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Michael

I'm a recent mathematics graduate from the University of North Texas. I do research in algebra and geometry, and I also love to teach. I've been tutoring for over 3 years now privately and with a company called Mathnasium. I have grown to become very passionate about teaching and I'm constantly trying to improve my technique so that I can help my students truly learn.

I tutor subjects anywhere from Algebra I and II to Calculus III, and beyond (any undergraduate mathematics course (other than, perhaps, probability and statistics)). I also teach test preparation for various high school and undergraduate tests such as the ACT/SAT and GRE or GMAT. I love to teach these subjects, and I've been doing so for the three years I've been a tutor. I like to guide students in training them how to ask themselves questions, rather than me giving direct information to them. I feel that this is the best way to learn a subject. On the side, I like to teach guitar and drawing.

Undergraduate Degree:

University of North Texas - Bachelors, Mathematics

I love mathematics. I also play the guitar and sing (and teach this, too!). I like to draw and sometimes paint. I write about philosophy as well.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe the Socratic method is the best way to teach. This involves me asking the student "why?" at each step of the learning process. This also involves me guiding the student in learning how to ask themselves questions.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I'd introduce myself and ask what the student's favorite subject is. I like to do this because it sparks up an interesting conversation about the student's interests and goals. After, I proceed with the session while keeping this in mind to possibly relate it to the subject matter.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think through the method of Socratic questioning; there is no end to a student's potential. The key to becoming great at an academic discipline is to always question what you know (or think you know).

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I like to remind an unmotivated student (or any student for that matter) about the benefits of what they are learning, and what they can potentially accomplish. I also give them a little of my background, as I did not start out so great in my earlier years in school.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

The best way to help a struggling student is to slow things down, no matter how much. It is very important for a student, especially in mathematics, to fully grasp the concepts before applying them to problems.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I can relate to this struggle, as I had minor dyslexia when I was younger. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I share with a student who has difficulty retaining or comprehending what they are reading. These tricks were acquired from my own struggle, and I think they work.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Other than the Socratic method of questioning, I find that pictures help most! Many students feel that drawing a picture of the problem is forbidden in some way, but it can be the most powerful tool in solving a problem.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

This depends on the subject, but there is usually a motivating factor in any area of mathematics. That is, when a student first learns something in math, it may seem like a bunch of jumbled parts that don't really connect. But showing them the bigger picture helps them to realize what is going on and why we are learning a particular concept.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The best way to make sure a student knows the material is to have them explain it to me. This will always tell me how much they actually grasp or know.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I relate a student's lack of confidence in a subject to my own lack of confidence I had in high school. I overcame that by working hard and working on studying techniques. I'll share this with the student to motivate them.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

At the start, I evaluate where the student might be lacking, where the student needs some more work, and where the student is excelling. This is done by going over the basics (material ranging from elementary school to beginning high school). Then I integrate this material into every proceeding session.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Every student is different, in that every student learns in a particular way. I adapt my methods to their learning, while keeping the core principles of my teaching method.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

All that is needed is pencil or pen and a lot of paper! Very rarely do I allow calculators, for the sole purpose of developing number sense. When teaching test prep, there will usually be a practice test book.