Learning is truly my primary passion and has been my entire life. I spent my younger years absorbing as much information as I could find in order to exploit the greatest opportunities as quickly as possible. This is what led me to an early high school graduation with over 20 college credits attained. I am driven to constantly be moving forward and improving my environment, which then led me into the innovative field of Chemical Engineering. I graduated from Arizona State University and flourished in all things chemistry. The beauty of the subject is one that I desired to share with anyone willing to learn, which is why I began designing study groups within my courses and aiding in the success of my fellow colleagues. At the first opportunity, I developed a professional relationship with one of the most difficult professors in the chemical engineering department in order to secure a teaching assistant position in which I could most help the next generation of engineers in what is considered the most strenuous course of the degree plan: Chemical Reactor Design. As a former student, I was able to develop a supplemental curriculum that focused on what I knew were the most confusing portions of lecture in order to best prepare the foundation for future material to build upon. I was highly successful in my efforts and as a grader for the course, I witnessed the vast improvements from previous years. I love learning and I only wish to help others value their knowledge and hone their skills so they may pass on their enlightenment and passion to the next generation.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelors, Chemical Engineering
I have always loved to cook and bake and enjoy putting together unique meals for my friends and family. I have a wonderful elderly cat who, despite his diabetes, brightens my day, day after day. I also indulge in a few video games that I have been involved in since I was young with more free time.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that teaching is the process of enlightening others who share the desire for knowledge. It takes two for teaching to commence, although the teacher may not always be the same individual as time progresses.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
it is important to establish the student's recognized obstacles within a topic, and also their strengths outside of the topic in question, in order to develop a roadmap to success in the challenging topics.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important, as a problem solver, to decide what the true problem is asking for. Sometimes the most difficult part of learning independently is feeling confident in the steps to the solution. My advice is to try all of the "out of the box" approaches and decide why each step is or is not reasonably correct. One would be amazed at the self-enlightenment earned by doing something wrong a few times!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is achieved by recognizing a reasonable goal and rewarding oneself with praise, and maybe a sweet treat, once achieving those goals successfully. To maintain motivation, it is important to make smaller goals on your way to the grand finale!
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Beginning first-time sessions with a student by finding out some of the skills and topics in which they already excel and the reason why those topics were learned so well is the best way to understand how to approach new and challenging topics with that individual.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
SLOW DOWN! Even I would struggle with comprehension when rushing through a problem. Just take a breath, remember it's only ink on a page and re-read the problem, taking one's time to jot notes about the problem as you go. Math and science problems especially need to be properly translated from English into math terms in order to be helpful. Taking one's time and notes are the best tools for comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I'm not much older than many of my students, and honestly, speaking in plain language can be the most helpful part of solving a complicated problem. I have personally developed simpler, plain- language communication for math and science problems that help build on the foundation of other more commonly known material, making a logical pathway of understanding the reason behind moves rather than just memorization of steps.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In order to establish excitement in a subject, it is helpful to first be introduced with the bigger picture! Just like beginning a jigsaw puzzle, the hundreds of assorted pieces can be extremely overwhelming, but knowing what the overall image is that we are building towards will truly reduce the struggle of any subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like for the student to work through example problems, and as an obstacle appears, I allow them to propose the question but then also devise reasonable solutions to their question. By using their own reasoning skills, we will together rule out possible steps that logically are incorrect based on the problem. This builds the student's confidence in their own critical-thinking patterns and increases their overall confidence in problem.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I prefer for a student to take their time to decide reasonable steps within a problem and discuss why or why not to perform an action based on their own logical interpretation of the problem. With open discussion about WHY something is or isn't, personal confidence can be built for future problems. It is best to allow the student to devise their own methods of attacking a problem in order to increase both their understanding of the material and their confidence in each step as they progress on their own.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am crazy obsessed with school supplies! My favorite materials to use are dry erase boards, where you can work a problem and edit any portion of your work very easily. Images of the boards can easily be taken in order to refer back to the example later. I am also a firm believer in TEXTBOOKS! I bought and kept every textbook for every course in my educational career, and through my experience, textbooks are always a great reference tool while solving problems.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I understand the multitude of learning styles that exist in the educational community. I personally like to see dynamic steps within a problem's solution in order to best understand the WHY behind the solution, while others may require a visual approach or even a more hands-on and physical approach to a problem. I have a unique ability to relate problems within the subjects that I teach to real-world applications for those that need a tangible example in order to best relate to the material.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to evaluate a student's needs by observing their method of problem solving and discussing their initial approach to each problem. Many problem solving difficulties can be found in the student's method of approach rather than their knowledge of the material, which can be easily amended for better results.