I am a commercial real estate agent in Round Rock, Texas. I moved to the Austin area in August, 2015 from Hawaii. I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii for 5 years, where i owned and managed 3 coffee shops and a coffee roasting business. I have also worked at the University of Idaho in Web Communications and for a family owned equipment dealership in New Hampshire.
In my time off, I can be found cycling, hiking, and working out at the gym. I also build and maintain WordPress websites for a few small businesses. I have also picked up photography as a hobby.
University of Idaho - Bachelors, B.S. Business Production/Operations Management
6th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
Elementary School Math
High School Accounting
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
What is your teaching philosophy?
I have found, when teaching, it is important for me to work with the student step by step, often using scratch paper to rewrite the problem so we can both work it out. This allows us to be able to check our work on each step to ensure the student understands how the answer is achieved, so they understand how to break difficult problems into smaller, more manageable problems and solve each part.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I like to talk to the student and gauge their current understanding and areas they struggle to comprehend. I also like to know what they find fun/interesting to do. I adapt my teaching methods around that (if the student likes snowboarding, then geometry problems become snowboarding problems for distance, slope, area, and volume). I have found this engages the student more when they can see a real-life application, rather than just numbers and letters and shapes on a page.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Repetition is important. If a student is struggling with a concept or a problem, I like to show them how it is done, step by step. Then, I work through another example with them, and then I have them walk me through the example. Then, I have them do it on their own. It helps them understand the concept by seeing, doing, showing to reinforce the process to solve each problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I try to make the problems into something they can relate to. If the student likes to ride their bike, then area problems become tires, formulas become distances or speed, and circumference becomes distance. If they like snowboarding, the problems become speed, how steep the hill is, the amount of snow, etc. Finding something tangible they are able to relate to helps make the problems more real, rather than a string of numbers and letters or shapes on a page with no real-world connection.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Depending on the concept, there are a few options. Repetition is important so that when they encounter the same or similar they will recognize it. Also, breaking down large problems into smaller problems they know how to solve will help them to be able to see each part. I like to work through it with them, and then review the same problem and ask questions about how each step was achieved. This takes them beyond just knowing definitions and words to knowing how to do it, and knowing how a concept or skill can be applied when they encounter it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Take it slowly. Read a sentence or a paragraph, often more than once. Once the words are learned, they can repeat them faster and hear the words they are saying. Once they have read it, I'll read it. They can hear how it sounds. Again, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable sections makes it seem less overwhelming, allowing the student to feel that sense of accomplishment. This boosts their self confidence in their abilities.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to learn about the student. I like to know what they enjoy doing, what problems with the specific subject they like, which they struggle with, and which they are completely lost on. This allows me to know where they are at. We then work from their comfort level towards the area they struggle, in small steps. This allows the student to see for themselves that they can learn it. When they get frustrated, step back a step and show them that they learned that step, and then show them how to apply it to the next step. Also, making the problems have a real-world application or connection helps. It incorporates something they enjoy into the problems and gives it a tangible connection.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I like to show students what they have already learned. It may involve stepping back to a grade lower or even just a past assignment or tutoring session, and showing them they have progressed. It demonstrates to the student that they ARE smart enough to learn. Giving problems a connection to the world around them helps as well.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to work through a few extra problems with the student, at first guiding them if they need help, but then letting them try it entirely on their own. I like to make sure they see the connection to previously taught material. Once I've done this, I have the student teach me a problem, step by step. This shows that they not only know the material, but they understand how to apply it by teaching others.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I like to look back at how far the student has come. They may feel overwhelmed or lack confidence on a new challenge. Showing them all the challenges they have already overcome (major challenges) helps them realize they have the ability to grow, learn, and succeed. The new subject challenge is just a small step compared to how far they have come.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It helps to have previous assignments and tests to see their current level. For middle school and early high school students who have parents involved in their education, I like to talk to the parents. It is also important to talk to the student to see where they feel comfortable, where they struggle, and where they start to feel overwhelmed. This gives me an idea of where they need the most assistance in the specific area. I work from what they know, reinforcing each step along the way, to build their educational foundation.