A photo of Maxwell, a tutor from Columbia University in the City of New York

Maxwell

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I want to help students understand math and science on a deeper level and build good mathematical and scientific intuition. I work closely with my students to find ways to teach that best complement their learning style.

Maxwell’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelors, Mathematics and Physics

Test Scores

SAT Composite: 2220

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 730

SAT Writing: 690

GRE Quantitative: 168

GRE Verbal: 170

Hobbies

Music, Percussion/Drumming, Video Games and Tabletop Games, Cartoons

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Math

Algebra

Algebra 2

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC

AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science Principles

AP Physics 1

AP Physics 2

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

AP Physics C: Mechanics

C

C#

C++

Calculus

Calculus 2

Calculus 3

College Algebra

Differential Equations

Drum and Percussion

Electromagnetism

GED Prep

GED Math

High School Physics

Java

Math

Multivariable Calculus

Music

Percussion

Physics

Pre-Calculus

Python

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Physics

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1

SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2

SAT Subject Test in Physics

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Science

Special Relativity

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

Trigonometry


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I want to help students understand that learning for its own sake is more important than learning for any grade, test, or assignment.

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

I want to get to know the student personally, their strengths and weaknesses, hobbies, favorite and least-favorite subjects, and how they feel they learn best. Most of all, I want to know their goals in working with me on a particular subject. I want to connect personally with my students so I can give the best individualized attention.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The best way to engage students in independent learning is to make connections with learning and their prior interests. For example, I play the drums, but have found ways to use math and physics to improve as a player and do things musically I wouldn't have thought possible otherwise.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Usually, I feel the best way to keep a student motivated is to help them understand the successes they've already had. Sometimes, as students encounter more and more difficult material, it's easy to forget how much they learned up to that point. By reminding students about the strengths of their foundations, they understand their capabilities and want to continue striving for academic success.

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

I would first try to approach the skill or concept from multiple angles. If a traditional way of communicating a concept isn't working, it's my job as an educator to find a pathway of understanding that's available to the student. Relating ideas to already mastered concepts, or even unrelated areas that are familiar to the student, tends to be my go-to for cementing understanding.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I like to teach reading comprehension with either a top-down or bottom-up approach, depending on what learning style best suits the student. In the top-down approach, I'll ask the student to identify large themes of a passage and try to work out individual points that support those themes. In a bottom-up approach, I have students pick apart meanings and semantics of sentences and words, why one word was used rather than another, and how the structure of sentences contribute to their meaning. Then, I have them use these building blocks to construct a larger picture of understanding of the whole passage.

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

First and foremost, positivity and excitement. The largest barrier to educating is getting a student to want to succeed, rather than to fear failure. If I can demonstrate that I am passionate about the subject, they may feel that they can tap into that passion. Second, I like to engage the student personally. Education can sometimes feel transactional or even coercive. I want my student to feel that I am working for their benefit, and because I care about them, not because I'm getting paid.