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Nicolas

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Hey, I am a recent college graduate who majored in Physics. In my time at college, I felt as though most of my professors were brilliant people, but were too involved in their research to focus much on teaching or be accessible to students. For this reason, I make an effort to be enthusiastic, accessible, and genuine in my teaching. I know what is hard and what is easy, and I have tutored my friends and nearby high school students in math, physics, chemistry, and standardized tests, and I love writing on dry-erase boards.

I enjoy tutoring because, for me, teaching students about mathematics and science is about giving them intuition, confidence, and ultimately, an appreciation for the beauty of the subject matter. Math & science are not just subjects to pass. They underlie very real things, like why raindrops bead up on a windshield, or why the sky is blue and sunsets are red. Mathematical and scientific intuition gives students a very real *power* of looking at the world, seeing its logic, its beauty, and knowing why things happen.

As a physics major, I used calculus in all of my courses and have an intuition for many of the concepts. I prize mathematical intuition over rigor, and I use visualizations and illustrations, because I know that the majority of students are visual learners, like me. I even created an infographic poster in one of my classes, on the topic of mathematical objects and proofs. I designed it to make learning math fun, accessible, and visually striking.

The areas of science I know best are physics and chemistry (my minor). I have looked up a lot of articles in my free time and know a good number of common examples (preferably visual) and cool facts to illustrate a concept. I use these to make the material interesting and relevant to my students. I know what most of the elements on the periodic table look like, and I genuinely like explaining things ––and if my students don't understand it one way, I am happy to explain it another way.

If you are having trouble with math, physics, or chemistry, I would love to help you. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you!

Nicolas’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University - Bachelors, Physics

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2250

SAT Math: 770

SAT Verbal: 720

SAT Writing: 760

AP Chemistry: 5

AP Calculus BC: 5

AP English Language: 5

AP US History: 5

AP Computer Science A: 5

AP Environmental Science: 5

AP Spanish Language: 4

Hobbies

Chocolate, Minecraft, Going to the gym


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I aim to build a deep and intuitive (even visual) understanding of the material in all my students. From this comes confidence, power, and a genuine love for math and science, and the awesome things you can do with them.

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

I will take a moment to find out what their goals are, and what they need the most help with. I will start our lesson with whatever they understand the least, and build from there.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Emphasize the importance of solving problems, and eventually allow them to walk through the problem entirely on their own. Once my students understand all the steps of solving the problem, I am confident they can solve more and similar problems without any difficulty.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I constantly bring up interesting facts or applications of material; like if a student were studying chemistry, that Bromine is a vivid red-orange liquid. Or that in math, large prime numbers are essential to modern cryptography.

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

I would first try to explain it another way, or begin at a point where they understand, and find out exactly what part of the material doesn't make sense to them. In math, I draw a picture or come up with some illustration for what I'm trying to explain.

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

Although reading is not one of my preferred subjects to teach, I would recommend reading the passage aloud, to catch any subtleties in the tone of the article. This also helps keep you focused and at a good pace.

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

I ask about what their goals are, and try to let them tell me exactly what material they want me to explain or help them practice with.

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

I would relate science and math to things that my students see every day, like rain, gravity, and light. I would emphasize that knowing science and math opens up many opportunities for students in the future, but more importantly, gives them the power to understand the world around them.

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

I would ask the student to walk me through a practice problem, and explain along the way what they are doing. I could also work through a problem and prompt the student to make key logical steps along the way, so that they understand how to arrive at the answer.

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

I believe one of the best ways to build confidence is to solve practice problems, and once they are proficient with those, introduce them to newer and more difficult problems. Being able to apply their knowledge in an unfamiliar situation shows students they have the power to reason logically about the world.