A photo of Tammy, a tutor from Carnegie Mellon University

Tammy

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I am an experienced Mechanical Engineer currently trying to make my way into the product design arena. I recently moved to Oregon from Michigan in pursuit of this goal! I have always loved and had a skill for math and physics. This was only strengthened through two degrees in engineering.
Although my formal tutoring didn't start until college, in high school I did some volunteer tutoring and was often helping my friends with their physics and calculus homework. When I did tutor, I tutored mainly in all levels of math.

Tammy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Carnegie Mellon University - Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Degree: Oakland University - Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Test Scores

SAT Math: 780

SAT Verbal: 670

SAT Writing: 700

Hobbies

Reading, Running, Hiking

Tutoring Subjects

Algebra

Algebra 2

Algebra 3/4

Calculus

Chemistry

College Algebra

College Chemistry

College Physics

Hebrew

High School Chemistry

High School Physics

Languages

Math

Physics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-Calculus

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Subject Test in Modern Hebrew

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Test Prep

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I'm very big on finding a balance. For me personally, having a teacher that works through example problems really helps me, but that's not the case for everyone! Luckily, I've tutored people from diverse backgrounds and am happy to adjust depending on the student's learning style!

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

I think it's important to spend some time getting to know the student (and giving some of my background). I would especially like to know where the student's strengths lie and whether or not s/he has a strong foundation or if we need to go back a little further.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By teaching the student some basic learning methods to try and then letting them test them out on their own. I'm also big on holding hands at first and then letting the student give a problem a try. Or, depending on the level of the student, I might let them try to walk me through a problem!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

This is highly dependent on the student and his or her personal goals, but I find that everyone has something that drives them. It would be my job to find what that thing is!

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

Most skills and concepts have multiple approaches, just like there are many different learning methods. So if a student is really struggling, I would first try to find out if it's a problem with understanding, memory, or a teaching technique and go from there.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I almost always ask a student to tell me how they would approach a problem. This not only ensures that the student isn't expecting me to complete their assignments for them, but also shows me where the struggle may be. Then I develop a lesson or approach based on that.

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

I always try to find out where my students' strengths and interests lie. It's amazing how many things rely on a lot of these subjects. Once you establish a connection between the subject and a point of interest, it's really easy to get a student on board.

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

I usually have a student teach me or walk me through completing a similar problem. This not only shows me that the material was understood, but teaching is also an essential way of understanding and internalizing material for the student.

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

Oftentimes, students struggle either with understanding the fundamentals or because they get bored. If it's the former, I'll go back to those basics, starting with simple problems and building confidence as those get solved. If it's the latter, I'll find a way to get the student more engaged by relating the material to an existing strength or interest.