I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Civil Engineering degree. I worked as a CVE for 5 years and decided to change careers and become a Secondary Ed. math teacher. I earned my teaching certificate from Providence College and taught for 5 years. I also have my masters degree in Guidance Counseling. I have been a math tutor for over 10 years and am very excited to join Varsity Tutors! I tutor students in Algebra I, II, Geometry, and Precalculus. Tutoring allows me to do what I love while simultaneously helping students become successful confident math students. My teaching/tutoring style is flexible and unique to each student. I encourage students to think for themselves rather than give them the answers. It is important that students learn how to approach different problems using prior knowledge. I encourage them to do that while also giving them the math support they need before frustration sets in. Tutoring has been an extremely positive experience for me and I look forward to continuing that with Varsity Tutors!
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in instilling a drive to motivate learners to succeed by getting them as involved in the work as possible. My style of teaching and tutoring is quite interactive, I ask a lot of questions and have students draw pictures, show work, provide explanations, and encourage them to ask questions as well. I set goals with my students in terms of grades, being more proactive, and HW, and I support and encourage them as they reach their goals.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session with a student will involve a conversation about their past and present successes, failures, or obstacles they may have experienced or are currently experiencing related to math. I also try to build a personal connection with the student by asking them what their interests are. Once we get started with the math, I try to assess the student's' ability by having them do some problems at their level. Basically we get to know one another, laugh a bit, goal set, and assess math ability.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I often help students become independent learners by showing them how to study math on their own. I show them how to use classroom material and notes to study for tests and quizzes. Independent learners also need to know how to dig into a homework assignment on their own. Look up answers if they don't know how to do a problem, show work and know how to explain the steps of a problem on their own. I also teach students to be proactive in their math class, ask questions when they are lost, and take responsibility for their success in the classroom.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students are motivated through confidence building, encouragement, and goal setting; these are all things I work on with my students.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to show students different ways to approach a problem. For example, drawing pictures/diagrams, showing a physical object often help in geometry, and doing plenty of practice problems showing a particular skill.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In math, word problems are often difficult for students. For someone struggling with reading comprehension, I would break down each sentence of the problem by writing down key works or important facts, organizing the data on paper and reviewing any words that the student may struggle with.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Breaking down information works very well. Understanding a formula, the steps of an algebra problem, and keywords in a word problem are all strategies for successful learning.