I graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Biochemistry with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. I attended graduate school at Georgetown University and my concentration was Physiology and Biophysics.
I work as an Environmental Analytical Chemist and my job title is QA/QC Director. I review analytical data obtained from soil, water, and air samples where we are looking at environmental pollutants such pesticides, PCBs, heavy metals, and fuel products that impact the air or drinking water. As the QA/QC Director, much of my job is to work with and train employees, and I believe this function greatly helps my ability to work with a variety of students as a tutor.
I have been tutoring for the last six to eight years both with different agencies and privately. I have direct experience tutoring Algebra (I,II), Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Physics (high school and college), Chemistry (high school and college), General Biology, Physiology, and Biochemistry. In addition to the subjects above, I also have experience in SAT prep, ACT prep, GRE, and GMAT preparation. I've also tutored students enrolled in the IB program and different AP classes.
My philosophy about tutoring is to quickly determine where the strengths and weaknesses are and to develop a mutual game plan. I have had the experience to learn from many different instructors and to be able to emulate many of their styles. I realize that what works best for me may not be the best for the student I am tutoring, and I try to work in concert with their learning style. I try to make tutoring fun and to instill interest in the subject matter realizing that there is a task at hand and some aspects of learning are more fun than others. I am approachable and kind- I think that has strengthened the rapport I have been able to establish with students.
Outside of work, I have a two year old grandson that I spend a lot of time with, as well as his mother (my daughter). I am working on Physics with him, but we are mastering Legos at this point.
If you think you or your child could benefit from my experiences, please let my Director know and we can explore the possibilities together.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Purdue University-Main Campus - Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry
Graduate Degree: Georgetown University - Master of Science, Physiology and Biophysics
Tennis, working out, politics
ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep
ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Prep
ACT Aspire Prep
CLEP College Algebra
Elementary School Math
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
IB Mathematical Studies
Middle School Science
PCAT Quantitative Ability
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is very simple and involves finding the method that works best for the student and attempting to tailor my tutoring to the student's learning behavior. I tutor mostly math and science, and I work to make the material interesting and relevant. I want to engage the student and make it enjoyable.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would do a quick inventory to determine where the student is. Then I would provide a few details about myself and make sure the student realizes that I am accessible.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help encourage a yearning for learning. I also commit to being a resource when questions arise. I encourage students to seek alternate source material to learn from. I like to instill in students that independent learning is a lifelong process and the skills learned will help them for years to come.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to make the material interesting and make it "speak to them." I also show progress made and accentuate the positives.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to explain a concept from a different vantage point. It is not always easy to find the presentation that works best, but it is important.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Use tools like highlighting or taking notes. Have them stop at the end of each paragraph or page and mentally summarize what they learned.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I try gaining the student's buy-in, and help them to realize that I am empathetically in it with them.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I help them appreciate baby-steps. We would chop up the material in bite-size portions and appreciate small achievements.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have them regurgitate the material and ensure that they are retaining the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I point to incremental successes.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Based on testing and discussing the material.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I have a big arsenal, and if one style does not work, I change the manner of delivery.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For younger students, I use money when covering things like fractions. I use drawings and educational aids or real world examples. I talk through chemistry experiments or, when possible, perform them so as to make the lesson more memorable and relevant.