The joy of my life has been helping people learn. It started in earnest my sophomore year of high school when I created a study group to help my classmates learn Geometric Proofs. The next year I was tutoring Chemistry, and in the following years, I found myself working with all ages of learners who needed help. I have been tutoring ever since. It is the one thing I have done the most in my life, and it is the thing that feels the most natural for me to do. I love it.
I studied Latin in high school and competed in the state Latin competitions. I majored in Classical Mathematics and minored in French in college. During my time in college, I tutored in two Math labs on campus. One lab was for Algebra and Trigonometry, and the other lab was for the Calculus series and higher level Math. I wrote a popular Trigonometry handbook for students as a result of the years I spent doing this work. In fact, I won several awards for writing during my time in college, which I attribute to my Latin studies and excellent writing/language grooming in high school. I was at the top of my Chemistry classes as well. I majored in Pre-Pharmacy for a time, and I was working towards a Teaching Assistantship.
After college, I worked as a computer programmer. Later, I received my teaching certification in 6-12 grade Math. I taught Math and AP Computer Programming in the classroom until my position evolved into a more technical/administrative role. I worked as an IT Manager for schools and nonprofits for 15 years. I worked with students and Teachers in these positions, providing training, procuring technology, and helping everyone to better integrate technology into their learning.
Today, I have over 30 years of experience as a Teacher, Tutor, and Test Preparation Coach. I have stayed abreast of the evolution of standardized tests and their latest iterations over the years and am always ready to provide the most current coaching and strategies for success. I am particularly fond of the SAT and believe that preparing for it plays a uniquely valuable role in a person's educational future. My experience has shown that, if a person is willing to be open, ask questions, make mistakes, and take the risk to learn, we can do great things together.
If you are serious about learning, I have lots of good information to share with you. Whether you need help with Writing, Math, Chemistry, Critical Reading and Comprehension, Test Preparation, Time Management, Computer Literacy, and/or Productive/Positive Thinking, I am ready when you are.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Missouri - St Louis - Bachelors, Mathematics
Dogs, Computers (Mac and PC), Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Politics
Basic Computer Literacy
HSPT Math Prep
Mac Basic Computer Skills
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that nothing makes sense until it does - especially with Math. It is normal to feel lost and in the dark until a concept clicks. I understand this process, and will walk a student through, patiently but knowingly, until they discover their lightbulb moment. It cannot be rushed and is worth the wait.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I will ask the student what issues they are having problems with in that moment. Once I am clear on the answer, I will ask the student some questions on concepts that precluded what they are working on to make sure that they really grasped those. I will find some solid ground in Math where I feel confident that the student understands what they are doing. Then I will work from those comfortable concepts to tie into the uncomfortable concepts where they are having problems, so they can start to make connections to things they already understand. All Math is connected, so helping them to see how it is related to what they already know can be very useful in growing their understanding of new concepts.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important to equip students with the proper tools for the Math they are doing. In my experience, simply providing students with formulas, definitions, equations, etc., is not nearly as useful as showing them how to use these tools and how these tools can mean the difference between being able to solve a problem and not being able to solve a problem. Going forward, then, I stop at the beginning of each problem with the student and ask them to make a list of the tools (definitions, formulas, equations, etc.) that they will need before they even start working on anything. This way they are properly equipped, and they know what they need and why they need it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Find the places in Math where they understand what they are doing. We go back to those when they get frustrated or unmotivated. Knowing what you are doing in Math feels good and is very motivating. It can energize and motivate you to be willing to take the risk to go forward and learn something new.