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Margaret

I hold a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University as well as a minor in math. My unique work experience includes roles in both art and science, blending creativity and the use of technology. I am a former product engineer for a billion-dollar company based in Austin, Texas, and I’m currently exploring my options as a musician in L.A. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to off-set this endeavor by tutoring, allowing me to continue sharing and discussing engineering concepts, particularly math. I myself had a math tutor who helped me learn critical foundations that prepared me to earn a math minor in college and have a successful career in engineering. I'm thrilled to offer this same boost to others. I am committed to not only teaching concepts, but to showing their relevance based on real work experience.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Texas A&M University - Bachelors, Biomedical Engineering

Music, running, engineering

What is your teaching philosophy?

Math is already intimidating enough. Learning it doesn't have to be. I am committed to encouraging a respectful and kind relationship with students that allows them to freely admit what they don't understand without fear, so that real learning can take place.

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

In the first session, I want to get to know the student and allow them to know a little about me, including my background, which has made heavy use of the subject they're learning. I will give the student the opportunity to tell me how they best like to learn and what has been distracting for them in the past. We will then discuss some best practices for all math problems, and then work through some problems together, looking to develop a rhythm that suits them best.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independence is all about having the right tools in your arsenal. My goal in tutoring is to equip students with best practices for approaching each problem. Through practice, these tools can be used by the student at any time, and will allow them to think through problems on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

From my own experience, math was frustrating because I didn't understand why I had to learn it. Now as an engineer and a musician, I can provide plenty of examples from both fields where an understanding of math is not only academic, but necessary.

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

Often when students are having difficulty, they need to experience the material being taught a different way. I am always willing to change tactics, use different words, create physical models, etc., to overcome any barriers to understanding.

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

In math, reading and understanding the problem is the first step to solving it correctly. We will discuss various techniques, like underlining critical information and crossing out information that is distracting.

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

It is critical to understand how each student absorbs information - do they need to see it, touch it, hear it, or maybe a combination? In our first few sessions, I decipher how to best present the information so that we can maximize understanding.

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

Motivating a student has a lot to do with the relationship between student and tutor. I will always strive to develop a relationship built on respect and kindness. This allows me to share more of my own background, which is based on the subject they're learning (math). It also allows students to gain greater enjoyment from learning a tough subject, and often dispels some fear they've had that may have hindered their enjoyment of the subject.

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

I always want to test that students are not merely memorizing and regurgitating information. To test this, I like to slightly change the problem and see if the understanding is still there.

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

As students begin to feel the joy of success, their confidence increases. I need to make sure they have some wins in each session despite learning difficult material. This means breaking problems down into digestible bites that they can conquer successfully. This also teaches them a great tactic for solving problems on their own.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By evaluating a student's past work, I can get a good idea of what they've mastered and what they need help with. I also like to ask the student what areas they are intimidated by and how they best like to learn.

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

As a tutor, you always have to be willing to take a different approach. Step one is learning how the student learns and adapting to that, whether that means using mnemonic devices, creating more visual aides, or simply explaining something a different way.

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

We will leverage the student's book heavily so that they know how to use it as a resource on their own. Depending on the subject matter, we may use flashcards or drawing tools to gain greater understanding.