What, you can have fun and learn math at the same time? That is one of the many benefits you will receive when you sign me up to be your tutor. I will break down the information into easier to understand steps to make the subject easier to retain. Also, I will relate the math to your favorite hobbies which will make the process easier. Don't believe me? Try me out and find out for yourself!
I have always been blessed to be able to do math, and have realized this since the age of 4. I received my bachelor's degree at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL, with a double major in Marketing and Finance. I also have a Masters of the Arts in Teaching, specializing in middle school math grades 5-9 through the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY. I have an interest in getting my law degree once I have the time. I have tutored current, former, and non-students for about 12 years. I have tutored all levels of math from 5th grade to college-level Trigonometry and Calculus 3. I enjoy teaching and tutoring middle and high school math as I feel I relate to that demographic a lot better with pop culture and sports references.
My teaching philosophy is one that knows all students are able to learn throughout many methods. Most students use math in everyday life and don't realize they are doing algebra. (For example, when tallying a basketball score, it's pure algebra.) My goals are to allow students to learn, try, and fail, as I feel learning is best through failure. Then, once failed, we can build them back up with reasons for why the answers aren't correct. Using sports and pop culture references, my goal is to show that all interests of life have an element of math attached to it.
Outside of teaching, I enjoy my faith, spending time with family, and sports, especially baseball and football. I like to be around people and get to talk to people, as face-to-face interaction seems to be a thing of the past.
My main purpose for being on here is to use my blessing of understanding math to make the subject easier for those who need the help. I don't succeed unless you succeed, and I will stop at nothing to ensure the success of your child.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Florida Southern College - Bachelors, Finance and Marketing
Graduate Degree: University of the Cumberlands - Masters, Middle School Math
Faith, Family, and Fun
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Percell’s Philosophy of Education. Education and the ways that children learn have heavily evolved over the last few years. When I was a student and generations before me, a teacher was expected to lecture, give notes, and students listened, followed, and went home. Our society has changed drastically in how we receive information. From house phone calls to cell phones, dial-up internet to smartphones, we are now used to getting our information quickly and in an entertaining manner. This “microwave society” has caused educators to be more creative in teaching their students. Because of this change, I like to be very entertaining when teaching, reference activities that they can relate to, and break down the material into easier understood steps. I like to be entertaining when teaching because I am competing for other attention while I am teaching. There are other friends, phones, iPods, many other distractions that can take a student’s mind off of focusing and learning new information. Because of this, I like to be different and captivate my audiences using different methods. Let’s face it; math isn’t a subject that many people love. Because of that, I like to do different things such as stand on desks or other quirky things so the students would want to be engaged in what’s next. If I can get them to focus willingly, I can get them to focus on the task at hand. Next, after I get their attention, I like to reference pop culture items that keep them motivated and focused. If a student can see how math can be related to items they see every day, then it helps in getting them motivated to learn new things. For example, by referencing unit rates to comparing prices for iPods, students will want to engage more so they can take that information into their daily lives. I also will remake songs using music they know to deliver instruction and other life lessons. Once I have them engaged and motivated, the last part of my teaching philosophy is to break down the material so that it is easier to retain. I reference learning and word problems (which most students highly dislike) to training for a marathon. No runner who runs a marathon just wakes up and decides to run 26.2 miles, because it is physically impossible to tackle such a huge task. Instead, they train, running for maybe half a mile, then a mile, and so on. Learning is the same way; I’ve found that most students struggle because they try to solve the entire word problem instead of breaking it down into simpler steps. By doing it this way, they experience less frustration and find the problem easier. I am very confident in my philosophy because it has been research-based not only through years of schooling but also through years of teaching and interviews with students. My main goal of any classroom I teach in is to make sure the students can be “Be better today than they were yesterday.” By keeping the student goals first, it allows me to focus all of my efforts on making sure they succeed.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The main thing I want to do in a first session with a student is to spend time knowing the student, their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and how they learn best. This way, I can cater the information to terminology they can grasp and understand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Showing the patterns and slowing loosening the reins, just like riding a bike with training wheels and gradually taking them off. Show them the steps, and then challenging them to do the problem by themselves as I do the same, and then we can check our work together.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement! Point out little things that they are doing right so they don't get frustrated and give up.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Reteach it using a similar story or item that they already understand, whether it's using a hobby they like or a math concept that they do understand. Then, build off of the prior knowledge to get over the hump.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Encourage them to continue trying and reading the words they know and sound out the other words. We will get through it together!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Understand the importance of what they are trying to learn, as well as keeping the session light and entertaining so it doesn't feel like work.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would find what hobbies and interests they have and try to relate the struggling subject to a hobby they enjoy.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Reteaching, reviewing, independent work, error analysis.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement over the little things, to show them that they DO understand something in a subject they didn't think they understood. Rome wasn't built in a day.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Watching and listening how they work and explain a problem, as well as hearing from the students themselves from their honest feedback of themselves.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By knowing a subject well enough, it allows me to take many different routes to get to the same place. I can be as silly or serious as needed. I can relate the subject matters to individual students' likes to make the information easier to retain, which includes different terminology.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper, pencils, colored pens or highlighters, calculator, iPad, any other necessary materials that they may bring