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Marcus

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I got my BS in Mathematics from Ohio State University and Masters in Education at Kent State University. I taught mathematics for three years at the fifth ranked high school in Ohio. I tutor Algebra (all levels), Geometry, Pre-Calculus & Trigonometry, and Calculus. My favorite subject to teach is Geometry, I like the real world applications and how you can usually approach a problem from multiple viewpoints - all of them correct! I'd describe my teaching and thus tutoring philosophy as centered around building a solid base set of skills: focus on figuring out what a problem is asking and how to apply what we then know about the subject. Usually a lot of frustration comes in mathematics when you just "do", but have no idea what or why - as soon as they change one thing, everything will fall apart. Personality wise you'll rarely see me without a smile on my face, I enjoy what I do and I think learning is a lot more fun when you're quick with a laugh. Outside of teaching mathematics I love being outdoors (why I moved here to sunny California): running, hiking, surfing (very new beginner), or really anything. I should also include I love reading with a focus on science fiction or mystery books.

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Marcus’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Ohio State University-Main Campus - Bachelors, Mathematics

Graduate Degree: Kent State University at Kent - Masters, Masters of Arts in Education

Hobbies

I love the outdoors: running, hiking, volleyball, and surfing. When I am caught inside I love books - mostly science fiction or fantasy. Also, I am a big Ohio State Buckeyes fan (O-H!)


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is built around strong fundamentals. Learning mathematics can become very easy if you take the time to understand why the basics work, and know them well. Everything after that will come much more natural.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

A conversation on what they are learning and what they already know relating to the topic (there's always something!). Based on the results and their needs, we might go through some examples or try more challenging material. Definitely at some point, we'd talk about goals and the future of their learning.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can help by building an adaptable skill set. I would encourage practice in analyzing and breaking down problems at a general level in order to understand what the goals are, and then how to solve them.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

At a face value, success, especially in mathematics, is strong motivation. There is a sweet balance, I think, between the struggle of learning and the moment when it "clicks" that is very enjoyable.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

It depends. There is some merit to just giving an answer to alleviate frustration, but I think it is better to take time and learn a concept. Within this, I could provide smaller steps and structure to help, but also we could try to explore other approaches to a problem that the student can succeed at.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension in mathematics comes by giving your viewpoint to problems a sense of structure. By drilling a basic approach of: "Okay, what am I doing? What do I know? When I read the problems what am I given?" etc. Students can begin to approach and apply a structure to any type of problem.


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