I've always loved science and I'm genuinely excited when anyone asks questions that I can answer to help them understand, oftentimes difficult, subject material. I have a bachelor's degree in Geophysics and I currently work as a researcher analysing rocks for trace element composition, both of which have provided platforms to relate abstract concepts in science and math to physical processes.
It's my belief that the real factors for success are time and effort, everyone has the ability to be an expert with practice and the true challenge is learning to focus on the skills someone wants to improve.
I'm a huge fan of live music, hiking, swimming, running, movies and tea or ideally any combination. I enjoy anything that can represent scientific concepts, which is pretty much everything, and my goal is to help others see these concepts in their everyday life.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Barbara - Bachelors, Geophysics
Swimming, hiking, running, science, Grocery Store Monopoly
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
Middle School Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Being able to visualize concepts is the best way to truly understand abstract principles in any field. The trick is finding the real world example that best illustrates the topic.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I try to understand where a student is with the material and what their most effective learning styles are. More importantly, I like to identify student’s interests so we can create relatable examples to help with conceptual understanding.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I help students foster a curiosity for the material and its broader applications to help them become an independent learner. If someone can understand one aspect of a big picture it's more appealing to investigate further.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I think students should recognize small goals to better appreciate minor improvements. It's impossible to learn any new subject overnight but setting a series of steps in a process will help to maintain progress and provide a successful attitude.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Help the student by identifying where they are having difficulty. In many cases when students are having a difficult time it’s because they had trouble with another topic. Making sure a student can identify all of their available tools is the first step in clarifying issues.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I help with reading comprehension by making sure that they can stop and think through material they just finished, whether it's a page, paragraph or sentence. Being able to put ideas into your own words and practicing explaining them to someone else is a great way to familiarize yourself with difficult sections in textbooks.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I help students realize that the real factor to any skill is time. Most everyone can observe someone as gifted but knowing how much effort is put into a skill is almost always overlooked.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I get a student engaged by helping them progress towards solving problems on their own. Giving that student the confidence to tackle more difficult subjects knowing that it is possible to succeed when they work hard.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After going over material I encourage students to explain concepts in their own words or give examples where they might find problems in real life. Once a student can explain a problem outside of the subject matter, it's easy for them to recall it later.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The best way to feel confident in any area is to know that you have the ability to accomplish your set goals. Being able to set appropriate goals for a student's understanding will help to reinforce that they have the skill set to solve even the most difficult problems.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student’s needs by asking them to explain what parts of subject material they understand and how they typically study. When I understand where a student has trouble I can then help to identify what methods to use when conveying information and what methods to suggest that will improve their studying effectiveness.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
If a student is having particular trouble with either subject material or study methods, I can structure our time to maximize improvement in difficult areas. In most cases I believe in creating a comparison with course material and a student's favorite hobbies to make studying effective and fun.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will use any materials that bring the information off the page and into the real world. Some of my favorites are string for graphing and a tennis ball for physics.