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Nicholas

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I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 with a B.S. in Mathematics, and from the University of Delaware in 2015 with a M.S. in Mathematics. I currently work as a Data Scientist out in Falls Church.

I am passionate about mathematics and mathematics education. Now that I am no longer a member of the University culture, I find I miss being an educator. I feel that I can contribute to the success of students by supplying individually prepared lesson plans which address the particular weaknesses that a student faces, and building upon their conceptual understanding of the material. In the past, I have worked with both high school and college students, improving both their understanding of material and their grades.

Nicholas’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Bachelors, Mathematics

Graduate Degree: University of Delaware - Masters, Mathematics

Hobbies

Running, Rock Climbing, Board Games, Video Games, Reading, Coding, Documentaries


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that learning takes place by doing. As such, I think that a hands-on approach is imperative for a student to do well.

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

Begin by asking what their perception of their understanding is, while asking conceptual questions to determine empirically where I think their understanding is. Recommend a study plan based on this, and work through exercises together.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teaching a student to not be afraid of the textbook, and making them aware of any number of the myriad of online resources, is a good way to help a student become independent.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It's important to give students praise for doing well and making progress. Additionally, having clear and attainable goals helps with focus and limits being overwhelmed.

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

The key to overcoming this is to isolate the reasons why a particular student is having trouble learning a skill/concept. Once this is addressed, concise and direct instruction combined with practice is a good start.

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

Break down readings into small chunks and parse these chunks in two passes. In the first pass, identify words that the student does not understand and define them. In the second pass, read a sentence at a time and discuss how that sentence contributes to the overall meaning of the document.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

It's important to connect with students on a personal level - to develop a relationship with the student. They need to understand that you are personally invested in their success. Then, give the student some practice problems with a range of difficulties to understand where they stand. Then, work with the students to flesh out where their understanding breaks down.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Context is everything. Explain to the student how the subject that they are struggling in is actually used. Often when a practical understanding of the usefulness of a topic is attained, students are more inclined to try harder working with a subject.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Push the limits of what you ask a student. If they can use logic to answer questions that apply the same concepts to novel problems, then they have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the topic.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Confidence is built on a string of small successes. By having clear objectives and making progress in reaching those objectives, student's confidence levels will grow.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Conversing with a student, looking at the student's school work, assessing their understanding through practice problems, and asking conceptual questions.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

The focus of a lesson must be in line with what a student doesn't understand. Additionally, how you teach the student must be structured to how the student learns best - some students are auditory learners; some are visual. Understanding the student is important in how one adjusts lesson plans.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Textbook, pen and paper, and a computer.