I find that helping students of all ages learn is one of the most gratifying experiences in my life! When my students learn something new, the knowledge they obtain will be a 'tool' in their 'tool belt' for the rest of their lives. I have worked closely with many students of all ages, and I find that, no matter how old, every person has areas they can improve in. It is important to me to know what each of my students wants to accomplish in their time with me, and how they think that can best be achieved.
I have attended Washburn University in Topeka Kansas, The University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and Johnson County Community College in Olathe, Kansas. I am currently working on a Biotechnology degree after changing from an Aerospace Engineering degree after getting married. I have extensive experience in Mathematics and Science, and I am a very capable writer as well. I can tutor nearly any S.T.E.M course up through highschool (and some college), along with English and grammar - more specifically paper writing - up to an early college level.
When it comes to learning, I believe in two very basic principals. First, "Perfect practice makes perfect." I use this modification on the old adage to show that when practicing anything from math to grammar, repetition of the correct kind is absolutely key. Secondly, I believe that every piece of knowledge obtained through school can be treated like a tool in a tool belt. Every student, no matter how old or young, experienced or novice, gifted or challenged can learn to use their tools effectively. I know first hand of the anxiety that comes from having no idea where to start on any given problem, which is why I believe that when it comes to doing well on tests, the best first step is to take a first step!
Outside of school, I am an avid video gamer, a devoted husband, and an amateur musician. While I don't consider myself to be gifted athletically, I am certainly able to keep up in recreational or intramural sports - of which soccer is my favorite.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Kansas - Bachelors, Mechanical Engineering
ACT Composite: 31
ACT Math: 35
ACT Reading: 33
Video games, playing the drums, soccer, and finding new and fun places to eat!
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that giving students the tools they need to take a first step on problems in any field they struggle with is key. Often students have issues on tests because they don't even know where to start. I think that overcoming that obstacle by learning how to take a first step is one of the best ways to improve test scores.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session with each student, I like to evaluate their existing knowledge in the areas we will be focusing on so I can see where I need to spend the most time. This can be done using anything from a practice test to just going over a few typical examples a student might see on typical homework assignments. From there we lay the groundwork for their more in depth education in each subject!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to teach independent learning is to teach someone how to learn in the first place - not just memorize. Too often students are tasked with rote memorization (that they'll forget as soon as they take a test), and the end result is a nearly-zero net benefit. If I can teach someone how to learn, how to take meaningful steps in thinking critically about a problem, then that is someone who can be an independent learner by later teaching themselves how to take those steps.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I find that the best motivation is almost always positive reinforcement. This means treating oneself to a piece of candy or a short break when accomplishing something small like completing homework, and doing something larger to celebrate events like good test scores. It’s a great thing to feel proud of yourself for doing well, and I think each student deserves a chance to celebrate that feeling!