 1 as a High School teacher at the Colegio Americano de Guatemala (accomplishments listed in my profile). More importantly, I have successfully tutored students in all aspects of mathematical competency.
As a paraprofessional working at National Heritage Academies, I spent a year implementing IEPs and shadowing a 4th/5th grade student.
For over fifteen years, I was owner and president of a computer product and service company that sold business solutions to major fortune 500, mid-size manufacturing and architectural companies throughout the state of Michigan.
In addition to directing business planning, I developed the sales/marketing programs along with strategic planning for the company. I helped with new product development and ran all major public relations campaigns.
I have over eight years of K-9 experience as a certified teacher and I'm currently pursuing my professional teaching certificate at GVSU.
I've taught all content areas of K-9 math including Algebra. I have also worked as a private tutor in Holland, MI. with Vamanos Tutoring.
Please read my professional profile for more information about my experiences and accomplishments.
From 2007-2010, I taught ESL at ELS/GVSU in Allendale, Michigan. I tried to incorporate Communicative Language Teaching strategies that emphasized more performance than competence. My SLA philosophy is more closely aligned with Stephen Krashen in which I feel that the L1 learner can be successful with enough rich and positive input.
I'm not only certified in ACT and SAT preparation, but I have just completed WyzAnt certification in GED test prep. In addition, I'm currently working as an Academic Tutor assisting students at Waalkes Detention Center with High School diploma and GED test preparation.
Academically, I have taken all math classes Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Calculus 1 and 2. I have taught Algebra 1 as a High School teacher at the Colegio Americano de Guatemala (accomplishments listed in my profile). More recently, I have successfully tutored students in Geometry for credit recovery in E2020 at Waalkes Juvenile Academy.
While at Baker College, I took two semesters of Microbiology with a cumulative GPA of 4.0. Subsequently, I was invited to tutor Baker students in Microbiology and did so for approximately 1.5 semesters.
I have extensive experience and success teaching all prealgebra concepts including factors, equality, constants, variables and fractions.
I have a middle school daughter and son both of whom I tutor and advise in math and writing. My daughter is currently doing HS algebra and my son has raised his grades two levels from 6th to 7th grade.
In addition to having 34 college credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.85, I've taught 1st language Spanish students in both the Colegio Americano de Guatemala and the Summer Migrant Program for Fennville Public Schools.
Some additional experiences include: being one of the first volunteers to help organize the Tulipanes Arts/Film Festival in Holland, Michigan, tutoring for two years in Holland's Reciprocal Language Program, and working with a private Spanish tutor for over 5 years maintaining my language proficiency.
In addition to my K-9 classroom experience, I've taught ESL students from over twenty different countries. In all that time, the only strategies that I've found to be effective are understand a few "rules", reading more, and trying to memorize difficult words.
In addition to learning abbreviations, I emphasize the practice of the Cornell Note Taking System.
If this is properly implemented, the student should be able to succeed in any class.
For over two years, I've worked as an ESL instructor teaching writing and language skills to undergraduate and postgraduate foreign exchange students from over twenty different countries.
I've had a lot of success improving their writing and language skills. I base much of my philosophy about SLA (Second Language Acquistion) for L1 and L2 students on Stephen Krashen's model of input/output hypothesis and affective filter.
Writing is hard work, but with some simple strategies a student can improve dramatically in a short period of time.