Hello, my name is Julie. I have been teaching mathematics for over 15 years. I live with my 7-year old son, 9 month old labradoodle, and 2- 10 year old cats. I love outdoor activities, all sports (especially baseball, football, and basketball), hanging out with my family, and long road trips.
I consider myself a life-long learner. I love to learn new things and wish I had 9 lives to master and experience every single thing I love. I have a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and I hold 3 master's degrees: education, mathematics, and business administration.
I have never considered myself as a "math person". I struggled with math in high school and during my first couple of years in college. It was when I graduated from college that I found a love for math. I started teaching math and realized that it was not as scary and as intimidating as I had made it out to be. I taught myself the concepts I had always been afraid of and quickly learned that there were patterns, repetitions, and similarities within every concept.
I look forward to working with you and helping you succeed in your math education.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Northridge - Bachelors, Kinesiology
Graduate Degree: California State University-Dominguez Hills - Masters, Mathematics
family,sports, hiking, outdoor activities
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
"True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own."? (Nikos Kazantzakis, 1883 - 1957). I love to teach! I embrace teaching as an opportunity to inspire students. Through teaching, it is my goal to enhance learning by helping students engage in critical reflection on their experiences. At the end of each course, I would like for the students to feel personally changed by their participation. No matter what the topic, I want students to be able to formulate their own opinions, thinking as individuals. "What we do today affects how we will die tomorrow."? Julie Armendariz (2004) I know it sounds corny, but I use this quote in my classroom as a starting point for discussion on my philosophy of teaching. In this day and age, more and more people are taking less responsibility for their actions; what they eat, how often they exercise, their decisions to take drugs, work ethic, etc. Through promoting an understanding that we, as individuals, are responsible for everything that happens to us by developing an internal locus of control, is the beginning of a life that can lead to pure happiness, success, and total wellness. This could be considered a transformative approach to learning. Through transformative learning, students become personally engaged with the material and perceive the subject matter to be directly relevant to their own lives. It is extremely important to understand the needs of each student, embracing their diversity of learning styles. While, in the end, students? must take responsibility for their own learning, I work hard to inspire their desire to learn. I approach each class differently, driven by class size, personalities, and learning energy. I always take time to learn about each student, listening to their experiences, which, throughout our time in class, will help to shape the way the course is taught, (re)considering ways of making the course material relevant, fostering critical thinking skills. I am passionate about finding the most effective ways of helping students to foster and maintain intellectual growth. To me, teaching is not just about feeding students information and asking them to regurgitate what they have learned. It is more of an empowering experience, which will hopefully teach students to take responsibility for their own learning, creating curiosity, and providing opportunities for developing friendships, clarifying values, and igniting action. Since I started teaching at the high school level and through my experiences as an instructor at the college level, I have worked to write and re-write my teaching philosophy. By reading other philosophies and talking with other instructors, I have been able to piece together what I believe I work hard for, every day in the classroom. It is my personal goal to optimize student engagement and success. To do this, I realize I will have to tap into many different learning styles simultaneously. Lecture alone will not suffice. Students need to learn via a mixture of modalities, including but not limited to interactive PowerPoint presentations, videos, group presentations, guest speakers, and individual projects. In any teaching context, I work to promote student responsibility for learning by asking students how they plan to contribute to the classrooms learning environment. In addition, I work to influence learning that may occur outside of the classroom, through reading, article reflections and reviews, and internet searches. I am constantly encouraging my students to meet with me during office hours, by appointment, or through email. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching through student evaluations and course feedback. Through these evaluative and informative processes, I am continually refining my teaching practices and growing as a teacher and as a student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I would like to chat a little and find out how they really feel about math. Sometimes, a student's fear or attitude can play a direct role in how they approach their homework or how well they can retain the information they are learning. Taking a little time to dive into it will prove to be beneficial for both the student and myself, as their tutor, because it gives me a better idea of how to approach the student. I have extensive experience working with students that have severe math fear, so I am confident, any student that struggles or fears math, will begin to feel more comfortable by the end of our sessions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners in math when they are confident in the material in which they are learning. One of the ways that I work with students to increase their levels of confidence is to ask leading questions that require students to do more than just give me an answer. It is proven that students who have the ability to re-explain or re-teach the material will increase their levels of understanding and be more apt to work on finding the answers to problems on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
When students are having difficulties learning a concept or skill, it is important to find out exactly where they lost their understanding. I would start working backwards, asking students questions to see which concepts are solid and which need some refining. Sometimes, when students struggle, they simply need a quick review on the basic concepts, vocabulary, or beginning steps of a problem. I would find out how much of those basic concepts and vocabulary a student really understands, and then work on including those basics in the tutoring session.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a big deal in math. "And" in some concepts mean to add, while "and" in other concepts is just a conjunction in the English language, for example. Students are often confused by this. Turning mathematical sentences into mathematical equations and expressions can be easy for students when they are given the proper tools to decode what they are reading. Once students understand basic math language, reading comprehension in math will no longer be a huge problem.