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I enjoy tutoring mathematics to students, and I get a little thrill when I can help those struggling with mathematical concepts grasp a fuller understanding. I have tutored math through Faulkner State and Pensacola State college math labs and TRIO programs while earning my BS degree in math. Now that I am a certified
math teacher, I continue to tutor math. My experience working in a technical field for many years, before entering college full time, gives me a real world view of the importance of math.

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Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The University of West Florida - Current Undergrad, Mathematics

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 30


Math, Science, motorcycles, swimming, hot air ballooning, scuba diving, and travel..

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Nobody is born knowing this stuff. We all have to learn it, and we all learn it in different ways and at different rates. I strive for understanding as opposed to memorization.

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

Most of my students are either seeking assistance with a current math course or preparing for a test, so we typically work on homework problems and test review.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Math really can't be learned by watching someone else do it, so I try to engage the student in obtaining the solution. I also use many online and white paper resources students can utilize for independent learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Using real world and interesting problems to solve rather than pure abstract equations helps motivate by demonstrating the usefulness and significance of math. Also it is important to realize how far you have progressed and how much you already learned.

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

In math the difficulty in learning a new concept is usually due to not fully understanding the ideas that lead up to it. Usually backing up a little bit and then explaining the new concept in a different way helps.

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

When I tutor the ACT reading test, I utilize the tips and suggestions provided in study guides. Taking ACT practice tests is a great help.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Typically the student has either a homework assignment or a test review sheet. In addition I have several textbooks, cheat sheets, and online sites that I utilize.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Listening to the student and asking questions to discover where they are needing assistance and where they are comfortable with the material has proved to be a successful strategy. There is little need to explain a concept that is already understood.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

When the material is new to the student I ask the student questions as I work through a problem; once they get a handle on the material I ask them to explain it to me as they solve it.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Learning is a continual process; a student's confidence can be built up by pointing out what they do know, and what they have learned.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I listen to the student, ask them questions, and prompt them for answers to assignments.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I find that when a student begins to understand the material they become more excited and engaged, so I help them understand it.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Every student learns differently and comes from a different knowledge base, so I attempt to tailor my tutoring to the student’s learning style and present understanding.

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