I am a former high schools physics teacher and current graduate student in mathematics.
I've had experience tutoring math subjects since my undergraduate days-- in a distant epoch-- and was lucky enough to teach the first AP Physics course at a high school in Florida.
I believe that my approach to teaching mathematics and physics was borne out of an initial dislike and fear of the subject in middle school. Far from the 'arm-raised-straight-up' type, I was perfectly comfortable dreading being called on and relying on assured knowledge that I'd never needing such useless facts again.
However, a curveball was thrown my way after reaching the 10th grade where I uncovered a nascent interest in physics. After reading A Brief History of Time and realizing that math and physics were so inextricably linked, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the field that Gauss called, "the queen of the sciences."
I believe that if I an learn it, my students can learn it. It may be hackneyed, but I really do believe in the old adage that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In my experience, what often seems to the student a lack of ability to understand math or physics conceptually stems from easily taught (but not easily practiced) study skills.
Undergraduate Degree: Thomas Edison State College - Bachelors, Natural Science/Math
Graduate Degree: The University of West Florida - Current Grad Student, Math
I enjoy drinking large amounts of coffee, reading and old Columbo episodes.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a firm believer in relating new, potentially difficult concepts to previously learned material that the student is more comfortable with. For instance, when introducing integration by parts, I think a common method of introduction is to show the formula and then immediately jump into worked examples. I believe that a refresher on more the more basic idea behind substitutions followed by a derivation of the formula helps to represent the new concept as an extension of material and not something new, which, in my experience, is less jarring.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introductions followed by the student's current course load and with the subject. Then perhaps a short diagnostic that will help me identify more clearly what to focus on.