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Cynthia

I am a passionate and proficient mathematics educator who is committed to student success without comprimising high learning standards. I have been teaching and tutoring all math subjects for over 20 years and love it. I am a teacher and lifelong learner and take great joy in helping others learn and reach their academic goals. Learning should be fun and satisfying, just as life should be. Teaching is my calling and I am very fortunate to be able to do so.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Humboldt State University - Bachelors, Math

Graduate Degree:

 Claremont Graduate University - Masters, Math

Ukulele, Evolution, American Civil War, Aquariums.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Math can be a difficult subject for many, so my goal is to not only make math understandable, but also to have fun doing so. Students learn in many ways, so I try to incorporate all modalities into my teaching/tutoring style. I write out the solution, say what I am doing as I write it out, and have students follow themselves or work it out themselves as well as work out follow up problems. I believe in lots of hands-on repetition, and I emphasize mastery by focusing on depth rather than breadth of knowledge. I enjoy what I do, and it shows in my enthusiasm as I teach. My goal is student success. Students should have fun and be satisfied with the learning experience.

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

I will ask the student about their mathematical educational experience: what courses have they taken, what did they like, what did they not like, how they have discovered they learn best. I will ask them about their educational and tutoring goals. I will then have them explain where their primary difficulties lie, show me examples of the problems they are working on, show me their textbook, and have them work some problems while I watch and guide them so that I can get an idea of how they think and what they know.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By watching them work problems for themselves until I see they know how to do it, and then explaining to them what types of problems they should practice and giving them personal practice tips. Perhaps I'll help them set up a study schedule so they learn to practice regularly. Teach them how to study after learning their best learning styles. Help them discover their weaknesses so they know what to focus on as they study. Teach them that making errors is a necessary part of learning, and how to use past errors to help them avoid those errors in the future and use them to help identify their weakness to focus on during study times.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Show them how to focus on their progress and not only on where they should ultimately be. But also, keep their eye on the prize: what they want to accomplish in the long run, with this as a small step on the way. I like to point out their successes and the progress they have made every time I meet with them. Show them they can learn to do math and even enjoy it with the right attitude.

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

Explain the skill or concept in as many different ways as I can think of. Then have them repeat problems involving that skill or concept until I think they have it. Tell them how to practice it during their study time. And when I meet them again review it with them.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I always take a personal interest in my students so that we connect. I like to know where they are in their studies and what their goals are. I prefer to watch the student work the problems themselves and offer guidance and suggestions. If they need, I will demonstrate problem solving techniques for them or even given them a mini lesson explaining the concepts and why we use the techniques we do.