I am a philomath (person with a love of learning) with a passion for teaching others. I grew up on the West Coast but made my way east for college, graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. From there, I joined Teach for America and taught in New Orleans for six years. In addition to being a trivia nut, I'm also a big foodie (love cooking and eating!), and a total sports junkie (GO HAWKS!).
As for tutoring, I specialize in high school math, and I also have experience teaching engineering. While I love math, I understand that it can be daunting sometimes, and I work with my students at their pace to meet them where they are and help them thrive.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Johns Hopkins University - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Degree: SUNY at Binghamton - Masters, Math Education
SAT Math: 800
SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800
SAT Subject Test in Physics: 730
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 710
Cooking, playing tennis, watching football, playing strategy games, playing piano, playing trumpet, eating out
High School Physics
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would want to find out about the student's learning style and the level that he or she is at right now, and then I'd set some goals for the future. It's important to figure out where we are, where we want to go, and how we're going to get there. Depending on the student and the subject, we might do some basic informal assessments to see what's going on and determine what the next steps are. In some cases, we might dive into some examples and practice problems.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent learning is crucial to success as a student. I would help lay out guidelines for how to read texts, find resources, and use practice effectively to be a stronger independent learner. There are more resources than ever for learning, but using them well is a teachable skill.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The best motivation is seeing yourself succeed. I would help students by celebrating victories and growth. Every student learns at a different pace. As a teacher, I have a good awareness of when to push students forward and when to slow down and make sure they are creating those victories for themselves.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would first back up and make sure the student has the prerequisite skills to complete the task. In mathematics, there are many skills that build on one another, and it's important to build a foundation of knowledge in order to learn new skills. I'm also adept at creating examples on the fly that are adjusted to the student's level of learning, and I like using analogies to help explain concepts in terms that the student might be more familiar with. Sometimes, a student is better able to learn using visual or tactile methods, so we might find some more suitable resources for the student's particular learning style.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The best way for a student to improve reading comprehension is by reading at and above their reading level. I would guide the student to resources that they want to read, as well as introduce strategies that are catered to the text they are working with. This includes methods for learning vocabulary, increasing fluency, and making inferences.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Students are most successful when they are engaged with the material. While seeing success is an important factor to staying engaged, I also find that providing authenticity for the material and relating it to student experiences is an effective way to spur engagement and excitement in the subject area.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Students tend to engage more when they start seeing success. By creating "scaffolding" within the content, we can start meeting goals and tracking our progress. Meeting goals and setting new ones can get a student excited about a subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are a lot of ways to assess a student, especially when you have the opportunity to work one-on-one. By having a student explain their steps back to me, or observing them solve a problem, I can gain a rich understanding of what the student knows and can do. This gives me precise information about what the student understands.
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students have the ability to learn, and learn thoroughly. While everyone has their own learning style, everyone is capable when they are given the right tools. I believe in equipping students with the strategies they need to succeed in the long-term, no matter what the subject is.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I try to reinforce the idea that intelligence is malleable, and that with hard work and the right strategies, all students can learn at a high level.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I can tell a lot about a student's needs by the way they work, and by what they tell me. It's important for me to develop a relationship with the student so that I can best help them achieve their goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I have a lot of experience with a wide range of students, so I have methods for helping with all needs and learning styles.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I have a lot of materials from my days as a teacher, from books to worksheets to online resources. Some students just need a pencil and paper, but some respond better to visual or tactile materials.