I've been teaching high school mathematics for 26 years and I still love it. I always said if I stopped liking my students, I'd find a different profession. I'm still teaching... I enjoy working with students one-on-one and look forward to begin tutoring with Varsity Tutors.
University of Arkansas - Bachelors, Secondary Math Education
University of Kansas - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone can learn. Practice makes perfect, so you want to be sure you're practicing correctly!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would let the student tell me what they felt his or her needs were. I can re-teach, review or simply help with homework. After working some problems together, I would be able to adjust the session to one where the student can maximize their learning during our time together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can give the student some strategies to use to attack certain types of problems. We can look at commonalities and differences in problems and devise problem-solving strategies.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would focus on the growth I'm seeing and what the student is doing right. I understand that "math" does not come easily to all, but I believe that everyone is capable and can learn.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We could practice the concept using technology, marker boards, and review games... I can break the concept down into smaller parts so we can identify the areas that are causing learning difficulties.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I can read the problems aloud and paraphrase for the student. We can practice the vocabulary of mathematics. If a student fully understands the directions and terminology, the chance of success is much higher.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I get to know the student and see what style of learning they are comfortable with.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
We can talk about the real-world applications of what they are learning. Maybe the student simply needs to get through the course to obtain a certain degree. That can be motivation in and of it!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I can end the session with a short assessment of the topics covered to determine if the student comprehended the concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Focus on the positive and what the student is doing right; look at the growth - not just the letter grade.