I consider mathematics as an essential skill for success in life regardless of one's chosen career. It is a beautiful applications of human reasoning to create an understanding of the universe we live in and to admire the incredible technical achievements of mankind. I hope to instill this appreciation for the subject in my students as they build the skills necessary to not only master the techniques and skills of math, but to enjoy and admire how math is used and the geniuses who developed the methods.
USAF Academy - Bachelors, Astrodynamics and Engineering Sciences
University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Masters, Applied Mathematics
What is your teaching philosophy?
To have the student understand the principles of the subject so that they can extend the knowledge to new situations and problems.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ascertain where the student is with respect to the subject material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By stressing the fundamental principals of the subject and encouraging additional work on the topic until understanding is grasped.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By introducing applications of the material to practical world problems.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I think repetition of solving problems relevant to the concept or skill is the key to overcoming difficulties.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By patiently going through what the material is telling the student, on a word-by-word basis if necessary. Asking questions about what is being communicated is also important to find out what the student is comprehending.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
There are no dumb questions except the questions not asked. I encourage asking questions; sometimes answering questions with questions until the student comprehends the material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Relate the material to the real world.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing and practice problems seem to work the best.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By repetition and relating to the practical applications of the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking questions, testing, and evaluating assignments.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student is unique, so that is difficult to ascertain in the abstract. This requires assessment of the student on an individual basis to determine the best approach to learning the material.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Example problems from whatever text we are using, practice problems, and practice tests.