I have been working in the mathematics field on a professional level for the past seven years. After college, where I obtained my bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing in order to gain a new, fresh perspective on liberal arts culture and the humanities, I realized my academic focus was better suited for the study and education associated with math. I've loved math ever since grade school, and I found myself actually looking forward to coming home and doing my math homework! I soon realized that what I was doing was not only fun, but had a purpose. I understood that it defines and shapes the way in which we go about our business navigating through the world. My admiration for its profound impact in this manner has only become stronger over the years. We use mathematical logic to arrive at unassailable truths about the world, algebra in representing mathematical language, and probability to make educated guesses on given occurrences. It goes on and on! Working with math is a fun, unique experience that I enjoy very much.
I graduated Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing. I then went on to Queens College, where I spent many years building my math credentials, taking undergraduate and graduate level courses in calculus, problem solving, math for business, and history of mathematics, to name a few. I entered into Queens College's graduate teacher education program, where I completed student teaching. I have hundreds of fieldwork hours in various schools observing teachers and colleagues at work, working on tutoring or group-organized instruction, and student teaching.
I have worked in various summer camps over the years, and I work with students with special learning needs.
Undergraduate Degree: SUNY at Binghamton - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: CUNY Queens College - Current Grad Student, Mathematics Education
Listening to music, going to the gym, swimming, comedies, watching baseball, building things, reading
ACCUPLACER Language Use
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Mathematics
COMPASS Writing Skills
Computational Problem Solving
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
GATE/ TAG Prep
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
GMAT Integrated Reasoning
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics
High School English
High School Writing
HSPT Language Skills
IB Further Mathematics
IB Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
ISEE-Lower Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Lower Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Lower Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Lower Level Writing
ISEE-Middle Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Middle Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Middle Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Middle Level Verbal Reasoning
ISEE-Upper Level Mathematics Achievement
ISEE-Upper Level Quantitative Reasoning
ISEE-Upper Level Reading Comprehension
ISEE-Upper Level Verbal Reasoning
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
OAT Quantitative Reasoning
PCAT Quantitative Ability
PCAT Verbal Ability
Technology and Coding
WISC IV Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teachers and students should be able to work together to arrive at the student's goals for academic success. It should be a process in which the student explains the areas of difficulty, and through a series of questions, the teacher gauges the student's understanding of the material. After this is achieved the teacher can help the student navigate through until the student arrives at a conclusion. I find it to be helpful when the material is presented in a relatable way. A parallel story, a familiar situation, a metaphor-- all can help the student develop a connection with the math. Whichever method works, I find it is important for the teacher to do whatever is possible to work within those parameters.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will speak with the student to get a little background information before we start to tackle whatever difficulties need attending. I want to see where the student is academically, and what information the student DOES know, so we can apply those tools to the problem.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The student and the teacher are both working in their respective roles. The teacher provides the tools necessary for the student to uncover the tools that they already have. The student then has the responsibility to take those tools, and apply them to the situation at hand. They should begin to assess their own abilities, and how much time and effort they need to put in to achieve the desired results.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The learning process is exactly that: a process. It leads to something-- a goal, a sense of accomplishment. Students should understand what they are doing has a purpose. It is not merely learning math for math's sake. It is much more than that. It is an achievement on a quiz or test that has the student filled with pride. It's a promise of a lifelong understanding of the importance mathematics plays on one's life. It's the ability to help someone else, and that person can help another, and so on.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would not give up hope that some learning can be achieved. There must be something that can be done to find a reasonable compromise. That is something I strive to do. I want to take help the student achieve as much academic success as possible. I know that everyone has different skills levels, and that is perfectly fine. Each student will get as much attention as necessary to reach potential.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As a math person I understand that comprehending the written word is often necessary. If a student is having difficulty in this area, I will differentiate to allow for the material to be presented in a way that works better.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I have found that gauging an understanding of the key points of the student's academic abilities is a good way to start determining how we should proceed. I also want them to know a little about me, about my understanding of math at that academic level. I want to create an understanding and try to relate to the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think the key to this is relate! How is this subjected connected with an idea in which the student has some level of interest, strong interest the ideal in this case. For example, I could present a word problem or a mathematical story that draws from the student's interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would ask the student to provide any notes or things of that nature that have already been provided. I want to be able to find a way to match the tutoring to the way in which the student was taught in school. If that proves to be a hardship for the student, or they learn better another way, I will see to it that we explore that avenue. I will provide plenty of practice problems, finding questions that are rooted in material that is both agreeable and educational.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence has to come from the student. They have to believe that they can achieve their goals. Through this process and with my guidance I will let the students form their own conclusions, arrive at the answers, and from that they can begin to realize they have what it takes to understand this math. Also, the more practice problems and the more they study, the more they will be able to get this material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I find out what the student's strengths and weaknesses are and then focus on turning the weaknesses into strengths. I would like to be able to give a student a question in the area of difficulty before we begin, and see what comes of the results. Then I have a better idea of what to focus on.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Whenever I've worked with students in the past, I find what works best for them and try to stay on that route until success is achieved. If they need to be walked through more gingerly, I will provide more detailed solutions to problems. If they need a challenge, I will arrange for the difficulty of the questions I ask to increase. Whatever the need is, I will do my best to adapt.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will provide paper, writing utensils, practice problems, books (if applicable), and some form of a calculator. Whatever else is needed can be added if necessary.