Hello! My name is JJ. I love math, and love helping others with math even more! I'm very good with all levels of students, from elementary school up to college and beyond.
I am very patient and understanding by nature, and have a knack for getting to the root of any problem in order to help students understand it themselves. I am not interested in simply just giving you the correct answer. My ultimate goal is to help you develop a deeper, more solid foundation for the subject so you can go beyond just passing the class - you can start to excel.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Washington - Bachelor in Arts, Mathematics
SAT Math: 750
Violin, classical music, cooking, soccer, volleyball, sports, SEAHAWKS!!
ACCUPLACER College-Level Math
ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra
Elementary School Math
High School Physics
What is your teaching philosophy?
My #1 belief is that there is no such thing as a "stupid" question. I completely understand the nervousness and anxiety that comes from trying to learn about a new topic, and how difficult it can be to ask for more help. I've been there, so I really want students to understand they can be comfortable asking for help (no matter how many times they may have to ask the same question).
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I want to understand where the student is having the most difficulty and be able to set goals and expectations. It is also very important for me to find out the best way to help the student learn: Are they more visual? Do they do better with extra practice questions, etc.? These are all things I try to establish in the first meeting.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I try to impart/teach good studying skills and habits for outside the classroom or tutoring time. * Set aside a set amount of time each day to focus undisturbed, ideally in a quiet setting. * It's often overlooked, but assigned reading and the practice problems contained in the reading can go a long way to reinforce the day's lecture - so I emphasize reading and re-reading the current section of textbook. * Consistency is key - find and develop a routine that the student can stick to * If there is something the student can't seem to figure out on their own, make note of it to ask teacher or tutor the next time around
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to relate their hard work and results to my own hardships and accomplishments as best as possible. I love to find ways to encourage students with positive reinforcement by focusing on the great progress they've made so far and the potential they have yet to achieve. Help them gain a larger picture of what they're working towards that may be difficult to grasp in the daily grind.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to find different angles to approach a difficult problem. If I'm not getting through to a student I see that as more of a failure on my end. There's always some "a-ha" moment for any problem, it's just a matter of finding the best way to communicate that to the student so they can finally understand it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like asking students to explain the new topic back to me in their words. This shows how much they grasp the topic and where the holes are. I can then focus on those weak spots while reinforcing the areas they already know. I never like to give out the right answer, rather guiding them through the problem so they can get to it on their own. Then I make sure they really have it right by assigning a few more similar problems.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I strictly deal with math students, so it's not hard for me to show my own excitement and enthusiasm for the subject. Enthusiasm for the subject is directly linked to the students' success/struggles, so it's important for me to help them gain self-confidence that they can start excelling in the subject themselves.