My approach to teaching: My primary objective as an instructor or teacher in the physical sciences, particularly in Physics and Applied Physics, is to enable the student to apply scientific concepts and theories to everyday pragmatic problem solving. The concept of Learning-to-Learn is fundamental in my approach to achieving these goals. I believe it is important that the student develops an ability to become self directing and self monitoring in problem solving and generation of ideas. To do so it is vital for the instructor to establish the important links between mathematical and scientific disciplines to allow for integration of ideas and nurture these capabilities. I believe that a single course in science or mathematics should not be an island of information not to be integrated with other disciplines in terms of the approach in which it is taught. A conceptual framework needs to be built which allows the student to integrate concepts and learning into a coherent structure that will be the vehicle for problem solving.
Real world applications and examples are a key component to learning. Using my 30 year career in the oil industry, I have been able to give demonstrative real life examples in my teaching both at the high school level and college level. My approach is to teach the foundational concepts and theories singularly in an engaging style using examples and/or visuals to establish context. Following, I integrate these concepts, where appropriate, with the mathematical basis or representation for these examples thus giving explanation to the inevitable student question of "how will I ever use math or this science?" I have found it particularly effective in engaging students with a thought question or allowing them to pose their own thought questions or questions of curiosity that leads into a topical lesson. For example, "how does a satellite maintain its orbit?" or, "how do the motions of an earthquake propagate through the earth?" This type of inquiry can be a springboard into teaching fundamental concepts of classical physics as well as offering a laboratory challenge in allowing for measurement of these concepts. For In the case of the orbiting example, without giving a verbal explanation of the answer to the original inquiry, fundamental concepts appropriate to the phenomenon involved would be taught. Then, the student would work through the appropriate concept in a laboratory experiment. Once learned and measurements understood, I would direct the question back to them as a test of understanding. As a professional geophysicist I also offered demonstrations and exercise in professional applications of physics and geophysics whereby the student can make the tangible connections of theory and practice.
I attended college at Southern and Northern Illinois University and graduated with a BS in Geophysics/Geology. I also attended LSU-University of New Orleans where I received my Masters in Physics. I received my teaching certificate from the University of North Texas and have currently maintained that certification. I worked as a Research Geophysicist for ExxonMobil Corporation for 23 years. I left ExxonMobil subsequent to that and entered the teaching profession for 5 years teaching AP and Pre-AP Physics at the high school level and 2 years at the college level at the University of North Texes Dept. of Electrical Engineering. I returned to the oil industry for 7 years with Global Geophysical as a Geophysical Manager. I then returned for 3 more years of teaching AP Physics and have now semi-retired. I enjoy tutoring AP Physics 1, College Physics, Pre-AP Physics as well as high school level math. I will also tutor AP Physics C.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Bachelor of Science, Geophysics and Seismology
Graduate Degree: University of New Orleans - Master of Science, Applied Physics
Reading, especially Civil War History, Mysteries, Classics and Christian Apologetic. I hike and kayak. I enjoy working jigsaw puzzles.