I am a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. I completed my bachelors degree in Mathematics with an emphasis in secondary education. I am a Texas and Washington certified teacher with an endorsement in math. Before I moved to Washington I spent 2 years teaching PAP Geometry and PAP Algebra 2. I know to my core that anybody can learn math if they will set down the idea that they can't and start believing in themselves. Outside of teaching and tutoring math I love reading, being outside, playing soccer, volleyball and just being active.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: The Texas AM University - Bachelors, Mathematics
Soccer, Running, Volleyball, Sunshine, Reading, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Binge watching Netflix, and adventuring around as much as possible.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that anybody can learn math, but it takes the dedication you might put into learning a language. It's difficult to write a story if you don't know grammar, just like it's difficult to solve for a midpoint if you don't know order of operations. I believe in guiding my students in the process of "how" to solve all problems while using my content knowledge to help with the problem at hand. There is no such thing as a "math person"; anybody can learn to be good at math!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session I will spend some time getting to know student interests, particularly the motivation behind the desire for tutoring. I want to see what each person identifies as struggling points and determine what they are wanting in a tutor (i.e instructor, assignment helper, guide on how to focus independently, or a combination.) Then talk about expectations and roles for both of us for future meetings and, of course, dive into the content!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
My focus is to help students grow in content knowledge as well as how to pursue independent learning. So, I work through what we know, where can we go for resources, how to read the resources we find, and eventually how to apply it to the problem we are on. Followed up with a quick recap for what we were trying to do overall, so that we don't lose sight of the big picture.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I love having a balance of "glows and grows." It is usually easy to see what we need to work on to improve, but it is important to focus on the growth that is made and celebrate that growth. Setting goals is a great way to measure growth and to look back on where we started and how much has been done to get where we are now.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Staying positive is always a big focus when we start to struggle. Sometimes a new approach is required when we aren't understanding. I really strive to depict each problem in relation to interests of topics of familiarity of students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
First, identify what is inhibiting the comprehension. If we can identify the struggling points we can develop a plan of focus. Sometimes just breaking down the words into familiar vocabulary can help determine what each section is talking about.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Include a subject that interests the student. Let's say that the student enjoys watching movies. I could build an activity or have a conversation on his favorite movies or movie types.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Again, the way to engage and excite is relating the content to something they care and/or are passionate about. If you can do that, then it's easier to find pieces about the subject at hand that are enjoyable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My favorite technique is having a students walk through a new problem as if they were explaining the problem to somebody who didn't understand. In this, we continue to grow, and suddenly students are guiding instead of the tutor. Another technique that can be focused on to determine understanding is the process of what do with a problem you don't know where to start. So then, the focus is on independent learning where, as a tutor, I can help check resources and filter the mass of information.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Celebrate all success big and small! The big thing is getting away from the idea that finding an incorrect answer is failure and defeat. Finding an incorrect answer can be used to build a lot of understanding because it gives you an opportunity to analyze their work and decipher what went wrong. It is about having a growth mindset, taking chances, and growing at each opportunity.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Self analysis is the first and last step. If I can help growth in a student's ability to analyze one's own work, I usually will watch and use misconceptions or mistakes to help identify underlying struggles. Asking the right questions is another way to identify needs and uncover areas requiring focus.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring based on students strengths. In the process of working together, I will observe what those strengths are and will encourage that type of thought process. There is more than one way to solve any problem!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It will depend heavily on the content that is the focus. Any way that math can be pictured is helpful in bringing it to life. There are online graphing calculators or construction websites that can help neatly create visuals. Pens, pencils, papers are another easy way to visualize math concepts. And if needed, some type of manipulable could potentially be used as well to give a kinesthetic approach to the concepts.