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As a teacher, I understand that students sometimes need to see a math concept presented in different ways and need to be worked with one-on-one. I enjoy creating different representations of a problem to relate it to the student and their interests. When I was student, math did not come easy to me, so I can relate to having to work hard to understand some of the concepts. Math is hard, it is good to seek extra help and clarification to construct a solid foundation of mathematical knowledge.

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Joe’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of New Hampshire - Bachelors, Mathematics: Secondary Education


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Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that teaching should be fun and informative. Students should not be talked at, but conversed with when learning. I also think that schools have an academic as well as a social role in educating students.

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

First and foremost, I would like to get to know my students: understand some of their interests and hobbies. Also, I want to try to figure out how they learn, do they like pictures and diagrams, or do they prefer definitions and procedures?

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I try to equip students with problem solving methods and strategies for mathematical thinking, rather than specific instructions for specific problems. This way, when they run into problems down the road, they can think critically to solve them on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would work with the student to understand what their goal is. It is hard to stay motivated when you aren't striving for anything.

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

I would work with them to develop a procedure or set of steps for them to follow. Similar to following a roadmap, they could use this to solve any problem within that concept or skill.

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

I offer suggestions and hints. Things like underlining details, rereading the problem to ensure you've answered it, and making them aware that teachers rarely include information in word problems that is not relevant to the problem.

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