I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics, and a second major of German. Upon graduation, I embarked on a three-year Christian volunteering program which had me move all over the country to teach the Bible. I tutor most levels of math and German, but I have experience teaching/tutoring physics, astronomy, computer science, debate, public speaking, Portuguese, guitar, the Bible, martial arts, and even juggling. My favorite math subject has always been Calculus. My students have told me that math is difficult for them because they can't "see" it. I've always been able to "see" math, and "seeing" Calculus is the most fun. When I tutor, I don't give answers; I help my students to "see" things like I do, to understand the whys and hows. Once you truly understand it, mathematics becomes very fun. When I'm not working, you can find me reading the Bible, playing basketball, and practicing guitar.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelor of Science, Mathematics
The Bible, guitar, ukulele, harmonica, basketball, video games
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
In the words of Albert Einstein, "The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple." When I teach, I desire to simplify complex material and make it fun and interesting. I like to explain how things work and fit together and why they are important, beyond just what the answers are.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to get to know my student a bit first, to find out where they come from, what their career aspirations are, and, most importantly, what their goals are for the class in which they need help. I strive to make my sessions more casual and relaxed, and I want my students to feel comfortable asking any and all questions they have.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I don't have all the answers. What I do have is the ability, knowledge, and skills to find all the answers. One thing I try to convey in my tutoring sessions is a love of learning. If you are excited about learning, you will be driven to find whatever answers you need all on your own.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If one of my students has difficulty with a skill or concept, I would change the way in which I was teaching it. I could explain the subject visually, through demonstration, through example, or metaphorically. If my student still has difficulty, it only means that I haven't found the right way to teach them yet.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I prefer a gradual release method. When we come to a topic or subject that the student finds more difficult, I like to answer all their questions and demonstrate the right steps to solving the problem. Then, we would solve a similar problem, but I would be involved only to guide the student if they get stuck. After a short time, the student is solving all the problems on their own.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
First, repetition. The more problems you successfully answer on a subject, the more confident you feel. Second, I like to reassure my students that, eventually, it will seem easier. I relate to them the fact that, when they learned multiplication in elementary school, it probably seemed difficult, but after a while, it becomes easier and eventually even second-nature. With enough successful practice, any subject can become easier.