I have been working in education for the last 20 years. During this time I have taught a variety of Math and Science classes. I am currently certified in the state of Arizona in General Science, Biology, and Mathematics.
I graduated with honors from University of Phoenix (MAEd - Curriculum and Technology), Black Hills State University (BS - Mathematics with a Minor in Middle School Education), and George Washington University (BS - Health Science). Specific tutoring experience includes working with students in my classes, Sylvan Learning, and after school preparation classes for SAT). I have tutor Mathematics from basic level high school math to college trigonometry and science classes including biology, chemistry, and general science. My favorite classes are mathematics, especially the higher level math because it challenges me also. I also enjoy tutoring math because so many students have a "block" when it comes to math and to see them get to understand it is amazing, not only for me, but especially for the student. When I tutor students they are the driving force. How I approach them depends on their understanding and participation. I ask many questions to guide them along until they learn the process of solving the problems. Students must be able to relate one kind of problem to the next. What are the similarities and what are the differences? What strategies can be used? There are often multiple strategies, what is the best one for the student? I truly feel that all students can grasp the concepts of mathematics to a given degree.
As far as hobbies I enjoy boating, swimming, books, movies, and riding a motorcycle.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Black Hills State University - Bachelor of Science, Mathmatics
Graduate Degree: University of Phoenix - Masters, Curriculum and Technology
Movies, books, boating, motorcycle riding
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Simply put, my basic philosophy is that all students who want to learn can learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Initially, I would introduce myself and get to know the student a little. I would get some background on his/her studies and the reason for wanting a tutor. This would not take long, but would help me know what I would need to do to help the student. Then, we would get into specific questions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I was once given the advice that one of the most important things to learn is that you don't have to know everything, but you need to know where to look to find your answer. A big part of being an independent learner is to know how to find your answers. A second thing that is important to know is how to analyze a problem and solve it based on things that you already know.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Providing students with smaller successes helps students to get the bigger ones. Every time a student succeeds, it intrinsically motivates him/her to move on. As a tutor, you can work these successes so that a student can not only continue to succeed, but eventually succeed on their own.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Continue to walk through problems asking them questions along the way. Take the "baby steps" approach. As the student becomes more confident he/she will work towards their success.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In mathematics, I have found that lack of comprehension is a direct result of not understanding the vocabulary. This is corrected by going over the terms that the student is having difficulty with and getting them through the terminology.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
This varies greatly from student to student, as each student is different. Some react to humor, some to just the one-on-one environment. I like to get to know my students and see where they fall. I use different strategies based on their personalities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Guide them to successes. Little successes breed larger ones.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Question, question, question. Let the student come up with the answer based on your questioning.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start small and work your way up. Students gain confidence as they work through problems and can answer them correctly.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
In a tutoring setting, because it is one on one, I simply ask them where the student is having difficulty. Where this becomes difficult is when the student responds "I don't understand any of it." At this point, I pick a starting point, see if the student understands, then proceed forward or backwards based on that starting point.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Since the student is the one who is asking for help, I let him/her lead. If they understand the material, I proceed with more difficult problems. If they don't, I back up and determine where the student is most comfortable.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencil, calculator.