I served 25 years as an Applied Mathematician for the government. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Math from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's degree in Engineering from the University of Colorado, both with honors. After school I served as an active duty Air Force officer, and later as a civil servant. While still working full time, I started tutoring part time at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, tutoring high school & college students in math. My subjects are primarily Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Statistics. My favorite subject to tutor is Statistics, because it is a highly marketable skill that is in high demand in the workplace. My approach with tutoring is to maintain a positive, professional, encouraging, and fun environment for the student. Besides working, I strive to be the best husband and father to our two little boys. I am also active in church and exercise regularly. I hope to not just help students academically, but also serve as a professional role model who can help students appreciate how their education can greatly benefit them personally and professionally for the long term.
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Hampshire - Bachelors, Math
Graduate Degree: University of Colorado Boulder - Masters, Engineering - Space Operations
Exercise, church activities, music
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
CLEP College Algebra
What is your teaching philosophy?
I first believe that important prerequisites to learning are physical, emotional, and spiritual health. If these are in place, then a student should be able to approach a complex challenge with a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and concentration. When I tutor, I will seek to maintain a fun and relaxed atmosphere with the intention of learning the material, hopefully to the point of mastery. I will seek to meet students where they are at, remediate when necessary, and inspire them to achieve, accomplish, and realize their goals and dreams.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During a first session with a student, I would first try to establish where they currently are and what their desired goals are. I hope to make it a fun and positive experience that would increase a student's motivation and give them hope that committing to tutoring would be greatly beneficial to them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My first goal is to meet the students where they are currently at. If I need to teach or demonstrate how to do a certain problem, then I do that. My goal is to get the student to think and say the concepts out loud, with the goal of improving their confidence and mastery of the material. As the student's knowledge and confidence increases, then I have the student demonstrate to me their knowledge. Hopefully the student will realize the value of the knowledge to the point that they seek to go above and beyond the minimal requirements of the class, but seek mastery of the material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Assuming someone is already motivated, I hope to be a role model for them. Having succeeded academically and professionally, I hope to give student's confidence and a vision for how to accomplish their goals and realize their dreams.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
My first job is to understand where the student is currently at. If necessary I may have to remediate them if they are lacking foundational knowledge. If they are having difficulty but are almost able to grasp the concept, I can demonstrate the problems or exercises. Also I think it is important to relay the importance of patience and persistence when learning difficult skills or concepts. It may take multiple attempts and reading or re-reading of material in order to master the material. Sometimes it is necessary to take a break and try again at a later point. Sometimes it may be necessary to seek additional help from other resources.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Maintain a positive, fun, and professional atmosphere. Meet students where they are at. Demonstrate problems & exercises. Think, write, and say foundational mathematical concepts. Have the student demonstrate their knowledge.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
There are so many variables that can affect someone's motivation level towards a particular subject. I think the important thing is to understand a student's goal, and to teach them to appreciate how learning the subject helps them realize their goal.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to review homework problems, quizzes, and tests with students. I think it's vitally important to learn from past mistakes. I think it is important to master previous knowledge before learning new knowledge. If necessary, extra effort in remediation may be necessary.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The first job is to understand where they are currently at. I would apply a different strategy to an unconfident student then I would to a confident or overconfident student. My goal is to meet the student where they are at and where they want to be, and get them to appreciate how learning and mastering the material can get them to where they want to be. I believe in enthusiastic positive reinforcement and praise for good work, and gentle corrections when necessary.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to see student's homework, quizzes, and grades. I also apply somewhat of a Socratic method towards teaching by asking the student questions to gauge their motivation, level of knowledge, and confidence.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The first job is to understand where the student is currently at. I do not believe in judging or criticizing student's past performance. If a student needs remediation, I will certainly do what I can. However I am realistic that I am just a tutor, not a full time professional educator. If other resources & effort are necessary, I will make sure to communicate that clearly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Typically I like to use the student's text, class notes, homework, quizzes, and exams. If necessary I would leverage off of the many resources available on the Internet, such as web pages & YouTube videos.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For students who are struggling with reading comprehension, a great deal of patience is required. I first would seek to understand if the student has the physical, emotional, and mental pre-requisites to be able to comprehend reading. If there is a problem in those areas, I would seek additional help. Otherwise, a great deal of patience would need to be exercised.