I graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Chemistry and a certification to teach High School Science. While in school, I accidentally took at least one class in every discipline of science which allowed me to understand complex concepts by using simple concepts from different disciplines. I believe that any subject can be made easy to understand if you can understand the basics that govern everything else. Since graduation I have worked as a High School Science teacher in the Bay area, an Outdoor Educator in Southern California, and I have written a free, online book describing the interlinking nature of everything (yourhumanmanual.com).
I can teach you any discipline of science, and many social sciences, by using simple concepts that relate to your own experiences. While tutoring with me, you will discover the answers to questions you didn't know you had about your everyday lives. I am thoroughly passionate about the interconnectivity of everything and it comes across when I get to talk about those concepts. Not only will you learn from me, you will enjoy the process and my fun way of explaining things. I have worked with many, many students to master the art of simplifying complex topics; I've even gotten 5th graders to understand String Theory!
Outside of teaching, I'm creating a Stretching business to help ease people of chronic pain and help shed body fat, all while relaxing and breathing in the comfort of their own home. I use my interconnected understanding of science, not only to teach but to naturally enhance my own body.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Bachelors, Chemistry
Basketball, Improv Comedy, and Yoga
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
You learn best when you can relate new information to something you already know. I like to get to know you to explain concepts in terms that you are more familiar. Names can change; concepts stay the same.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I'd like to spend the first session getting to know a student. Learning about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and struggles allows me to get a better sense of your perspective. My goal is to present information such that it is understandable from your perspective.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning how to learn is the main reason for education. If you understand the methods that work best for your unique mind, you can find more efficient ways to learn new information.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's all about zooming out to the big picture. It helps to envision your long-term goals to better inspire you to WANT to work now. It's about tricking your brain into completing work for your reasons, not someone else's.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We will break down the concept into simpler parts and relate those parts to information that you already know. You are a nerd about something: sports, TV shows, rare bug collections. If you can relate new information to something you already know, it will be that much easier to remember.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Often we get focused on speed or just completing the reading. Stopping frequently to relate what you just read to your life will allow you to grasp the information better. Plus more breaks!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I am a fairly open book; I don't like to hide my own personality or past. My openness often encourages students to share more with me. With greater communication between us, I'll be able to learn more about you and cater my teaching to your specific style.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
It's all about relating new concepts to things you already understand. If a concept is boring, the names can be changed to something more interesting while the concept stays the same. Giving a different perspective of a subject can also pique a student's interest. I like to teach using multiple disciplines of science so different perspectives are easy for me to give.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Perspective is reality. If you think about all the things you cannot do, you'll understandably feel dejected. However, switching the perspective around to look at the vast amount that you do understand can give you the boost you need to keep going!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When discussing topics, I keep watch on how much the student and I are contributing to the conversation. If the student is not comfortable enough to talk about a concept, we'll go back through until they solidify it.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Everyone is a unique learner because everyone has had different experiences. I like to get to know the experiences of my students so I can understand how they learn best. Often that means relating scientific concepts to your interests.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Most of my teaching is done as a verbal conversation, though I like to use a whiteboard and image/video searches to better illustrate concepts. Sometimes verbal conversations aren't enough so it's best to give multiple means of the same information.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to converse about scientific concepts and how they apply to everyday life. Students that do not understand the material will struggle more with the conversation. This clues me off to review that concept to improve their confidence.