I have enjoyed helping students in middle school and high school achieve their goals through individual and group tutoring sessions. I've also taught core business courses in Operations Management and Data Analysis for Managers in the California State University System (Sacramento State). I enjoy the most working with individual students to help them along their path to personal growth, whether learning the basics, or taking it to the next level. I've had success with advanced students and with challenged students. My education gave me opportunities in life that led me to interesting and vital work in my industry, and I would like my students to realize similar and greater success in their endeavors.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Bachelors, Enigineering
Graduate Degree: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Masters, Nuclear Engineering
music, jazz piano, singing in church choir, out doors, hiking, canoeing, fishing
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teach basic principles and applications with practice problems. A stepwise approach reveals to the student the whole of the discipline in a series of coherent steps.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get acquainted with the student's specific needs and state of knowledge about the subject. Discuss a general approach to covering the needed territory or supplying the requested service. Get agreement and begin.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping the student to discover how to apply what they already know, or apply new knowledge to address a problem. By helping students to recognize when a sequence of steps is needed and how to start. By walking through sample problems and pointing out the steps and procedures needed.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would always try to understand a student's basic need to advance their knowledge of a subject, and present it in a way that I think the student can respond to positively.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a stumbling block is found in a curriculum, I would isolate it as much as possible and demonstrate the basic concepts involved as clearly as possible, and demonstrate the importance of the topic to the overall subject by appropriate methods, perhaps graphical, or analogs, or common examples from life. Sometimes one can use basic concepts already learned to build up the understanding of new concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
It depends on how I can reach the student. Sometimes, that's pictures (drawings and graphs) combined with leading questions that would lead the student towards their own understanding of the basic concept. I'm looking for a pathway to give the student a clarity of thought about abstract notions that are connected and useful.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Establish trust, recognize the student's individual needs and how they learn, treat each encounter with respect and anticipation of progress, and come to a common understanding of needs, expectations and goals related to the subject. Do all I can to make each session a positive encounter.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Sometimes it's useful to relate the subject to something that's of interest to the student outside the subject area in order to enrich those interests by understanding them more fully. Harmonics in music, for example, occur in mathematical sequence, and the notes of a keyboard scale are generated by a recursive process involving fifths and octaves.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would normally get a verbal playback describing a concept and its use, followed by an application (sample problem) making sure the student recognized where and how to apply the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Recognize where they are and lead them to the well of knowledge, never questioning their ability to learn nor their eventual success.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
We'll talk about the subject, where they are in their class, if they have a plan for advancing, and what their personal goals are and how they might be accomplished. If classroom work is available to work on, we'll address that. Sometimes, I will engage a student in helping me to solve a problem step by step and then ask them to try it so that they get the feel of similarity between problems and begin to recognize ( if they don't already) where what they've learned (or not) complements what they are learning.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
For me this is key to successful tutoring. Some students are naturally more willing to engage than others, so it takes more patience to establish an easy flow of effort. I'm able to help my students to realize a sound grasp of the fundamentals of their subject and help them achieve that sense of knowing what it's about in relation to their needs and interests.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It could be classroom text or supplemental material if needed. Problem sets are usually a part of any math or math-related curriculum. These need to be coordinated with a topical outline of what we plan to cover and in what order, and the whole process needs to be scheduled with room for needed variance. We basically need a plan tied to topics and whatever scheduling constraints are required, along with appropriate reference and task materials.