I'm a recent graduate of San Diego State University where I earned my M.S. in Medical Physics. Currently, I am a software developer working in the aerospace industry here in San Diego. I found my passion for teaching in graduate school as a teaching assistant and part time lecturer, teaching introductory physics courses for both scientists/engineers as well as non-science majors. This allowed me to develop my approach to teaching tough concepts to a wide range of students with differing skill levels/interests in physics and mathematics. Although my teaching has only been at the college level, my students were fresh out of high school, so I think my experience would translate well to high school students as well.
My teaching philosophy is very simple: I believe the majority of learning comes from social interaction. Asking questions, going through tough problems together, and even having the student even explain concepts to the teacher are how I structure my lesson plans. This is how I believe students can master subjects and even become teachers themselves.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo - Bachelor of Science, Physics
Graduate Degree: San Diego State University - Master of Science, Medical Physics
Hiking, Camping, Golfing, SCUBA
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe the majority of learning comes from social interaction. Asking questions, going through tough problems together, and even having the student even explain concepts to the teacher are how I structure my lesson plans.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to know a little about them, not just academically but also personally. I would like to know where they are in terms of knowledge/interest in the subjects and also their goals for the future.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach them critical thinking skills, which can be applied to solve a wide array of problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I always try and make them think big picture. If a student is not particularly interested or motivated in a subject, ask them why excelling in this subject will help them accomplish their future goals in other endeavors.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Everyone learns things their own way. I would try my best to find out that particular student's mode of learning and use that to explain the concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Increasing reading comprehension simply comes with experience and breaking down difficult word problems into simpler, digestible bits.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to relate tough concepts to things they would see/experience in the world around them. This allows them to visualize the subject and gain insight into the world around them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The student truly understands the material when they can teach someone else the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
If there's a tough problem, break it down into manageable bits and let them solve each one by one. Each of these gives the student confidence and momentum to tackle harder problems.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt the explanation of tougher concepts into smaller pieces and repeat information until they have a firm understanding.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I draw pictures, write equations, and sometimes use visual aids and analogies.