I enjoy the process of showing a student how a very few math rules has so much power the enables them to solve so many different types of problems.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Miami University-Oxford - Bachelors, Accounting
Graduate Degree: De Paul University - Masters, Math Education
I play the trumpet in a band, participate in Great Books discussion groups, volunteer tutor, run or bike most days, board member of a nonprofit for housing organization and environmental group
10th Grade Math
1st Grade Math
2nd Grade Math
3rd Grade Math
4th Grade Math
5th Grade Math
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School Accounting
High School Business
High School English
High School Level American Literature
Introduction to Fiction
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Helping a student demystify math by getting them to see how using logic, overcoming their fear, and relying on even a small arsenal of math laws enables them to solve many more problems than they would expect.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Getting to know the student personally. Ask the student what he/she feels about the subject. Assess his/her skill level by asking questions. Giving assurance not to be ashamed if behind, and that the gap can be made up with confidence, hard work, and focus. Bolstering self-confidence by showing a student (in math) that he/she may know more than realized by relying on common sense, logic, substitution, and recalling basic math laws.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By instilling the habit and confidence of building new knowledge on already accumulated knowledge-- a very cool process.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Introduce math as a challenging game to be solved. Bring in the relevance of the subject to real life, and introduce the development of problem solving skills that extend to other areas in life.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Go step by step, moving ahead only when the student demonstrates understanding until the area of difficulty is revealed. Go over that area of difficulty using whatever means necessary (use examples, different approached, drawing pictures, repetition, using props, etc.) to gain understanding.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading slower, looking up unknown words in a dictionary (or on Wikipedia). learning how to recognize more important content from less important content, reading more carefully at transitional spots (the start of a paragraph for example), and jotting down a character name and a few identifying words to recall later on.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Communicating my vested interest in the student as an individual and as a student; my willingness to listen to whatever may be on the student's mind and to remove roadblocks to his/her success and self-confidence. My belief that if the student works with me, we will achieve a good result.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Maybe use a different tact by turning the subject into a puzzle or game. Relating a subject to an issue in everyday life. For math, looking at the logic behind the problem, or looking at the different methods to solve the same problem. In literature, bringing in the personal struggle of the author that may be the theme in the story.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
In a subject with a more linear path of understanding, make sure small steps are taken in difficulty to reduce the possibility of gaps in understanding. With more subjective material (like literature) get feedback of the student's thoughts and feelings about the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
For math, demonstrate that a student may know more than he/she thinks by relying on intuition, logic, and substitution. Showing how knowledge of a few rules and laws empowers a student to greatly build on that base of knowledge.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Have a conversation with the student about what he/she struggles with. Learn what a student's goals are to put a particular subject matter in perspective and how it may impact on achieving that goal. Try to determine if there are factors outside of the direct subject area (such as lack of sleep) that may impact the student's performance.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In math, I frequently solve a problem using different approaches to liberate his/her thinking; there is not just one way to solve a problem. This also helps uncover areas of strength and weakness to particular methods of problem solving.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
In math, I draw figures, use props, and write out every step trying to expose any gaps in knowledge. In literature, I could bring in an outside source that concurs or disputes an idea in a book being read, or discuss, beyond the context of the story, how it may have had a social impact.