I have been teaching and tutoring math for 31 years. In that time, I have learned the most common mistakes that students make, and can help you avoid those mistakes. My students don't just learn the steps to do to solve a problem; they learn why they are doing those steps. This way, the student understands the problem, rather than just being able to do it.
I have a BS in Mathematics from The Ohio State University and an MS in Mathematics from the University of Cincinnati.
My favorite subject to tutor is calculus, because I find the concept of limits to be mystical. But I enjoy teaching all levels of math, because that is my passion.
Outside the classroom I like to work a special kind of crossword puzzle called cryptic crosswords, play the accordion alone or in the band Squeeze Play, and play with my two ferrets Ouizl Too and Fred.
The Ohio State University - Bachelors, Mathematics
University of Cincinnati - Masters, Mathematics/Statistics
What is your teaching philosophy?
I don't believe in the words "I can't learn this." If you decide that you can do it, then together we can make it happen. I expect you to think and ask questions, and I will work hard to find a way to help you understand the material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will ask some questions to determine the student's level of understanding, and try to determine the cause of the trouble. Then, we will get to work and get as much accomplished as we can.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will show the student how to analyze the problem, to understand what it is asking, and what to do to solve it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to be encouraging. We might hit some bumps during our sessions, but we won't let them get in our way.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I have developed a variety of ways of explaining difficult material, so we will find the way that works for the student. We will practice (beginning with simpler problems) until the student feels confident about the material.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
This is usually not a problem in Math, but it can get in the way sometimes. We will work on reading the problems carefully and being sure about what is being asked before we proceed.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I get to know what is preventing the student from being successful through questions and watching the student work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Success brings its own excitement. With my students, we celebrate every victory.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In Math, the student can demonstrate his or her understanding by working the problems correctly - at first with some prompting, then independently.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Success builds confidence. I frequently remind the student of what he or she has done correctly, so even an incorrect answer was arrived at by some correct steps. Then, we build more confidence by learning what not to do in the future.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I start by asking some questions about what has been happening in class and on tests. Then, I let the student demonstrate some work to see how it is going.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In my 31 years of teaching and tutoring Math, I have seen a huge variety of students and developed methods to help many different kinds of difficulties.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The student's textbook will be the most useful. Also, the notes the student takes during class. Of course, pencil, paper, and a calculator are very important.