I've been teaching high school mathematics for 26 years and I still love it. I always said if I stopped liking my students, I'd find a different profession. I'm still teaching... I enjoy working with students one-on-one and look forward to begin tutoring with Varsity Tutors.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Arkansas - Bachelors, Secondary Math Education
Graduate Degree: University of Kansas - Masters, Curriculum and Instruction
I love to sing, read, go on long walks and travel!
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone can learn. Practice makes perfect, so you want to be sure you're practicing correctly!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would let the student tell me what they felt his or her needs were. I can re-teach, review or simply help with homework. After working some problems together, I would be able to adjust the session to one where the student can maximize their learning during our time together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can give the student some strategies to use to attack certain types of problems. We can look at commonalities and differences in problems and devise problem-solving strategies.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would focus on the growth I'm seeing and what the student is doing right. I understand that "math" does not come easily to all, but I believe that everyone is capable and can learn.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
We could practice the concept using technology, marker boards, and review games... I can break the concept down into smaller parts so we can identify the areas that are causing learning difficulties.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I can read the problems aloud and paraphrase for the student. We can practice the vocabulary of mathematics. If a student fully understands the directions and terminology, the chance of success is much higher.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I get to know the student and see what style of learning they are comfortable with.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
We can talk about the real-world applications of what they are learning. Maybe the student simply needs to get through the course to obtain a certain degree. That can be motivation in and of it!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I can end the session with a short assessment of the topics covered to determine if the student comprehended the concepts.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Focus on the positive and what the student is doing right; look at the growth - not just the letter grade.