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First, a little background. I recently retired from the College of Education at Oregon State University where, for the last six years, I was a teacher educator helping to prepare prospective secondary math and science teachers. I held a similar position for eight years at the School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill. Before I moved to higher ed, I was a high school physics, math, and general science teacher in Seattle Public Schools for 15 years. So I've been teaching math and science content and pedagogy for almost 30 years. And before all of that I was an electronics test engineer in the Seattle area for 15 years. Over that time I earned a master's degree in physics from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in education (physics), also from UW (my BA is in philosophy with a minor in math and physics from UC San Diego).

Anyway, though I've retired, I'd like to keep on teaching, albeit on a more informal basis such a through tutoring. As you might imagine, I've worked with all kinds of students from kids with learning challenges to very gifted students. I subscribe to the "teach them to fish" educational philosophy by which I mean that my goal as a teacher has always been to help students learn both the "how" and "so what?" when solving problems in math and science so they will be able to do it for themselves in a variety of situations. For me, it's not enough that a student know how to solve a problem, I want them also to understand why both the content and/or procedure are important and worthy of learning. One of the biggest motivators for me as a teacher is getting students to the "aha!" moment. So, probably the most important lesson I've learned as a teacher and teacher educator is to listen carefully to what students say what students say is the best way for a teacher to really understand what students are thinking. The questions students ask as well as the answers they give are powerful tools to help teachers guide their learning. I've become a very good listener.

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Nick’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - Bachelor in Arts, Philosophy

Graduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Master of Science, Physics

Graduate Degree: University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Doctor of Philosophy, Education


I very much enjoy playing chess both online and across the board. I'm preparing for a big bike ride in Europe this spring, from Geneva, Switz, to Marseille, France (about 500 km by bike) so I ride my bike a lot and go to the gym almost everyday to train. (So I've been studying French as well.) I also like to keep informed on a wide variety of the issues of the day, mostly about science and politics - it's been very interesting to watch the progress in the development of nuclear fusion, what Perseverance and Ingenuity are sending back from Mars, and the incredible images from the James Webb telescope. My daughter is a big college football fan and plays on a women's full contact football team - so, of course, I get to listen to her wax poetic about football.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Writing


AP Physics 2


College Physics


High School Physics


Math 1

Math 3


Physics 2


Test Prep

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