Felipe's Academic Tutoring And Test-Prep Services
I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and with a master’s in education from Boston University. As an undergraduate, I worked as a teaching assistant, leading discussion groups and teaching laboratory subsections in science disciplines, as well as providing individualized tutoring to students in mathematics courses. My passion for education has also led me to work as an education director for Mathnasium and as a biotechnology instructor at a high school program at the Boston University School of Medicine. I also bring more than 4 years of dedicated experience working as professional academic tutor and standardized test prep instructor for local and national commercial tutoring companies. I am a nationally certified tutor and academic coach (National Tutoring Association) who strongly believes in the value of individualized learning; I strive to help students and adults gain confidence, maximize their academic and cognitive potential, and achieve dramatic improvements in grades and test scores. Students describe me as caring, supportive, passionate, and enthusiastic. Aside from a well-rounded profile of teaching experiences, my tutoring services include detailed session reports, progress updates every month (for ongoing clients), personalized supplemental materials, free weekly online “office hours”, and midweek check-ins. For clients interested in my test-prep services, I supply professional test-taking strategies, personalized prep plans, practice exams, and targeted review assignments based on regular diagnostic and practice test outcomes.
In addition to the joy of watching students achieve their short-term goals, be it higher grades or test scores, I rejoice in the opportunity to make a permanent, positive impact on their lives. Schooling takes up such a big part of a person’s development, so I find a tremendous sense of purpose in helping students improve their self-esteem and confidence in their academic capabilities, as well as better their stigma towards school. My end-goal is to help prepare the next generation of educated citizens so that they can live purposeful and fulfilling lives after their years of schooling; the experiences and potential that comes with individualized tutoring provides me this opportunity, and I take full advantage of it with every student that I work with.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Before working with a new student, I offer parents a complimentary consultation to listen to their concerns, to discuss goals and expectations, and to review the services that I provide outside of the tutoring sessions. I also like to take this opportunity to communicate directly with the student, put them at ease, and build their trust. I give the student the opportunity to go over some questions on the material that he/she is in need of assistance, and this, in turn, allows me to gauge how they learn. Finally, I provide the student with a few ideas and strategies that they can use immediately so that they can quickly experience success. For students seeking short-term help in preparation for a quiz or test, I supply supplementary materials to enrich their preparation and address underlying gaps that may otherwise go amiss. In these situations, I simply ask for parents/students to supply in advanced a brief list of the topics being covered on the quiz or test. For students seeking assistance on an ongoing basis, I develop a learner profile for parents, provide progress reports, and establish midweek check-ins with the students. On Sunday evenings, I also hold remote “office hours” with my students via Skype. Students can take advantage of this opportunity to have pressing questions answered on demand. Many things develop over the course of a school week, and I like to stay connected with my students and offer my support whenever possible.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
On top of a rigorous academic formation, I possess a range of work experiences and qualifications that diversifies my teaching background. I am a nationally certified academic coach and tutor (National Tutoring Association) with a graduate background in education. I specialize in active, inquiry-based learning, and I subscribe to this Socratic-like method of teaching over the lecture-based format because of the advantages an individualized setting provides for its implementation. This pedagogical approach is different from the temporary solution than most lecture-driven tutoring experiences provide; it helps establish long-term impact on a student's education.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Session rates range from $40-70/hr depending on the academic subject level (with more advanced, specialized courses eliciting higher hourly rates). This hourly rate also covers the personalized preparatory work that goes into every tutoring session: from complementary materials to session reports, midweek check-ins, and progress updates. In summary, it supports my mission to provide the highest quality of customized learning experience to your child.
How did you get started teaching?
My first teaching experience occurred during my junior year of high school. As part of a self-motivated initiative between my high school friends and me, we decided to start an afterschool tutoring program servicing students of inner city Indianapolis, Indiana. Our mission was to help address the low statewide standards-based assessment scores that were prevalent at the time. As part of our plan of intervention, we targeted one of the lowest performing school districts of Indianapolis, providing free weekly English, reading, and math tutoring to 6th-8th graders.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with male and female students of varying age groups, temperaments, learning profiles, and confidence levels. Across varying rigors of classes, from regular to accelerated, honors, and AP/IB, and from the elementary to the graduate-school level, I deliver uniquely tailored tutoring sessions to fit each student’s needs.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Look for a teacher who can place your learning needs in the center of their approach to tutoring. Seek a teacher who can take what you prioritize and can customize and execute an approach for your success. Search for a teacher who can guarantee that they will ask the right questions at the right time, including challenging you to problem-solve, making you think about the big picture, prompting you to map out the necessary steps to success, or asking you how to break down what a complex question is asking of you. Finally, hire a teacher who empowers you to think independently and who promotes reverse teaching.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Before approaching teachers, students should ask themselves self-directed learning questions, such as "What do I want and need to learn from this material?" or "Why is this concept important, and how do I intend to use the knowledge that I gain from it?" Students should also self-reflect on the information they already know and what they need still need to find out. Finally, before speaking to teachers, students should assess their capabilities and limitations as learners, from their academic knowledge to their executive functioning skills, so that they target areas in need of improvement more effectively. If students cannot find a sense of purpose or direction after asking themselves these types of questions, then it would behoove them to consider the assitance of teachers to address their needs.