I firmly believe that ANYONE CAN EXCEL in mathematics! I believe in my students, and Id love the opportunity to help you believe in yourself (or your child in his- or herself) too.
Though I first began tutoring when I was a senior in high school, I have since gained formal teaching experience in Geometry, Algebra, and 7th & 8th grade math. It is with pride that I share I was the sole math teacher responsible for my school meeting the mathematics standards for 7th & 8th grade for the first time in ten years! As a military spouse, my teaching career met with some frustrations due to the short stays and frequent relocation required by my husbands work, and I now find satisfaction dispelling math phobia from the privacy of my own home while enjoying the flexibility of tutoring students in grades K-12 from all over the globe, and I have done so for the past five years. As a stay-at-home doggie momma, I have lots of availability to tutor during the morning, afternoon and late afternoon hours during the week.
Though I am competent to tutor any discipline of mathematics, Geometry is hands-down my favorite by virtue of its visual nature and all the fun, practical applications with which it is associated, followed closely by Algebra I & II. I have been told that my teaching style appeals most to students in grades 5-12, and I enjoy providing insights to students in these grades regarding career opportunities and the practical, real-world applications that exist for the content they are learning. I have the most experience tutoring these subjects as well as middle & elementary school math; these are where my strengths as a mathematics educator reside.
Although I should have studied mathematics from the very beginning, my first bachelors degree from Tufts University is actually in Classical Studies and Community Health. Following that, I attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which was NOT the right fit for me! However, the subjective nature of law and of law school taught me a new respect for mathematics and its objectivity; I find the fact that there are definite answers in mathematics at which you WILL arrive if you follow the steps correctly very comforting in this world of uncertainty. After law school, I returned to my love of mathematics, earned a bachelors degree in Mathematics & Secondary Mathematics Education, and later went on to earn a Master's Level endorsement in Secondary Mathematics Education as well.
My tutoring style involves encouraging students to share their questions, fears, and concerns about the problems they are encountering with their math in an approachable, relaxed, and sometimes even entertaining environment and keeping them engaged throughout the learning process. Using a series of leading questions, I like to draw them into the problem-solving process, enabling them to arrive at the solutions largely on their own. This has an invaluable impact upon bolstering their confidence in the subject matter as well as themselves. Not all students learn the same way, so I tailor my instruction to suit the variety of different learning styles of my individual students. To avoid the frustrated when am I going to use this? Im never going to use this! concerns students possess, I relate the concepts they are learning to real-life applications to provide context and help them see the importance of those skills. I like to challenge my students to reach their full potential: how will we know the greatness they are capable of achieving until we inspire them to try?
Graduate Degree: Case Western Reserve University - PHD, LAW
Undergraduate Degree: Western Governors University - Bachelors, Mathematics & Education
Spending time with my husband and dog, photography, baking, papercrafts, crocheting & knitting, animal adoption advocacy
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help encourage students to become independent learners, I assess prior knowledge and then build upon it by asking a lot of leading questions as we work through problems together. Since this process enables them to arrive at the answers more independently, it bolsters their self-confidence in the material as well as their problem solving abilities. This makes it easier for them to believe they can calculate the answers to future problems with less and less help as time progresses. Also, after they have completed several examples correctly, I ask them to pretend I am a classmate who doesn't know how to solve the problem, and ask them to explain the solution process step by step, since one true way to demonstrate you have mastered material is to be able to explain it to others.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I provide lots of positive reinforcement and feedback to my students as they are working through solutions to stay motivated. Everyone needs a cheerleader! I also like to draw upon examples of how the material they are learning has practical value in the real world and can help them attain any personal goals they have set for themselves.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Whenever a student exhibits signs of struggling with a concept, I try to pinpoint the exact point in the solution process where their confusion begins and pick up from there, slowly proceeding step by step. If they are still lost, I ask questions to assess prior knowledge and determine if they are lacking prerequisite concepts necessary to understand the steps involved, then strengthen any weak skills that exist in a student's content knowledge with instruction so they are able to return to the skill at hand and successfully master it.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To help verify that students understand the material we have covered, I frequently ask them to describe each step in the solution process out loud to me and explain the reasons behind each one while they are performing the calculations. This assures me that they understand the rationale and theory behind each step as well, appreciating their significance in leading the students to the correct answer.