I'm a class of 2015 Physics major from the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg Virginia. Born and raised (and currently based!) in Northern Virginia, I have a penchant for American history in addition to the physical sciences and mathematics. I'm a voracious audio-book listener, and often drift to sleep with the words and stories of past philosophers, mathematicians, and world leaders. Beyond this, I thoroughly enjoy playing FIFA '16 on Xbox One, surfing the web, computer programming, and watching silly YouTube videos.
More than anything, I'm eager to impart some of the math/physics/economics know-how, tricks, and tips I've learned over the years from taking dozens of courses from the high school level to the upper-most college level unto my students. Finally, having initially struggled with Physics and Math myself as a highschooler and college student, I'm in a unique position to empathize and guide students so they can develop the skills and understanding they need to succeed in their coursework.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." -William Arthur Ward
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My primary objective with the first session is to understand where the student is having trouble, and define their problems. From there, we will work through a series of problems that the student struggles with, focusing on the problem-areas we've defined. Sometimes a student struggling with Physics is actually struggling with Algebra. Sometimes a student struggling with Algebra is actually struggling with basic arithmetic. Thus, my objective is for us to be clear on what the real problems are.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way is to inspire them to enjoy the material for its intrinsic value, not for a grade or college admission.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By demonstrating the value of the subject matter beyond the classroom. Most importantly, by diffusing my love for the subject into their hearts.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Pause, and narrow down the particular challenge that's hindering the problem-solving process.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Empathize with them by demonstrating how many great scientists and leaders have historically been terrible readers. Then, offer avenues for improvement --- perhaps by suggesting great works of American or British literature.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Invest in their success, and make sure they understand that I care about them beyond the earning of a paycheck.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Demonstrate the power of the subject in terms of real-world applications. I'd also share interesting historical insights about the great men and women who made discoveries in the subject at hand.