Hi! My name is Ben Cunningham and I am currently a math major, tutor, and enthusiast at UMBC. This is my first year and semester there, following three years at Anne Arundel community college. I will be a supersenior next year as I pursue my Bachelor's in Math, and I hope to expand on my love for the subject by helping others: whether you are simply intent on passing your current class and never looking at a math problem ever again, or if you wish to continue to cultivate your interest in Math throughout your educational career :)
Besides my general education and love for numbers, some of my favorite pastimes are surfing, reading, binge watching Netflix, pick-up soccer, basketball and frisbee, and video games. I also enjoy hiking, pretty much any kind of movie, and drawing/painting.
I look forward to meeting and teaching as many Math-related individuals as possible during this career! I am passionate about the subject and am excited about the opportunity to pass along my knowledge and help the best I can!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Current Undergrad, Mathematics
SAT Composite: 1980
SAT Math: 700
SAT Verbal: 650
SAT Writing: 630
Surfing, reading, video-games, hiking, sports (soccer, basketball, frisbee, running), Netflix!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that everybody has a different style of learning, and the job of the instructor is to work with the student to figure out what that style might be to ensure the highest quality learning and understanding.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student a little bit, talk about how they typically learn best (verbally, visually, hands-on, etc.). Go over specific subjects they are focused on, find out what concepts they aren't understanding as well as others, and determine how we can go about tackling those concepts.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I think an independent learner is someone who is able to form their own understanding of a concept based on their own knowledge and style of thinking. So I would focus on helping the student to understand the material by putting it in their own words, forming their own unique visualization and understanding of the problem at hand. That way, when they need to use that skill later on in a new concept, it will be that much easier for them to grasp it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Focus on their progress and successes rather than when they fail to understand a concept right away. Students are much more eager to participate when they are confident, rather than hesitant.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Tackle the skill a different way. I would try several different ways of looking at the problem and explaining it to see what sticks. If the student is still struggling, I would note to take extra care and time coming back to that concept later in the lesson.