I hold a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas Wesleyan University, a Master of Science in Biomedical Science from Barry University, and a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic. Since earning my doctorate I have enjoyed a successful career as a chiropractor but crave further fulfillment. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I can teach people about their health. Although I have a vast knowledge base, my appetite for knowledge lies with biological sciences. The way our bodies and the world around us functions is astonishing and I can’t seem to get enough of knowing about it. Many see science as boring and difficult to understand, but I agree with Richard Dawkins when he wrote, “the feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable.” I am also a believer in the Socratic Method. Whenever I uttered a phrase akin to “I don’t know,” my parents would reply with, “figure it out.” And so I did. I have an expansive list of interests and hobbies, too vast to list in its entirety. I will say that most of my interests lie in discovering, building, and exploring. I am often found working on DIY projects around the house, doing automotive repairs, hiking, reading, and even cross-stitching.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Kansas Wesleyan University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Barry University - Masters, Biomedical Science
Home Improvement DIY, reading, cross-stitch, hiking, video games, lifting weights, travel, photography
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I'm a firm believer in the Socratic method and promoting critical thinking. I've never been a fan of memorization without understanding; and in fact, I find memorization easier when the concepts are understood fully.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After introducing myself, I'd ask what the student is trying to accomplish. I'd then outline the methods I intend to use. I'd also advise them to have a walk or some exercise before our sessions (if possible). Studies have shown that 20-30 minutes of exercise before kids start homework or studying increases information retention and learning efficiency.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I don't believe in just giving answers to questions. The only instance I'd give an answer is if the student thinks he/she understands the concept and has already worked out an answer for themselves. I'd confirm if it's correct, but make sure the answer isn't just handed to them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Very simply, try a different approach. Some people learn by reading, some by listening, and some by doing. When the current approach doesn't seem to be working with the student, another approach should be considered.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Using the Socratic method by making the student think critically and answer questions along the way can ensure that the student understands the information being conveyed. Quizzes and mini-tests can also be helpful assessment tools.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Tackling simpler subject matters that the student is more likely to understand is a good starting point. The student's knowledge can then be built upon to more complex ideas and concepts, reinforcing his/her confidence at each level along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Quizzing, testing, and conversing about different concepts within the subject in question and evaluating which specific areas need reinforcement.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Students need to know that their accomplishments are recognized by others. Getting excited with them when they succeed academically is a big part of that. For some, a certificate of achievement can be a boon as well.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Take a step back and find out where the struggle is coming from. Dyslexia and other reading comprehension issues are undiagnosed until the child is already far behind their peers.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding out what's important to the student and how their wants align with their needs academically. Bonding with a student on a personal level (i.e. sharing interests) can also help them trust me, which makes them more apt to listen fully and understand what I'm trying to convey.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Trying to make a game of the subject matter (and maybe even involving their friends or family) can make the subject more engaging to a student. When I was in graduate school, I had a group project that we made into a game of "Jeopardy" and the entire class participated instead of us just giving a presentation.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I gear how I teach to each individual. I can often read a person's facial expressions to determine if they comprehend or are confused. If I read confusion, I take a different tact.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Any and everything can be used; paper and pens/pencils or whiteboards to draw pictures, string, rubber bands, and even toys of different kinds. These are all possibilities when the typical textbook and written notes don't work.