Mathematics is an essential element in fields such as computer science, engineering, robotics, and many more. It is also a common subject many students have trouble with. Student are intimidated by the subjects that they struggle in; often it is their lack of confidence that gets in the way of progress. Math is, potentially, one of the most straight-forward subjects given the rules and steps are laid out for one to follow. Often people think it is difficult because it can be very tedious and in being so, students get lost. Math can be more enjoyable when students are able to understand fundamentally what they are doing when applying certain rules. Instead of applying things blindly, if there is a true understanding behind it, they are more likely to follow steps correctly and remember it much more easily in the future. By having a strong understanding is how we build a strong foundation; like a growing tree, math keeps building on itself, but if the roots are week the tree will fall. I believe that anyone can be taught given the right method. We all have different styles and paces of learning; it is my goal to accommodate my students with the approach that best suits them.
A little bit about me:
I graduated college with a B.A. degree in Physics and a math minor. Currently, I am working towards a Master's in Education with a concentration in math. After my undergraduate studies, I have been working as both a math tutor and an audio engineer for the last couple of years. My hobbies are mainly music-oriented although I do enjoy the occasional DIY projects. I enjoy outdoor activities and I love my pug, Lady.
The mottoes I live by are:
1. Be more forgiving because often we don't see the other side of the story.
2. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
3. Don't dwell on the "I should have." The past is in the past and we have our future to worry about.
4. Bad things will eventually happen and tough times will eventually come, so just live your life to the fullest.
Hamilton College - Bachelors, Physics
What is your teaching philosophy?
It is not impossible to learn things. Everyone is capable of obtaining the same knowledge; one just has to find the right person to teach it to them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would begin with their assignments and work from there. Since my focus is in mathematics, if I notice that they are struggling I would proceed accordingly by working backwards in order to find the root of what is causing them issues. Since math is a subject that builds upon itself, it is very important that students understand and be confident with their fundamental skills.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One way in which I have helped others in the past is by giving them resources and techniques which I use often to help myself. Another way would be by helping them understand the subject and see it in a different way so that hopefully they can begin to feel confident.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
One of the reasons students are unmotivated is because they have given up when they find things too difficult. By trying my best to make math easy, it will hopefully motivate them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I usually try to break the problem down as much as possible and use as many examples as it takes until they demonstrate to me that they understand.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Gaining their confidence and making a comfortable environment for them is key. Kids that usually have trouble are shy and embarrassed to show that they are struggling. It is important that they do not feel judged.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When working on a problem, I don't give out the answers; I try to "bate" them out of the students. This way, not only do they solidify their knowledge on the subject, but I am able to identify their problem areas faster.