I've taught Math, Social Studies, and Physics for 10 years at the middle and high school levels. I've always been a great test-taker and love helping others prepare for the SAT, ACT, and GRE, in addition to other subject areas.
My last teaching experience was an awesome 3.5 years of high school Social Studies and Physics at an international school in Kigali, Rwanda. I just returned to the northern suburbs of Chicago this May. I hold a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University and have almost finished an MA in Teaching from the same school.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading for personal and professional growth, running, and modernist cooking. My wife and I have a two year-old son and a daughter on the way. :)
Trinity International University-Illinois - Bachelors, Biblical Studies
Trinity International University-Illinois - Masters, Teaching
GRE Quantitative: 790
GRE Verbal: 670
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
College World History
Elementary School Math
High School World History
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
I work with student strengths and interests as much as possible. Instead of making students become someone they're not, I encourage the development of natural abilities while also incorporating new ideas and methods.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Make progress. Nothing builds confidence and propels forward movement like progress. Making note of small wins and slight changes in approach that will reap big rewards down the road is crucial right from the first session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Not that there's anything wrong with getting help or coaching, but building up the ability to learn independently is highly valuable. As someone who loves to learn through reading, I can offer suggestions on how to get more out reading through book choices and methods for reading more effectively.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Learning is a life-long process. It's not always a smooth process, but over time, the general trend is an upward one. Taking the long view and remembering recent successes as the result of strategic effort builds confidence and motivation to keep doing what works. If learning is enjoyable, we'll keep doing it.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I'll break the concept down into its component parts and try to identify where the difficulty lies. If there's not enough time to fill in all the gaps, I can recommend high-quality resources from across the web.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading and thinking aloud together. I'd have the student read something, share their thought process, and add to it what I saw or did to enhance what they're already doing.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Building a good working relationship through positive rapport is key. I take life seriously, but I also love to keep things light at the same time. I make learning enjoyable by relating concepts to real life and pop culture.