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Brian

I am a high school principal, and a former high school math teacher. I live with my wife and five children. I graduated from Boston University with a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Mathematics Education. I received my M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

I am a strong advocate of personalized learning, competency education, and high school redesign for the twenty-first century.

I hold certification in two states in both Math Education and Secondary School Administration.

Undergraduate Degree:

Boston University - Bachelors, Math

Graduate Degree:

University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Masters, Education Administration

Playing with my five kids!

What is your teaching philosophy?

I base my teaching philosophy on one of my favorite instructional quotes by William Ward: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." Highly effective teachers are able to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students, regardless of ability. They make use of a variety of instructional techniques that allow students to take responsibility for their own learning. They use regular formative and summative assessments to measure whether or not students are meeting instructional goals and targets. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they are able to bring the subject to life. I work hard to be a highly effective teacher each day.

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

I would like to start my first session with a student by asking them how they learn best. Do you want me to explain it to you? Do you want to start by asking questions first? Do you prefer diagrams? What works for you? I would then personalize my instruction based on their answers.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would have you think about how you might learn to drive a car (or how you did learn to drive a car). You have to be able to drive independently -- and you probably got there because over time, your driving instructor encouraged you to take the wheel more and more as your skills improved. I would take the same approach as your math tutor. We might start with a lot of prompting from me (if you need it), but as you got better, I would step back, allowing you to become more confident and independent in your skills.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

To stay motivated, a student needs to find the material they are studying relevant to their own life. I never would want students to ask, "when will I ever use this?" If they do, I haven't done my job and they will likely lose motivation.

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

If a student is having difficulty, the last thing a teacher should do is provide the same approach. My job as a teacher is to present material in different ways, and with different approaches. Together, I can help you learn a concept or skill, even if you are having difficulty with it.