A photo of Bryan, a tutor from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Bryan

Certified Tutor

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I HATED math in middle and high school!

But when I got to college, I got to use math for all kinds of awesome projects. Designing boats! Controlling wind turbines! Shooting rockets underwater!

I like to keep math rooted in the real world. I can teach you the basics of geometry, algebra, calculus and statistics, but more interestingly I can show you how to use what you learn to master the world around you. I'm not a professional teacher, I'm just a regular guy who learned all the tricks the hard, long way, and I want to share them with you!

Conquering math feels awesome! It's not magic, it's hard work, but I'll help make it fun.

Bryan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

Hobbies

Surfing, Kayaking, Carpentry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

A teacher's role is to help find and bridge the small gaps in understanding.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Explain everything you know about this subject; it's almost always more than you think!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Talking through problems is helpful for both the tutor and the student. If the student can come to know how they successfully attack problems, they'll have the confidence to seek other challenges.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Ask the student how they think this subject might help them; it's never hard to think of interesting examples.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

In quantitative subjects, concepts build on each other. If a student is having difficulty with one topic, we can always look at it in smaller components and remember the student's successes in those topics, and then translate those to the difficult area.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

It's never hard to think of interesting, current, and even funny examples of how what you learn in school plays out in real life.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

If a student can talk me through a problem successfully, I know they understand it themselves.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Bit by bit. By breaking subjects down and working through them slowly, the illusion of complexity is removed. Once students see there's no magic in the pieces, it can be a fun challenge to then see how they fit together.