I have always enjoyed mathematics. I know well that this is not the case for everyone, even for most people. I like helping students overcome the difficulties and frustrations that they encounter. Having been a math teacher myself, I actually have some disagreements with the way that math is typically taught. I think the fact that so many students get turned off of math should be an indication that maybe something needs to change in the way that we teach it.
In addition to math, I like reading, listening to music, and am also a big Cub fan. I even worked for the Cubs from 1988 through 1991, where I was an usher and later a crowd management officer. For a couple of games, I was even stationed on the field as the "loose ball retriever." Today I continue to listen to Cub games, at least some innings of as many as 150 games or so. I'm a big fan of Pat Hughes, their "play-by-play" announcer. I actually prefer to listen to him then watch the games on TV.
For my education, I attended Deerfield High School in the 1980's. I then attended Loyola University Chicago, where I attained a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science, an MS in Computer Science, and a Secondary (high school) teaching certificate. While at Loyola, I did a lot of tutoring for their tutoring center. Mostly as a result of this, some years later I became an adjunct professor there, and also at Northeastern Illinois University.
I did my student teaching at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Following that, I was hired by Loyola, where I taught math and computer programming for five years. While there, I also helped out with the ministry program, driving students to ministry activities and going on an immersion trip with students to Appalachia.
An illness caused me to leave Loyola Academy, but awhile later, it was then that I was hired by Loyola University and Northeastern Illinois. I taught 2 classes per semester. I did this for about 2 years, and taught mostly intermediate and college algebra.
Following my college teaching, another full-time position became available at another high school - Carmel Catholic in Mundelein. As with Loyola Academy, I taught math and computer programming for Carmel. I was really one of the first long-term computer programming teachers there, and taught both Introductory Programming and AP Programming.
At some point, the classroom format began to change. There was a substantial increase in different kinds of technology incorporated into everyday teaching. Our department chairman utilized the concept of the "flipped classroom," where he would prepare Youtube videos of himself demonstrating lessons. Students would go home and watch his videos, then return to school the next day to do homework problems based on the video demonstrations. I wasn't comfortable teaching this way, and I felt that it was time to get out of the way and let the newer teachers, who were more comfortable with this, take over.
I still enjoy helping students who struggle with math. I have been a math tutor, really since my high school days, but especially now since having left my full-time position. After many years, I think that I I am pretty knowledgeable about the kinds of difficulties students often encounter. For example, I am well aware of the struggles that geometry students (and others) typically encounter with mathematical proofs.
I especially like tutoring, because I enjoy the 1-1 relationship with a student. I like helping people and encouraging them, motivating them to believe in themselves and develop their abilities. I enjoy working with them as they overcome their obstacles. Doing this makes me feel that I have something of real value to contribute, and that I am of genuine help to other people.
Loyola University Chicago - Bachelors, Math and Computer Science
Loyola University Chicago - Masters, Computer Science