If you wish to improve from a B to an A, or if you find Math confusing and bewildering, I would like to help. Between teaching 7 years of High School Math and 3 years of College Adjunct Math, I have gained perspectives on ways to reach a wide range of students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - Bachelors, Math and Math Ed.
Graduate Degree: Seton Hall - Masters, Math
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy is to listen to students. Have students verbalize the steps to improve their retention. Practice learning skills, study skills, and testing skills. Have fun.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I would review the background of the student, their interests and motivations, their mental arithmetic, study skills and test-taking skills.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I always encourage independent learning so student has life time skills. I ask the student to verbalize the steps and answers aloud, since it will increase their retention. I also encourage the use of the textbook to compare to teacher notes. We will do stretch questions and have the student draw a picture for word problems to organize their thoughts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would select problems that link to their interests. I would provide real life questions to show the utility of the topic. I would ask the student to find a use for math in their lives.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Since reading comprehension is very critical to word problems and many advanced math topics, students should underline key points, circle the answer, list the known starting facts and again draw a picture. Besides reading, students need to write answers and use units appropriately.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Starting strategies are: 1) to discuss recent tests with the student, 2) list any distractions in the classroom, 3) look at overall school grades, 4) define future goals, and 5) raise their confidence.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Since many students struggle with the abstraction of math, I would rephrase questions into terms they recognize, find problems of interest, use hands-on techniques and ask them to find a "study buddy".
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Besides sample questions and problems, I would do the review sections at the end of the unit. Also, be sure they have written a summary review and highlighted questions the teacher has emphasized.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building confidence includes the reinforcement of their success with answers and their retention of concepts. Improving test scores should also improve their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I listen to the student's reaction to their math course, their corrections to answers, their style of learning and their goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student learns at a different pace, so I need to adapt accordingly. I may also use topics, scenes or explanations from the internet, since most students are surfers.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Teaching materials start with the student's textbook, class notes, classwork and homework. I would bring supplementary materials as needed.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student does not grasp a concept, I would rephrase it and realign it from a different direction. I would also be sure the student can see the individual parts of the concept. Also, I require checking all answers to do the question a second time.