I’ve been teaching Physics and Chemistry for the last 6 years at a prestigious high school in Utah. Originally from Chicago, I’m happy to be back in the Midwest. I love teaching because I love to see students’ enthusiasm when they understand something for the first time or when they finally accomplish something that is hard for them. Success in school is more than just about getting a grade. True success can build students’ confidence, increase their desire to learn, and give them more optimism in their future endeavors.
My Bachelor of Science degree is in Physics Teaching, with a minor in Chemistry, and my Master of Science degree is in Technology and Engineering Education. My programs well prepared me in the sciences and mathematics with many classes, labs, and tutoring opportunities. My Master’s program is a rare field and has drastically reshaped the way I teach. For my thesis, I was able to study the effects of the engineering design process on students abilities to problem solve. Since then, I have focused my instruction not only on the content, but also on teaching kids how to think through challenging situations using an organized thought pattern. Instead of just help students with their homework, I work to help them understand the content and teach them how think through the problems so they can approach new situations without hesitation.
My students have statistically been the highest in the school both in their classroom tests and on their standard tests. I’ve had particular success with closing the gender gap for my classes. On average, boys do 12% better than girls on their standard tests in science and math, but in my classes, there was no gender gap. All students did significantly higher than their school wide and statewide peers. I attribute this primarily to the ideas of teaching for understanding, using a gradual release of responsibility in solving problems, and teaching problem solving skills.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Bachelors, Physics Teaching
Graduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Masters, Technology and Engineering Education
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 29
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 32
Cooking, hiking, canoeing, woodworking, sewing, cycling, impromptu science experiments
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in helping students take ownership for their education by giving them the tools they need to succeed. As a professional teacher for several years, I've found that most students try to get away with simply doing the problem by rote memorization, but students need to fully understand the content so they can apply the material in any situation. I love to ask students questions and let them explain their understanding of the content so that I can better resolve their concerns. By teaching them problem solving skills and how to approach problems, students are able to take responsibility.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first tutoring session, I like to try to figure out where the disconnect is. Students are usually only missing small pieces of information that make it difficult to succeed. By identifying and addressing those gaps, students can put the content together in a bigger picture and do much better on their assignments.