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Owain J.
An experienced teacher of IBDP History (HL Americas) and Global Politics. Whether it's exam technique, key course material or internally-assessed work, I would be happy to help you work towards your goal of improving your IBDP grades!
Educations
Graduate Diploma in Education Studies, Newcastle University
Bachelor Degree in History, Hull University

Bio

I enjoy engaging with the world, both the past and the present. Beyond this, I enjoy practicing martial arts and walking my dog.

Teaching Experience

I have been teaching IBDP History for seven years and IBDP Global Politics for three years. This has involved delivering the course and assisting the students in completing their IA’s and HL extensions (for Global Politics). Besides, I have supervised students in the EE in both subjects. I have completed Category 2 training in both History and Global Politics.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in making the implicit, explicit, for students. It is important to engage critically with the course to develop the skills that allow students to succeed in the IBDP and beyond. I try to approach classes like a diet, providing students with a variety of activities and materials. However, the key to this variety is that it must be intellectually rigorous.

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

It would be essential to establish what a student had learned so far in their IBDP course by looking at the syllabus together.
Following this, I would discuss how they feel I could help them and how they like to learn in lessons. I would be interested in hearing a little about their lives too.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

For this, it is important to teach students academic reading and how to take notes. Thus students must know how to read, not to read aimlessly. Techniques like SQ3R are essential for this. Note-taking is also important for this, and it is important to give students examples of making notes, like the Cornell Method or mind-maps.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

For this, it would be important to review the goals of the student regularly. Thus, if they want to attend a specific university, the session will play a small part in helping them achieve this.

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

I try to present the information in a different format. So if they struggle with reading, I am happy to explain it, present it in diagrammatic form, or watch a video clip to help them understand it.

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

It is important to break the reading down into manageable chunks with students. I then ask students to pick out keywords or ideas from the text to establish if they understand it. Regarding recording this, students can summarize their learning in bullet points or another format if they prefer.

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

As previously said, it is important to establish how a student likes to learn. Taking this, I like to deliver classes in a format that they enjoy and can easily demonstrate their learning.

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

Knowing what a student likes and their goals can help with this. It can help me to find a link to the subject, no matter how tenuous, which can often help struggling students with their motivation.

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

There are several techniques for this:
Quizzes, e.g., Kahoot
Writing definitions
Writing key questions
Writing a conclusion to an exam question.
Mind-mapping how to answer an exam question

Ultimately, the main way to demonstrate this is by answering exam questions.

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

I do this by assessing their work and their ideas according to some of the key knowledge and skills required in the course. So even if they only briefly demonstrate this knowledge or skills, it is a start. My favorite quote is “nobody is a black belt after the first class,” and these skills and knowledge require work.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

This is done through discussion with the students and reviewing any work they do with exams or IA’s.

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

This will be done based on discussion with the students and having observed their performance in class. Should they require more time to practice English fluency, I will give them that. Should they ask for more time to practice writing, they will get that too.

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

A combination of any of the following:

Textbook
Articles
Video
Journals
Books
Speeches

And many more!

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
Global Politics HL
DP
Global Politics SL
DP
History HL
DP
History SL
DP
Nobody gets a black belt after the first class!

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