The smartest thing Albert Einstein ever said, with all due respect to his many accomplishments, is, "If you can' explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." That phrase has served as the model of my education and instruction. If I know it, I can teach it. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to learn a great many things quite well enough.
I have been tutoring peers and pupils in excess of 10 years. Teaching others is an activity I have naturally found to be rewarding, challenging and a lifelong pursuit. I have been helping others starting with my older brother's math homework in seventh grade, to getting friends through the AP Physics test, and finally, to this day, helping my mom with fractions while she bakes.
In more recent years, I have been thoroughly engaged with tutoring during my college career. I have served as a tutor for a number of courses and subjects, both privately and in groups. I was a member of the Math Mentor program, instructing and testing multiple classes on fundamental mathematical skills. I have served as a Teacher's and Lab Assistant for several physics courses, both introductory and high level. In addition, I spent a year as a live-in Learning Assistant in a Freshman Residence Hall teaching study skills, time management, and other learning techniques.
When it comes down to it, if it has to do with math, science or computers, I can help you learn it in your own way and in your own time.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Current Undergrad, Physics
Cooking, Stand-up Comedy, Animation
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics C: Mechanics
Basic Computer Literacy
Elementary School Math
High School Physics
IB Further Mathematics
IB Mathematical Studies
PC Basic Computer Skills
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that the only thing in the way of understanding is time and effort. I'm going to work with you to find how you learn best. Once we have that, I believe a strong foundation of understanding 'how' and 'why' are the keys to success.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During our first session, I would like to get to know you. What are the things you enjoy doing? What are the classes and teachers you like and dislike, and why? What has worked best for you in the past, and why it may be falling short now? Only when there is a clear understanding of the issue and an open line of communication can we begin to make progress.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think some of the most important learning happens only when we are alone. I prefer to put emphasis on finding learning styles and resources that suit my students. With most technical topics, practice is the largest contributor to success and much of that will be done outside of my supervision. Because of this, one of my top priorities is fostering a student's self-efficacy, their belief they can succeed, and giving them access to resources that will facilitate that.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to remind my students that being good at math and science makes them more like me, and that is something everyone should strive for. Joking aside, I like to keep my sessions fairly light and fun. It is important to keep a student's energy and mood up in order to do good work. On the more concrete side, I also think it is very important to set tangible and trackable short and long-term goals. This helps prevent discouragement by allowing a student to see how far they have come and what they are working towards.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student is having trouble with a skill or concept, the most important thing is to talk it out. I feel physical intuition and understanding are often overlooked in math and science education, and having conversations about topics can lead to greater understanding. Besides that, I think the most important factor in a student's success is practice. Whenever I have a student struggling with a specific type of problem or concept, I recommend they practice it until it becomes second nature. Additionally, it can be important to recognize when to move on. Sometimes students get stuck in a point of view that prevents them from learning a concept effectively. Working on other problems or picking it up next week may be a significant enough shake up to unlock their difficulty. And sometimes seeing the concept applied further down a lesson can provide a context that helps their understanding.