My name is Catherine Patterson, most people call me Cathy. I' like to let any potential clients know that I am dedicated and committed to helping you with your math "problems". I have loved math since I was a child and it has been one of my favorite things to do. I am a very patient and compassionate teacher and will help you succeed. I believe that everyone can do well in math with the right support. I will show you how to do your math problems and explain why it is the correct answer. I believe that understanding the problem is as important as knowing how to do it. As with anything that we want to master, practice makes perfect. Whether you need help with one session or with an entire course, I will be there for you, leading the way to success.
I promise you will be happy with your progress.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
University of Houston - Bachelors, Mathematics
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy in a nutshell..... I will come where you are and take you where you want to be.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session with a student, we'll talk a little about his/her background in general, and then we'll talk about any challenges they've had with math in the past. I'll answer any questions they have about me and we'd get started.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best way to keep a student motivated is to keep acknowledging and praising progress. Encouragement is essential in motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I break concepts down to the lowest level of understanding, then bring it up slowly until we reach the goal. For example, many students have problems with fractions. I relate fractions to money or slices of cake. This is usually enough to get a basic understanding, and then we use this to move forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I encourage my students to think about what their strategies are for solving problems. I allow them to try it alone before I step in. This is important to me, so that I can see how they are thinking, as well as important to them so that they can gain confidence in the concepts that they already know.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I believe students should read as much as possible. They should also seek to improve their vocabulary. Books, magazines, and newspaper articles are all beneficial to improve reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I start working with a new student, I find that time spent getting to know them and telling them about me is very good time spent. I want them to know how much I care about them as well as how much I care about them learning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I normally give real-world examples of how math is utilized in life. I dig a little to find out what they really like to do, what types of things they get excited about, and I relate it mathematically. This works very well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The old saying "There's more than one way to skin a cat", applies here. Fortunately, with mathematics there's more than one way to solve a problem. If the first way doesn't work, I try another approach. I never give up. I keep many tools in my arsenal, so eventually something will hit the spot.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
In my opinion the best way to build confidence is praise for good work. I explain that we all had to crawl before we started walking. I tell them that we start where we are and we work to where we want to be. The more practice, the better the outcome. I smile a lot. I assure them that they can do it and that I will be able to help.