I'm a math and secondary education student with a passion for education and instruction. In addition to tutoring I also coach youth sports. I enjoy the cooperative nature of the learning experience and often feel that I receive as much enrichment as I provide when working with young people. I also want to help struggling students realize their potential. I am sympathetic to the difficulties of motivation and concentration that often hinder achievement, as I remember going through them myself, so I prefer to remove all judgments about students and work with them so that we can find the best way to help them learn.
I have worked as a tutor in middle school and high school classrooms in Greeley while I was a student at the University of Northern Colorado. While there, I worked with the district's AVID program, which emphasizes small-group, Socratic-style, tutorial sessions to help its students develop necessary critical thinking skills in addition to simply understanding their homework. I have adopted much of this approach when working with students or even athletes. When I'm working with a student, my goal is to help them develop the thought process necessary to achieve the solution, not just to learn the steps. I will not spoon-feed them answers and I have the patience to allow them to find their own way -- no matter how long it takes. Learning is often about embracing the struggle. That said, I'm also reasonable and I can direct a student when it's appropriate. My goal is to constantly get better at adapting to different types of students and finding the best ways to help them achieve the most.
Besides math, I also am a somewhat experienced writer who's written for professional newspapers and has received some top-notch instruction in the field. I feel as confident in my written language skills and instruction as I do with math. I also have a solid understanding of rudimentary physics and chemistry (stronger in physics), and thoroughly enjoy working with history and political science/civics topics, even if these subjects may fall out of my advertised area of expertise.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Metropolitan State College of Denver - Current Undergrad, Mathematics - Secondary Education
Sports, music, bicycles, blogging
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
8th Grade Reading
8th Grade Writing
High School English
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Writing
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in collaboration and letting the student find the process that works best for them. The teacher is there to help round out the student's understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to ask a few general questions to get comfortable with them, then a few specific questions to get a profile of their learning style and grasp of the subject. I would then get to the material pretty quickly because that's ultimately how I'm going to learn the most about the student's needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My goal is to constantly develop this ability by asking the student the types of questions that facilitate the proper analysis, and to, in turn, help them think of the right questions to ask themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would try to set the solutions aside and treat the process as a series of smaller questions for the student to explore how much they already know and where they can go to learn more. Also, breaking things down into smaller pieces makes the whole idea seem less daunting.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I probe them with questions to find the most similar concepts that they do understand, and use those to help direct them to hone their further understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would break down the reading into the elements that they do understand, and have the student put the pieces together until it makes sense to them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I test the student until they demonstrate the ability to handle the material on their own.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student's confidence can be bolstered by allowing them to work with what they do know and understand and using that to incrementally enhance understanding, periodically stopping to take inventory of how far they've come.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs you need to ask incisive questions and spend more time listening and observing them than merely just giving demonstration.