My goal in tutoring is to help students learn more material in a faster amount of time than they can any other way. I do this by getting to know them, finding out how best they learn, and catering everything to them specifically. Everyone is different and so are their learning styles. It is my job as a one to one tutor to best explain difficult ideas in a way that allows the student to understand them clearly. Teaching and tutoring have always been passions of mine and for the past year I have been tutoring full-time and could not have enjoyed it more. The focus of my tutoring has been the Math and Science sections of ACT, the Math section of the SAT and the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE, along with subject tutoring in high school and early college Math, Chemistry and Physics. I currently tutor those standardized tests along with math from pre-algebra through calculus II, physical science, physics and chemistry. I am looking forward to helping as many students reach their academic goals as I can while I'm here.
Outside of Tutoring I am an athlete and an avid singer. I mostly sing with 2 barbershop choruses here in the area and I have a long history of acapella singing. I played football and baseball in high school and play basketball whenever I can find a good game.
I have a B.A. in chemistry from Kalamazoo College and an M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Michigan. I was a chemistry teacher's assistant at Kalamazoo and a Graduate Student Instructor at Michigan.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Kalamazoo College - Bachelors, Chemistry
Graduate Degree: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Masters, Inorganic Chemistry
ACT Math: 31
SAT Math: 720
GRE Quantitative: 760
Singing, cooking, football, basketball, baseball, video games, science documentaries
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
7th Grade Math
8th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
IB Further Mathematics
IB Mathematical Studies
IB Music HL
IB Music SL
Middle School Science
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is simply the communication of ideas. The better you communicate, the better you teach. Everyone learns differently and the job of a tutor is to find out how a student best learns, and use that to best teach them concepts. A good teacher is someone who has the material completely mastered and can effectively communicate it to a wide variety of people.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session is about getting to know the student. I get to know them as a person and what they are looking to accomplish. Additionally, I use this time to get to know their curriculum and find their comfort level with the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
This is done largely through first learning how the student best learns, then teaching them techniques which take advantage of that style. Teaching someone how to learn is entirely personalized.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I usually do this by finding what is important to the student and relating the work to something already important to them. If there is a tangible, alluring reward, someone is far more likely to work hard on something.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I break down the concept further and further, until there is something that they do understand. Then, I build everything from that level, making sure that they understand it every step of the way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I usually break questions down piece-by-piece and work until they can put the questions into their own words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The most successful are a handful of math techniques that I teach that don't seem to be taught in school anymore. There are many math shortcuts that students tend to not know.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I engage the student first; that is most important. Sometimes I have to weave in and out of the material to keep them interested and keep them from giving up.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I will often make them do a different, but similar problem on their own and check both their answer and their work. If they do that well, I follow it with a more complicated problem to check their ability to apply the principles in more difficult situations.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I find the skills within the subject that they are good at and build off of those. By going at the right pace for the student, and not giving them too much that they can't do, I can usually keep them confident in themselves.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I do this by both talking to them and their parents, but also looking at their work for what they are doing wrong or not doing. As a tutor I do my best to stay closely attuned to what the student knows, doesn't know and is in the process of learning.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every session is completely and entirely custom built. My job as a tutor is to better the student in the work we are doing. This involves knowing where the student is starting, and where they want to be. I then coach them through the material, piece by piece, until they are where they want to be and further.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For math and science, I typically just need a notebook of blank paper and a pen and pencil. For higher-level chemistry, a model kit might be needed to best illustrate some of those principles.