I am a focused individual with a deep rooted drive to succeed. I take initiative in all endeavors that are on my path. I am determined to be a success story; not only for my family but others as well. When it comes to delivering information for education purposes, I feel that I am on par with the education greats. I maintain high standards and expect my students to exceed my standards. I believe education is important, and with proper guidance all individuals can succeed.
Outside of tutoring, I am a high school mathematics teacher. I have been teaching for roughly 9 years (4 years college, 5 years high school). At the high school level I have taught Algebra, Algebra II, AP Calculus, and SAT Math. I am currently teaching solely Geometry because that is my only requirement right now. I have taught an Applied Algebra course on the college level and have tutored Statistics as well. In addition to the previous, I have enriched/taught 8th grade math.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Bachelors, Information Systems and Mathematics
Graduate Degree: Virginia Commonwealth University - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction
Sports, movies, travel
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics
GRE Subject Tests
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the capacity to learn. It is my job to tap into this potential and make learning as easy as possible. Equipped with a "don't quit" spirit, anything is possible; even for the unlikely of learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session 4 things occur.1) Student and tutor get to know each other (a rapport is necessary for growth).2) Student tells the tutor how they typically learn and the tutor devises a plan of delivery based off the student's style.3) Student and tutor find out what mathematical basics the student may be lacking in (math builds on the basics).4) Student tells the tutor what areas of growth are needed.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help a student become more independent, one must have a systemic approach to releasing power to the independent thinker. Scaffolding and facilitating growth while gradually letting go is key. The trick is to confirm as little as possible while giving the proper guidance for success.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
My motivational strategies (but not limited to) include setting high goals with challenges to those goals, and making it a challenge between tutor and student. Once you are able to conquer my mental prowess, you are ready to move on. However, I lean more to high goal setting, because a person's personal goals tend to drive them more.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill, it is my job to dissect the situation and find other means to deliver the material. I will lean on experience to help the student mature educationally.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is all about scaffolding properly. Never allow the student to run away from the words, but have them attack the words. The key is to never look down on someone because of their reading, but motivate them through the syllables.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When starting with a student one must build a rapport. Therefore, I must do whatever it takes to make the student comfortable. I have a variety of icebreakers and a mini questionnaire that I do starting day one.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In order to get a student excited about a subject, I first make the subject relatable. They must also tell me why they "love," not "like" a subject. Lastly, we figure out how many different ways the student can apply the subject. By linking all of the above, a spark happens, and we can move forward with learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
There are many methods to ensuring that a student understands material, but I like mini quizzes and assessing homework assignments. I am big on assessing students with logic questions as well as asking for the steps to arriving to an answer. You must demonstrate how you actually got your results.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I build a student's confidence initially by praising wrong answers. I do this because the wrong answers help me understand how a student processes information. The wrong answers are why a student needs my help. Next, I praise even the smallest increase in understanding. The minute increases are the building blocks for success.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate a student's needs by dissecting their work, outside quizzes and tests, and with a personal questionnaire of my own. I try to normalize their needs to show the student that he/she is not alone in their struggles.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt the student's needs by putting myself in their place. This empathy leads me on the correct path to relaying information in the proper manner. Additionally, I just ask the student what works for them.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
My materials are definitely up to date. I use the typical textbooks and calculators. However, I also use PowerPoints, educational websites, and white boards. As new technology is developed, I also attempt to incorporate that tech. This includes (but is not limited to) Google services (like classroom) and YouTube videos.