I assist students to better understand Mathematics and Physics concepts through guided discovery. I taught myself Calculus from a 1930’s text (the text was that old … not me :^) I earned an honors degree in Physics from the University of Waterloo. I tutored a Freshman Physics class as a teaching assistant and provided online tutoring via the Star Tribune homework help web site.
In general, I enjoy tutoring Mathematics and Physics. I also enjoy hiking and orienteering, which is an application of Mathematics to transcribe back and forth between an abstract map and the physical landscape.
As your tutor can guide you towards the satisfaction of discovering new concepts for yourself, which you will then retain for the longer term.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Waterloo - Bachelors, Physics
Graduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Masters, MBA
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Guided self-discovery of answers known, but not realized.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Gain an understanding of what the student knows and what the student would like to discover.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By guiding the student in learning how to uncover new knowledge based on the students foundation of existing knowledge.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Baby steps. We don't learn to run before we learn to walk.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Return to what the student understands and provide in intermediate stepping-stone towards learning the new skill or concept.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I guide the student to explain new concepts to me. Students remember what they teach others.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I help the student understand how the subject applies to something that is relevant to the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Provide the student with example problems around the material, moving from simpler concrete examples to more complex abstract examples.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I guide students in decomposing the text into pieces that can be better understood, and then recomposing the text into the form that the student comprehends.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence is built upon the ability to successfully apply concepts. This is achieved by providing opportunities to apply concepts at the student's level of understanding.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The student's needs are identified through a combination of self-evaluation and confirmed through example opportunities to apply the requisite concepts.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Tutoring is adapted to the student's needs by adjusting the level of complexity of the concepts to be learned and by approaching the concept from alternate directions that may better fit the student's learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use texts, student homework assignments, internet resources, canned sample exercises and blank paper to provide students with resources to gain the needed understanding required.