As a student of life, education, both formal and informal, energizes me. On the formal front, I have my AA in Psychology, my BA in Criminology, and my MS in E-Commerce, and I have an equally diverse post-studies career history. My love of education has taken me to Southern California where I fed my love of law and learned about film. Next, I visited rural Florida with a stint at a Community Theatre. I've even spent a fair amount of time in the Hospitality Industry in Las Vegas, which, unexpectedly, introduced me to the construction industry.
Through all of this, I have been a professional tutor for profit and pro bono. I believe education should be available to everyone regardless of age, sex, or socio-economic status, and I utilize learning identification to impart wisdom in the most effective way possible for each student's needs. I love that magical moment when the student "gets it." With experience in a broad range of subjects, mathematics is the most enjoyable for me, as well as LSAT Logic Games — I'm the weirdo doing LSAT games at the tea house.
My spare time finds me in nature for hikes and trail runs, and I can regularly be found on an obstacle course (Spartan, Tough Mudder, SISU, etc.) or doing an extreme endurance events — either racing or supporting friends. Life is to be learned and lived!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Irvine - Bachelor in Arts, Ecology
Graduate Degree: National University - Master of Science, Ecommerce
Obstacle Course Racing, Endurance Events, Nutrition and Health
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep
ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra Prep
ACT Aspire Prep
Anatomy & Physiology
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Mathematics
COMPASS Mathematics Prep
Elementary School Math
FCAT 2.0 Prep
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
GMAT Integrated Reasoning
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics
GRE Subject Test in Psychology
GRE Subject Tests
High School English
HSPT Math Prep
HSPT Quantitative Prep
IB Mathematical Studies
ISEE-Middle Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Middle Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Upper Level Mathematics Achievement
PCAT Quantitative Ability
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone has the same learning style. A good tutor adjusts to the needs of the tutee and optimizes performance.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Every first session includes a discussion of the student's expectations, goals, and previous tutoring experiences. I want to get to know the student: Do they like to play hockey, watch hockey, don't care about hockey? BTW, I don't follow any sports, but I'm always entertained by people who are passionate about a particular team. I like to tell the student about my background and set some of my expectations. Then, we put a game plan together. It's important that the student participate in creating the rules of engagement.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By providing the skills necessary to identify and communicate information effectively, a student can become an independent learner. Identify strengths and weaknesses, and create a game plan for the student to leverage his/her strengths and improve on the weaknesses.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
During a session, I keep students engaged by having them actively participate. I don't preach math or grammar; I engage the learner.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I try different approaches of explaining the concept, relating it to something they are familiar with. Then it's practice, practice, practice. We start applying the concept in simple situations and progressively increase the difficulty level.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
In the beginning, I ask for a lot of feedback from the student to ensure my methods are productive. I make adjustments as necessary.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement and communication. Many times, students are just told what they've done wrong. I also look for and acknowledge what they've done correctly. I have them explain the process they followed step by step, and have the student verbalize his/her thought process and gently correct them with directed questions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Review of score/homework reports and trial and error. A student might be assigned to me with a specific intent, but upon observation, I find there is actually an underlying concern. I correct the trajectory and address everything that needs to be addressed.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Flexible scheduling, varying teaching styles, and reinforcement. Figure out what drives a student and you can do anything.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
During sessions, I primarily utilize online content and .pdfs. If I've recommended a specific book for the student to purchase, we'll work out of that, but 95% of the materials I use are available online for free.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension improvement can exist for multiple reasons. We have to identify the source of the difficulty and work on that. A lot of times, a student just needs a little guidance and open conversation about the process. Eliminate the anxiety and fear of being wrong, and that's 75% of the battle.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Tutoring a student in a subject they don't like can be challenging. I like to ask the students why they don't like a certain subject, and have a discussion about the utility of a particular class. I've honestly rarely had a student I couldn't engage in the process.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Confirmation of understanding is critical to progress. Lots of questions are asked, and repetitive practice is completed. I often have student verbalize their thought process while evaluating information.