I graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in Math, but I chose Bennington College specifically because I wanted a liberal arts school that encouraged me to be well-rounded. I've taken classes in many different fields (sculpture, South African history, music theory, philosophy) and have worked with students of a wide variety of interests. I loved working with students from other majors because I enjoyed watching them develop a new, positive relationship with math. I've tutored at my college and was a teaching assistant at Quest University Canada for their first spherical trigonometry class.
During the tutoring sessions, I love seeing what the student was thinking. In math, its an easy and important tutoring strategy to identify when something is incorrect. I want to go deeper, though. What was the student thinking? Was she careless or is this a consistent mistake? I also want to see their attitude, which can sometimes get in the way of working through the problem. If the student loves math, thats great, but even if he doesnt, can he still make those inevitable mistakes without giving up? Tutoring is very personal, in that way, because the student has time with a tutor who will follow along, step-by-step, beyond just the calculations to ensure a positive learning experience.
Outside of tutoring, I am a professional dancer with Brandon Ballet. I love working in two very different fields because pushing myself in these different directions can be really fulfilling. I also enjoy cooking and personal development podcasts.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bennington College - Bachelors, Mathematics
ACT English: 34
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 36
SAT Composite: 2190
SAT Math: 730
SAT Verbal: 750
SAT Writing: 710
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I often find that people describe themselves as "not being a math person," and I sympathize, but it's not true. Studying math can be a slow process with ups and downs, but if the student can learn something new each session, then it's a success. I hope that my students will accept that mistakes happen, that it's okay to not know, and that it takes lots of practice to improve. When I'm working with a student, I know that the correct answer is the goal, and that's important. But my goal as the tutor is to make sure the student can appreciate the journey too.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I want to establish what the student is looking for. Sometimes there's a test the next day, sometimes it's for remedial purposes, sometimes enrichment. This is usually a quick conversation, but it helps me figure out how quickly to move. If there's a pressing deadline, I want to filter the session to the most crucial points. If the student wants to be thorough, I want to allow for more processing time and even explore different strategies. I also want to be sure that I can honor the way the student is being taught math. While the content is the same, different teachers have different explanations, examples, and mnemonic devices. I may ask questions about how a concept was learned so that I can speak about the content in the same way. I'm always trying to relate to the student as best as I can.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I love the process of developing independent learners. First, the end goal should be clear, whether it's to pass a particular exam, earn a particular grade, or gain acceptance to a college or program. With this goal, I can work with the student to develop a clear study plan with the topics and exercises to work through. This will take a commitment outside of tutoring sessions, reviewing what is already understood and identifying problem areas so that tutoring can focus the difficult topics.