I currently am enjoying my 20th year teaching high school and have taught SAT prep for even longer. In the two decades I have taught, I have had the honor of receiving two Teacher of the Year awards, perhaps because teaching is my passion. I began tutoring in seventh grade and have been teaching in some form or another ever since. If you look at my resume, you will notice that I am credentialed for teaching all levels of both math and biology.
My passion for teaching math stems from helping students find success in the subject where they may never have found it before. Although I have always been at the top of my class in any math course or test I have taken, my gift is being able to use a variety of methods (analogies, games, visuals, etc.) to help break down even complex concepts for almost any student to grasp. Because of this, I have successfully taught/tutored students at every level, from those who struggle to even pass Algebra I all the way up to those who finish AP Calculus before their senior year in high school.
I love teaching Biology and AP Biology for the same reasons, but even more so because animals and the great outdoors are my passion. I often catch my students chuckling at me for sounding so excited when I am teaching them. I might be explaining the wonder in how intricately designed our bodies are or exhorting students to appreciate our environment for a plethora of reasons and, therefore, seek to conserve it as best as possible. In any case, I know that the more engaging the teacher is, the easier it is for the students to become engaged.
Beyond these two subject areas, I also love counseling students and helping them to achieve their goals. I have taught AVID for nine years, a nationwide program designed to prepare students who might have some form of disadvantage to not only get into a college of their dreams, but to also be successful in their transition into post-secondary work. This additional passion is part of what has led me to achieve expertise in the field of test prep. Although I am not a big believer in standardized testing, I also understand the necessity for it to be a tool for assessment on a large scale. But I do not like when it becomes an obstacle for students to reach their goals. I enjoy teaching SAT or GRE prep to help students overcome this potential obstacle towards their dreams.
My friends often joke that I am often in teacher mode, even outside the classroom, but I assure you that I do enjoy many other things in my free time. I have two children under the age of 2 and absolutely love spending time with them. Additionally, I love both sports and the outdoors. I find joy in many facets of both - football, volleyball, hiking, camping, zoo trips, playing with our dogs, gardening, whitewater rafting, etc. - but I could also find pleasure in simply nestling into a comfortable couch with a good book. I like to remind my students in the hopes of inspiring them to read that although I am a math and science guy, I have always excelled in reading and writing because, at their age, I averaged finishing three to four books a week. My students, for better or worse, are always receiving life lessons from me. I guess I can't help it - I am a teacher to the core.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Claremont Graduate University - Master of Arts, Education
State Certified Teacher
GRE Quantitative: 800
GRE Analytical Writing: 5.5
Volleyball, watching sports, hiking, camping, biking, gardening, playing guitar, singing
Anatomy & Physiology
High School Biology