A photo of Brendan, a tutor from South Dakota State University

Brendan

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I am a Junior currently enrolled at South Dakota State University and grew up in the twin cities area. I am obtaining a degree in Mathematics with Specialization in Education. When I graduate in May of 2017, I plan to teach at a high school in the twin cities area. I have a wide range of tutoring experience beginning with private tutoring in high school with two students. I then worked one hour a week at Brookings, SD high school credit recovery tutoring students in any high school math course. Following the high school, I also have a full year of experience tutoring for the South Dakota State University Mathematics Department. This experience included assisting students in Pre-College Algebra with any questions they may have while they worked on their online homework. Also, I proctored exams and personally tutored in the on campus Math Help Center. The Math Help Center was established for students to show up for walk-in hours and receive one-on-one tutoring with any college mathematics course ranging from Pre-College Algebra to Calculus II. I have tutored just about any mathematics subject from high school to college and have successfully completed upper level college mathematics courses. Personally, I feel I am best at tutoring Algebra, as I understand it real well in order to give multiple perspectives on how to solve a problem.

When I am not tutoring, I keep myself busy with whatever I can feel productive with. This mainly includes an extensive research effort on my family genealogy. I have compiled a family tree with over 2,100 members and it continues to grow. I went as far as performing an Ancestry DNA test to learn more about my family history. I greatly respect my roots and where I have came from. Lastly, I have the personality that will lead me to be successful in the world of education. I planned to major in Financial Engineering at SDSU and become an Actuary Scientist working for insurance companies. Although this pay would reach six figures in a matter of years, I respectfully declined the opportunity my first semester at SDSU because I felt a calling to change the world for the good. I felt my duty was to use my extensive knowledge in mathematics to change the lives of students like my high school teachers did for me. I have countlessly handled numerous things at once and am able to multi-task very successfully. My primary hobby truly is running. I run and compete for the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits at the Division 1 level and have proved myself successful. With this multitude of events on my plate, I continue to display my academic, athletic, and personal success in life. I look forward to touching more lives than I already have!

Brendan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: South Dakota State University - Bachelors, Mathematics Education

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 24

ACT Math: 29

Hobbies

Running, Family Genealogy, Helping Others Learn!


Q & A

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

In a first session, I would like to simply get to know the student a little in order to establish a relationship of trust and comfortability. The student will perform better when he or she is not afraid to ask questions, whether they are right or wrong.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Establish with the student that many things in life are a process, one being education. I had occasionally struggled for motivation in the early years of college, but reminded myself to take it one day at a time.

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

My favorite way to address this situation when I tutor is use what I know that the students know. The beauty of mathematics is that much of it connects with one another. Making connections with students and allowing for practice is what will lead them to be successful.

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

I believe that most students do not enjoy a subject they are struggling in, and that is perfectly fine. My experience with tutoring has shown that when we prove to the students that they can do it on their own, they will naturally become excited about getting the work done!

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

Educators must make connections with students to ensure them that they already hold the knowledge in order to solve the problem. Most problems are simply worded differently in a way that encourages the student to give up.