I currently hold a Bachelor of Science for Secondary Mathematics Education (grades 6-12). I am working on my Master's of Education for Curriculum and Instruction of Secondary Mathematics Education. I am also going for my Gifted Endorsement to add to my teaching certificate. I have been a teacher for four years but have been tutoring privately for about ten years, on and off. I am employed at a private school where I am the only math teacher for the all upper levels (grades 6-12). So, I teach the following courses: basic math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I Honors, Geometry Honors, Algebra II Honors, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry Honors (combined course), as well as AP Calculus AB. My varied teaching experience has given me a good perspective of how different students learn and how to accommodate each child's individual needs.
My goal is to help students experience success in the math classroom by helping to strengthen their skills and get a better understanding of concepts. Most importantly, I intend to help increase their confidence to promote a positive attitude towards the subject.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: St Petersburg College - Bachelor of Science, Secondary Math Education
Graduate Degree: University of South Florida - Masters in Education, Curriculum and Instruction of Secondary Math Education
State Certified Teacher
I love spending time with my family. Also, if time allows (which isn't often) I enjoy scrapbooking.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first session with a student, I will get to know them and their feelings towards math. I will also find out what level of math they are in and which concepts they are working on. My goal is to try to understand where and why they are struggling so that I can determine the best course of action.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I love teaching math and could not see myself doing any other career. While I enjoy working with all children, I do have a soft spot for the ones who struggle. I feel as though it is important for students to experience success in the classroom. For many students, though, this success is a far-fetched idea. Most either believe that they cannot do it or they do not like it because they don't understand the concepts, which is why most of them do not perform well. They associate a negative correlation between math and their abilities. My goal is to help them work to reach their potential and experience success in their math classes. I believe I can make a difference and change their feelings towards the subject altogether. I want to open their eyes to the positive side of math, just as my teachers did with me. Everyone remembers their favorite teachers who have impacted their lives. I want to be one of those teachers, one who effectively teaches math but also teaches important life skills, such as how to be organized and achieve success.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The number one strategy that I find works well to get the students excited and keep them engaged is to be excited about math myself! My students see how enthusiastic I am for the subject, and it definitely gets their attention. Although some may not like math, they like my style of presenting. This allows them to pay closer attention, ask questions, and perform better on their assignments.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are many techniques that I use to assess students. In my classes, of course, I use tests and quizzes periodically. These, however, are not the only forms of assessment that I use. Since some students are not good test-takers, I feel that it is also important to use informal assessments such as quick check questions, projects, presentations, concept-related games, etc. It is so important for teachers/tutors to be sure that their students are truly grasping the concepts...formal testing is not the only way to assess their learning gains.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Simple. The best way to build a student's confidence in a subject is for them to experience success in the classroom. Students need this to help them see that they can reach their potential. No matter what anyone tells them about their abilities, once they see for themselves that they can actually do it, they will be more confident when learning new concepts or when faced with more challenging concepts.