I received my BS in Physics and a minor in Mathematics from Fordham University in New York. I then spent a year teaching Physics at the Bronx High School of Science (a prestigious high school in New York that produced eight Nobel laureates). I left Bronx Science for Missouri to pursue a PhD in Physics at Washington University in St. Louis where I am currently completing my first year.
I love teaching and tutoring Math and Physics. I feel that a successful teacher must develop an understanding of where the student is at and, instead of simply lecturing, be able to guide him or her to the realization of the concept being taught. In this way, the student does not just memorize facts and formulas, but learns how to navigate a topic confidently and gracefully.
This method of teaching lends itself well to Physics. Memorizing a formula will only help you solve a few problems, but understanding the physics behind a certain phenomenon can help you realize the solution method to a wide range of problems. I enjoy helping students form this kind of understanding. When offered a series of guiding questions, the student is allowed to come to the realization of a concept on their own, helping it to solidify in his or her mind.
When I am not studying or teaching, I love to play Ultimate Frisbee, explore St. Louis and watch TV shows with my wife or play with my three kittens.
Undergraduate Degree: Fordham University - Bachelor of Science, Physics
Graduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - PHD, Physics
Ultimate Frisbee, physics related reading, my kittens, TV shows with my wife
What is your teaching philosophy?
I like to use guiding questions to help students realize the answer to a problem on their own.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I usually ask the student to tell me which areas of the subject they feel confident in and which areas they feel they need more help with. It is often the case that the two areas have similarities, giving the student a good starting point to gain a better understanding of the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Guiding students towards the answer and allowing them to realize it on their own often builds confidence and understanding that can be very useful when working by oneself.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would reassure them that the most successful people are not perfectionists. They are the people who try again after failing. I would also try to relate to their situation, as I have also had a difficult road to get to where I am.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to ask them a question that would allow them to use the concept in their daily life. Physics and Math concepts can often be made easier in this way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
There are a lot of word problems in Physics and Math, so reading comprehension is important. I would try to help the student feel like they are the one in the problem so they can see how the problem can relate to their own experience.