I love math and it is everywhere. I have an undergraduate degree in Accounting with a minor in Mathematics from Pittsburg State University. I decided that teaching was for me so I went on and received a Masters in Arts of Teaching from Pittsburg State Univerty. In May 2014, I achieved my goal of getting a Masters in Mathematics from Emporia State University. I have taught high school math for 6 years and college level math for one year. I enjoy helping students achieve their goals. I have helped many students in math with their tutoring needs. I am a true Geometry fan at heart but I also enjoy Algebra.
Pittsburg State University - BA, Accounting minor in math
Emporia State University - MS, Math
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that education is an individual unique experience for all students. It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in their mathematics education by providing an environment that supports risk-taking, encourages individuals to think more rigorously, and invites a sharing of ideas. There are three elements that I believe are conducive to establishing such an environment: (1) the teacher acting as a guide, (2) allowing the individual's natural curiosity to direct his/her learning, and (3) making mathematics interesting.? Teacher as a guide. I feel that my main role as an educator is to guide the student's thinking process. By me providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information, the students' search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. ?Equally important is providing the opportunity to study things that are meaningful and relevant to one's life and interests. Developing a curriculum around student interests fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. In order to help make learning more relevant to a student, I believe that students should be an active part of the dialogue about the lessons and units of study. Given the opportunity for input, students generate ideas and set goals that make for much richer activities than I could have created or imagined myself. When students have ownership in the curriculum, they are motivated to work hard and master the skills necessary to reach their goals. ? Natural curiosity in the classroom. By allowing the students to help guide classroom discussion, you are providing an opportunity for deeper thought. A conversation in the classroom can help to spark an idea that a student can take further. By developing an interest on their own, students take control of their education, and that makes it more important to them. Allowing this natural curiosity to happen helps the students to increase the rigor of a lesson all on their own, with just the educator as a guide. Making math more interesting. I feel that mathematics is an important subject that everyone needs to have an understanding of. One way to help people better understand mathematics and its importance is making math more interesting. I feel that math needs to relate to the lives of the students. We are in a world now where students want to know how to use what they are learning. Learning goes beyond just a process. By connecting math to the real world, students will find it more interesting, and it will promote higher level learning.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would take time to get to know the student. Math is a lot easier when you are able to relate it to what a person likes. I would then work with the student to see what their level of comfort is with the subject and how I can best approach it to help them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by giving them the confidence they need to succeed.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If difficulty arises in the subject, I find that it is best to relate to the interests of the student to help them. Sometimes, we might have to also take a few steps back to ensure that the building blocks leading up to the skill are mastered.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find it is most successful to work practice problems with the student, and then allow them to work another problem. As they are working, I can see where the confusion happens and lend a helping hand.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think the excitement comes naturally once the student better understands the subject matter. When the concept or skill that is being taught makes sense to the student, they will enjoy math more.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would go over problems with the student that relate to the homework. I do not want to do their homework for them, but want to be there to help them understand. By doing other similar problems, the student will get in practice and be able to better master the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
You build confidence by helping them achieve the correct answer. You have to support the student on their learning journey.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would have a student work a problem on their own and see where the trouble begins. Sometimes, it might be an earlier topic that was not mastered that is causing the issue.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Materials that would be used during our tutoring session would be practice problems, homework problems, and a calculator if needed.