I'm a scientist and engineer by training and experience. I enjoy both learning new things and communicating my knowledge to others. I receive great personal satisfaction from increasing a student's capabilities and understanding.
My educational background is in Physics and Engineering. I completed a Bachelor's of Physics and a Master's of Applied Physics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and am working on a Ph.D. in Microsystems Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
My first job was in tutoring, where I worked at the UL-Lafayette Tutoring Center. I tutored in Math and Physics, working with students in classes from Introductory Algebra through to Calculus and Differential Equations. While at UL-Lafayette, I also tutored with the Society of Physics Students, offering free weekly tutoring sessions to Physics Students.
I've taught multiple Physics lecture and laboratory classes at both UL-Lafayette and Louisiana Tech University. My favorite classes to tutor remain Math and Physics.
My philosophy on tutoring is build a sound foundation of theoretical knowledge for my students, and then to engage them in repeat practice sessions, so that they are able to build experience, confidence and familiarity with types of problems and challenges found in their coursework. Amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they can't get it wrong.
Outside of academia, my hobbies including reading, writing, creative handwork and the great outdoors.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Bachelors, Physics
University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Masters, Applied Physics
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that success and knowledge are built in a piecewise, building block fashion. Skill in problem solving is built on theoretical knowledge and repeated experience that provides a student with the tools required to learn and overcome challenges.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A typical first session would focus on discovering the student's learning styles and their knowledge of the material at hand. Knowing these things, the next step in the first session is to craft a learning and practice strategy that will help the student overcome their weaknesses and maximize their strengths.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Repetitive practice sessions and a strong foundation in the logical roots of the topics are key to learning. By developing these as habits within the student, the student is then prepared to independently master the topics that they've received instruction in and to apply guiding principles to new topics.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I drive my students motivation by providing coaching at roadblocks, providing problems that the student can solve with light to moderate intellectual stretching, and by encouraging the student to repeat exercises that they are new to successfully completing.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are typically multiple methods to learning and gaining mastery of a skill or concept. If one method is proving difficult for a student, then I show the student different approaches. When one approach resonates with the student, I continue instruction along that path.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I typically address struggles with reading comprehension by breaking down the text into pieces small enough for the student to grasp. Once the student understands the smaller pieces, I would then have the student build the smaller, understood pieces into a larger whole.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
One of the more successful thoughts that I have shared with my students is to tell them that they should have no fear or shame of not understanding a topic, that learning means that they should not expect to already be familiar with a topic. I find that stopping mistakes and incorrect logic as soon as possible minimizes student frustrations, and problems of a particular nature should be worked repetitively until the student has developed confidence in their abilities before moving to other topics.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them the aspects of that subject that they already know and can comfortably work in. By building up a student's confidence in areas that they can perform in, excitement and engagement for learning new and previously challenging materials is created.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have students describe their thought processes during problem solving, and I have them write out as much of the work as possible. In this way, I gain insight into how they perceive the material and the problem-solving practices that they employ as they work on the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I have the student engage in repeated successful question and answer sessions and problem solving sessions. I also have them explain aspects of the material to me that I know they are capable in.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I learn which aspects of the material they are weak and strong in, and I learn how they learn. The ultimate student need is for knowledge, ability, and success. Students need learning programs that improve them where they are weak and that allow them maximum use of their strengths.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I judge how the student responds to various auditory, visual, and numerical instructions. I judge the level of explanation and examples that the student needs to comprehend a topic, and I focus on maintaining their morale throughout the process.