Several years ago, I entered a graduate program at Florida State University intending to make a career out of scientific research. I quickly learned that I had a much greater passion for teaching others about science, so I took part in their master's teaching program to improve my abilities as an instructor. I successfully completed my masters' degrees in both biological science and science teaching. During that time, I gained extensive experience as both teacher and tutor by planning interactive lessons for students, holding help sessions as a teaching assistant, and working as an adjunct at a community college. While my specialty is biology, I also tutor subjects such as low level math and the verbal sections of standardized tests. I believe in the importance of a good education and my primary goal is to make learning a positive experience for the student. I am willing and able to take the time to work with a student to figure out how they learn best. In my free time, I enjoy a good book, board games with friends, and playing bass guitar. My more recent pastimes have been rock climbing and learning to program.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida State University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Florida State University - Masters, Biology (1st Grad Degree), Secondary Math/Science Teaching (2nd Grad Degree)
ACT Composite: 33
ACT English: 32
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 33
SAT Math: 730
AP Biology: 4
GRE Verbal: 740
AP Calculus AB: 4
AP English Language: 4
AP US History: 4
AP World History: 4
Science, science fiction, fantasy, and video games,
Elementary School Math
High School Biology
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I want to provide students with an experience that encourages further pursuit of knowledge and also gives them a strong conceptual framework for later endeavors. One of the most important things I can do is to not simply tell a student the answer to a question, but instead guide them through how to solve it for themselves. I attribute great importance to using student-centered methods that encourage critical thinking and problem solving. Not all students learn the same way, so I am prepared to try multiple instructional techniques to find the one that fits a student best.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
One of the first things I like to do is speak with the student about the subject we are going to be working on. I find out what they have a good grasp on and what is giving them the most trouble. Is there a particular learning style they like or dislike? Do they want to be focused on reviewing what they've learned or exploring new material? If there is a particular class they are preparing for, then I like to understand how the class is structured so that I can best help the student prepare for assessments.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The most important thing is not to tell the student the answer to their problem, but rather guide them into figuring it out for themselves and helping them practice the process. Ideally, I would like to be able to supplement the student's work with relevant questions that encourage such problem solving and critical thinking.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement is one way to support a student, but not the only way. If a student is unmotivated due to lack of interest, I would look for a connection between the subject in question and a topic/activity the student enjoys. If the lack of motivation is due to a stall in progress, I would attempt a different teaching strategy to get the student engaged again.