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Brad

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Tutoring is not just a job, but it is a lifestyle that I have chosen for myself. I am a committed math tutor who is passionate about student success. As a tutor, my goal is to get every student that I work with to connect to and understand the material. I typically employ a reconstruction method during my tutoring sessions. By reconstruction, I mean I help the student build (construct) the concepts by asking a series of questions that he or she needs to answer in order to understand the material. This method not only allows me to help the students do the computations, but also helps the students retain the knowledge better. Another method that I typically employ is to relate mathematics is to relate the material back to things people know about. I have a wide variety of interests that I use to help communicate with people. These interests range from art and cooking to science. A great example is how I can relate the relationship between a function, its derivative, and its second derivative to position, speed, and acceleration. All of math has its roots in the natural sciences and should be explored in that context. With that being said, I find that I love tutoring calculus and differential equations the most because that is when the examples get interesting.
This method of mine has been something I have tweaked over a period of 7 years. I started teaching mathematics in the fall of 2008 and have continued teaching since then (also worked as a tutor for the last 4 years). I have worked at places like Ivy Tech Community College and Northern Illinois University. The classes I have taught and can tutor for ranges from basic arithmetic up to differential equations and linear algebra. My most recent reviews from Waubonsee Community College are great. One student even stated that I was the best professor he ever had. I am highly qualified to be a tutor as I have a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Purdue University and I am also nearing completion on a Ph.D. in pure Mathematics at Northern Illinois University.

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Brad’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Grace College and Theological Seminary - Bachelors, Mathematics

Graduate Degree: Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne - Masters, Applied Mathematics

Hobbies

Chef "so to speak" and enjoys making BBQ, ice cream, pizza. Watercoloring and pottery. Reading on Science and History.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to walk the students through the ideas behind the math to give them the big picture of how it works. Afterwards, I then work with them on applying the ideas.

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

I try to ask questions to gauge where the student is at in terms of understanding and what they are going over in class. Afterwards I work on building the skills needed to understand the material.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I encourage them to go to websites and cover certain skills that I believe would help them in class and to come back with questions when they get stuck. Also, I try to guide students to the answer through a series of questions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

We set up a series of goals and achievements that give students a sense of where they have been and where they are now.

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

I try to find another way of explaining it.

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

Well, in math, reading comprehension would be in context of word problems, so I would work on breaking the problem down using pictures and images.


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