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Michael

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I've been tutoring math at the college level for over five years, working with students of all different backgrounds and ability levels. I have experience with the special education population, and I am comfortable working through the needs of students with disabilities, learning or otherwise. I pride myself on my ability to tailor lessons to particular students, finding the pedagogical methods that work best for the individual.

I'm a transplanted New Yorker living in Oregon while finishing graduate school. I was a special education student in a Montessori school until middle school, then "mainstreamed" by the beginning of high school. I attended Ithaca College, a small private college, for undergrad, and Oregon State, a large public university, for my graduate work. Taken together, this has given me a healthy appreciation for the variety of student experiences in the education system. I feel that tutoring can address some of the difficulty that arises when a student's needs are not being met by their particular school.

My spare time is devoted mostly to writing. Though my background and formal education is in mathematics, I come from a family of writers and musicians. I love language, its history, structure, and evolution, possibly because of this upbringing. I am also hoping to transition to tutoring more in this area (i.e. GRE Verbal, writing, etc.).

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Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Ithaca College - Bachelors, Mathematics, Physics

Graduate Degree: Oregon State University - Masters, Mathematics

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 32

ACT Reading: 35

ACT Science: 36

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 800

GRE Verbal: 167

SAT Subject Test in Literature: 720

SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 750

SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 750

Hobbies

Writing fiction and poetry, playing music (electric bass, primarily), history and mythology, linguistics, philosophy

Q & A

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

Assess the student's learning style, establish short-term goals and possibly long-term goals, and determine deadlines (exams, papers, etc.).

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

I've found that explaining a concept in multiple different ways is the fastest route to success. Presenting a difficult idea the same way over and over again is an easy way to frustrate students and waste their time, while a fresh perspective can make even the strangest subjects clear.

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

I try to connect difficult material back to something familiar or enjoyable. Students have an easier time learning something new when it feels like a natural extension of their existing knowledge and skills.

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

When a student can comfortably use learned material in a new context, then I feel they understand sufficiently. This makes clear the difference between rote reproduction and real familiarity with the subject.

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