After spending several years as a volunteer tutor at my children's elementary school, I used my background courses in engineering to earn my Florida teaching certificate in mathematics. I have spent the past three years teaching math at Bridgewater Middle School and the students at my school and grade level have consistently earned the highest math test scores in Orange County.
I believe that all students can make great strides in learning when given the right tools and instruction. I take the time to work patiently with students and to identify the gaps in math knowledge that can make learning new skills a challenge.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelors, Rehabilitaion Counseling
Graduate Degree: University of Florida - Masters, Recreational Therapy
I enjoy spending time outside gardening, genealogy research, reading, and going places with my family
Q & A
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would go back a few lessons to identify if the student has any "gaps" in their math knowledge. For example, if a student can't solve a one step equation that has a fraction coefficient but could solve one with whole numbers, I would have the student multiply and divide a few fraction problems to see if they need to review and practice fraction concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In math, reading strategies are critical to be able to apply the math skills to real concepts (word problems). I help students to break down the word problems line by line, and to look for keywords and vocabulary. I then have students identify the main idea (What is the question?) and work through the problem to set up the steps to solve it.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
When a student is able to teach the concepts back to me, I know they have fully understood the material. Many times, a student can imitate the process to solve a problem with their teacher/tutor, but cannot do it later on their own. I often ask students to explain each step as they work through a problem so they can understand why and how to solve any future problem related to those concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Every subject involves many steps to master a concept. I praise the successful steps a student makes along the path to show them that they do know and understand more than they give themselves credit for. Many times, students lose confidence because they reached a level where the learning was more difficult, or they missed learning a few critical content areas. Once the missing "step" is identified and retaught, students achieve success on the overall concept, and their confidence builds.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Most times, I will the use the materials a student has access to for their class, as this is the format they are familiar with and will be graded by. Their homework and textbook are the primary tools. In addition to their material, I have access to hard cover textbooks, workbooks, and all my past teaching materials for middle school math, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II.