"Math is, in its own way, the poetry of logical ideas." -Einstein
I attended the University of Florida where, after changing majors 8 times because I thought everything was interesting, I finally settled on a Political Science major with the goal of going to Law School and possibly entering Politics. My Senior Fall, I decided to follow my heart and my original plan, and to be a teacher. I then earned a masters degree in Math Ed. at the University of Central Florida. I chose math because it is often the most challenging subject for students, and I wanted to make a big difference by helping them to like it, or at least not hate it.
I believe every student can learn, given encouragement and the right guidance. I have fought for a student's right to relearn material they didn't understand the first time. I have worked hard to engage students with the subject, with each other, and get them out of their seats. I have worked for 15 years as a tutor, and ten years in the classroom in 3 very different environments in Florida, Denver, Colorado, and Bozeman, Montana. I truly enjoy every part of helping each unique student learn their own strengths and work on identifying areas that need improvement. I also LOVE organization and helping students with that in all aspects.
I am enthusiastic and a people person. I enjoy getting to know the person, especially what is not seen at the surface. Besides my passion for teaching and math, I love learning, googling, singing, writing songs, and journaling. I love photography, live music, my dog, fresh air, and sharing my personal experiences to connect with others.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
Graduate Degree: University of Central Florida - Masters, Math education
Music, Soccer, Travel
Elementary School Math
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning is infinite, never time bound.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Ask them about their experience in school in general, in the past and the current setting. Ask them what their goals are out of school and with our time together. I'd also share some details about myself and why I love math and helping students.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Get an idea of the way their brain organizes material and what kind of learner they are. Then, set goals to enhance their strengths, such as organizing their notebook, coming up with ways to study, creating tools to use in class, charting our growth, etc.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouraging words, calls, or texts. Pointing out growth and praising hard work. I also believe that sometimes students need a break to avoid burnout and get a second wind.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ask them to specifically describe the skill or part in the problem that is confusing them. Back up to foundational skills, starting at the ones I know they can do and increase the difficulty until we reach the current skill again.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Share my own story with math. Share the stories of other students I've worked with. Compare it to a sport or game.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Verbal explanation as well as written explanation of problems. Ask them to describe what they've learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start with problems I know they can do. Praise their hard work and keep complimenting them as they continue. Thank them for their questions and appreciate mistakes they make as opportunities to learn together.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Talk directly with the student, and with the teacher if possible and desired. I pride myself on my ability to create diagnostic questions on the spot for any math topic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Since math skills all build upon previous math skills, tutoring often involves looking at skills considered prerequisite to the current skill they are struggling with. If we need to go back 5 skills, then we will do so until the student feels confident to return to the current skill.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Plenty of pencil, paper, and a calculator when needed.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Breaking down the word problem. Adopting techniques such as underlining important words and circling numbers, or crossing out irrelevant information. Turning words into mathematical symbols.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Forming a relationship based on trust, encouragement, and caring about their success. I also encourage organization of notebooks, structured goals and sessions, while also being flexible as needed with needs that come along unexpectedly.