After many years in the computer industry, I recently decided to enrich my life by returning to one of the favorite things I’ve enjoyed doing in my life – teaching. I completed my undergraduate studies at Franklin and Marshall College. Upon obtaining my graduate degree (M.A.) in mathematics from Wesleyan University, I spent three years teaching math at a private high school in Stamford, CT before going to work in the private sector for IBM. Eventually I left IBM and started my own company in the computer leasing industry. Even though throughout my career I have been in mostly sales positions, I found that my teaching background proved invaluable when explaining to my clients how new technologies could benefit their organizations.
I think my real world experience and my love of math, can bring a unique perspective to a student who, for whatever reason, is looking to improve his or her math skills. Whether you are struggling to grasp new concepts or looking to deepen your understanding of what you are being taught, I can help you. My approach to making math understandable is to explain many different examples to help you build confidence in your abilities and use real life applications wherever possible to keep it interesting.
When I’m not working I enjoy cycling, downhill and x-c skiing, hiking, and skating.
Franklin and Marshall College - Bachelors, Math
wesleyan university - Masters, math
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
In math, confidence is developed by successfully solving problems. There is a tendency to move on to the next topic after one is thought to be mastered. I like to frequently include previously covered concepts in discussions, so the student feels comfortable that, at any time, they can handle any problems previously studied.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will inquire about a student’s interests, attitude and get an idea of the type of issue(s) they are encountering. Then, as math is constantly building on prior knowledge, I will determine what areas a student needs to possibly relearn or master before continuing with new subject matter. After getting a feel for the student’s capabilities, I endeavor to set mutually agreed upon goals for the tutoring experience.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Success enhances motivation. By gearing problem difficulty to a student’s readiness, I can give them the confidence to tackle successively harder problems and thus increase motivation.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
That often means that there are prerequisite skill(s) that are missing or weak. I would identify and strengthen those skills before re-presenting the new concepts. I try to tie the problem to an outside interest or activity. For example, many students in Algebra struggle with word problems. However, if the problem relates to something that animates them, they become much more interested in solving the problem.