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Nathanael

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Teaching math, as much as the math itself, is a form of art. If I just tell you the solution to a problem, you will not learn much. If I tell you nothing at all, you will also not learn. People learn best when guided toward the answer without being directly told it. It is the moment of realizing an idea which makes that idea stick deeply. Thus it is the teachers job, not to pass along information, but to inspire knowledge.

Learning mostly comes from the work of the student; the teacher can guide the students, but cannot learn for them. If you desire to know math but feel uninspired by your teacher, then maybe I can help. It is very important though, that you want to know math. If instead you just want to pass your class with minimal effort, then I am not the teacher for you. Math is a beautiful subject. I hope to share that beauty with some of you.

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Nathanael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: San Joaquin Delta College - Current Undergrad, Physics

Hobbies

I enjoy problem solving (math/physics), music, teaching, and being with my dogs.


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching is the same as learning. Naturally, my teaching style reflects my learning style. One of the key details to my style of learning is to minimally-depend on memory. If I cannot derive something, I do not know it, so I cannot trust pure memory. Memory comes naturally for things you use often enough, but if you don't use it often enough, then why bother trying to remember it?

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

So long as a student comes prepared with particular problems they struggle with, I will do my best to understand and hint at any errors in their judgment.

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

If a student has difficulty learning an idea, then I will try to present the idea in different ways to give a more rounded perspective.

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

The most successful way to begin working with a student is to have them present the problem and their attempt at solving/understanding it.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Communication is key to knowing if someone understands the idea; a teacher cannot teach a student who is not involved. Similarly, a student cannot learn from a teacher who simply gives them a solution.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I see it as somewhat of an art form. It's not enough to find mistakes in someone's attempt, you must also find ways to help them find mistakes. Evaluating how to do this varies with the circumstances.


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