A recent graduate from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science in Geology with Honors. I am currently pursuing options for graduate studies in a Masters of Science program. As a career minded adult the decision to return to school with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor's degree presented many challenges. As a younger student I was uninterested in mathematics and like many students felt overwhelmed by math in general. When I had made the commitment to return to school to pursue my degree, I understood that a strong foundation and success in mathematics was essential to my degree. I found success in mathematics by returning to the basics and building a foundation upon which to proceed toward my goals. I became involved in tutoring fellow Florida Atlantic University Students in mathematics for The Department of Mathematical Sciences and The Center for Student Learning and Success. I found helping my fellow students very rewarding and greatly enjoyed these opportunities. I worked with a variety of students including student athletes, ACCESS Program students, and NAVITAS Program students. I tutor for algebra based courses including pre-calculus. It is my experience both in my own education and in helping fellow students that there truly is no such thing as "I just can't do math". With an active and engaging learning process you can be successful in mathematics.
What is your teaching philosophy?
The student should be actively involved in the problem solving process. Mathematics, like any academic endeavor, is not a spectators sport.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Actively listen to the student’s summary of current material and follow up with questions to gauge mastery.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
As a tutor one must allow a student the opportunity to critically think and try to solve problems. All too often students are "helped" by too many step-by-step solutions. It is better to review concepts and allow the student to actively problem solve, and coach based on their progress.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement is a must for all students. It is really important that they feel successful and that they are making progress. Math subjects can feel overwhelming. Without a feeling of accomplishment this feeling of being overwhelmed can lead to frustration.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Re-evaluate the way the concept is being explained. Perhaps another approach will help the student overcome the difficulty in understanding the concept. Reviewing a similar or related concept the student does understand may help the student with the current difficulty.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found a general discussion of organizational and study techniques to benefit almost every student.