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Joe

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I have taught physics classes at the college level for three years, and tutored math and physics classes for four years.
I earned a BS in applied math from Pace University, an MS in applied physics from Columbia University, and I am now working on my PhD.
Teaching and research are my passion, and I am always excited to explain a complex idea to someone.

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Joe’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pace University-New York - Bachelors, Applied Math

Graduate Degree: New Jersey Institute of Technology - PHD, Applied Physics

Hobbies

Reading, exercise, sports


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My idea of a good teacher of physics and math is someone who not only puts concepts into equations but actually writes out the verbal meaning - in words, not just equations - in the notes or on the chalk board. This allows students to remember what equations mean when they look back at their notes, instead of them looking back and just seeing a bunch of equations.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

After developing a rapport, I would inquire how my student has been taught the subject in the past. I would ask intricate details regarding how the information was presented to them. Then I would ask what their knowledge background on the topic was see how I can help them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can show students unique tricks in learning complex things like physics that most professors wont teach them. One example of this is using the power of words to understand a physics problem. I always teach my students to not simply write down symbols and equations, but to use the nouns, verbs and adjectives to verbally describe the problem. It helps the brain understand it better.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I carefully take time to point out all their strengths, all their skills, and as time goes on, all the areas they progress. Reminding my students of these reinforces their gratitude, which helps performance.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would ask them to describe to me as much and as deep as possible what exactly they don't understand about it. I would ask a series of questions about the concept, and see which ones they do get and which ones they don't. Using the ones they do understand, I'd connect it to the ones they don't understand.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Before beginning, I try to develop a rapport with my student, just like any professional should do, to understand how to effectively communicate with their client. Then, I examine their strengths and weaknesses relative to what I'd like to help them with.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I show how learning the subject can strengthen skills they already have.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

The power of words, I find, are the most important and unused technique in understanding physics. People often just write symbols, and neglect to see how useful it is to write sentences describing the problems they want to solve.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I evaluate their current skills and explain how it can be applied to the subject at hand.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I interview with them and ask them what concepts they find challenging and difficult.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

By determining how my skills relate to what their needs are.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Their class notes, their class text, my own reference notes and sometimes my own texts.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I go through each sentence with them and ask them what they mean. Then I ask I explain to them what they mean.


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