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Michael

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I love teaching, learning, and mathematics! Helping someone reach a "light-bulb moment" is one of the most satisfying experiences I've ever had. I've met a lot of self-described "non-math" people, and I don't believe such people exist; I think you just need the right teacher. Everyone learns differently, and finding just the right way to explain something to a student is what often makes the difference.

I have a Master's degree in math from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor's degree in math from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
During the last two years I've been a graduate teaching assistant at NIU, where I taught algebra and calculus, while tutoring many other math subjects.

I just moved to the Sacramento area recently, and I love it so far! In my free time, I enjoy watching baseball and football, I love reading, the outdoors, and space, and I've been known to play quite a bit of Nintendo.

Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin Colleges - Bachelors, Mathematics

Graduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Masters, Pure Mathematics

Hobbies

I love baseball, space, nature, and video games!


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Everyone learns differently, so I need to teach differently for each student.

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

First, find out what material they're working on, then ask what (if anything) makes them anxious and what they're struggling with. A lot of the problems I see come from anxiety and frustration, rather than lack of ability.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Ask questions. Asking a student to explain their answer, and asking them questions beyond what's written on the page, helps improve their thought process so that they can do the work on their own in the future.

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

Try another way of explaining it! Often what works is very different from person to person.

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

Bridging the gap between student and teacher. Getting them comfortable and talking often relieves a lot of the stress and anxieties students may feel about the material.

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

Try to find a use of the material that they can understand and relate to, and show them how interesting/useful it can be.

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

Having them do another problem without you helping, and asking them to explain their answers.

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

Being nonjudgmental, and being enthusiastic about correct answers.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Listen to them explain what they are struggling with, and watch them do a problem to identify where they're having problems.