After teaching elementary and middle school math for ten years, and completing a Masters involving economics and urban planning, I now oversee the finances and administration of a multi million dollar company.
I know the the importance of understanding the basics and the language of math, and the struggle to master the skills. I also know the elegant beauty of numbers and the confidence that comes with a deep conceptual understanding of each step in the problem solving approach. I can help bridge the gap from a frustrated introductory understanding to a solid grasp of general and specific knowledge. I will walk with a student every step of the way!
For me, there is a security in knowing and truly understanding mathematical processes, simple and complex. There is always a solution.
The "a-ha" moment when a concept clicks is priceless and powerful. And, once we speak the language of math, each small success becomes a stepping stone for the next one.
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First, I think it is important to review things with a parent or caregiver, such as recent assessments, current struggles and gain insight into specific problem areas.
I can then use a student's current curriculum and feedback to identify strengths and the which concepts a student truly understood fully.
From here, we can move through processes, adding tips and tricks and shortcuts, to tackle problem areas and build from one success to the next, moving on only if the students has a firm grasp of the material and the confidence to strive for additional growth.
I have an Bachelors degree in Math Education and a Masters degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy Analysis, with a specialization in economic development.
I currently work in the private sector, overseeing the finances for a small business.
I also work with my elementary school children, and many of their friends, with their homework, projects and assessments.
As a child, I struggled with math and I know the frustration and eventual surrender when an understanding seems impossible. I began pursuing a teaching career so I could use this experience and first hand knowledge to work with students, knowing how they think, how they feel and knowing that they want (and can) to succeed, given the time, attention and devotion.
I have seen children flourish from kindergarten to eighth grade, and have worked with boys and girls from all ability levels, and levels of frustration.
The process can be fun too! I recently worked with a small group of second graders, and, having offered them "pencils that already had the answers in them," they did not hesitate to jump right in to the lesson. They had the support and the confidence they needed to begin and to ultimately succeed!
Ask whether they will work with your actual curriculum or if they will be providing supplemental material.
Find someone you can talk with, work with, feel comfortable with and are okay admitting mistakes and areas of weakness. It helps if you can be honest!
It is okay if you can't understand the way a teacher explains it. 1) there is a solution and 2) you should find someone who can explain it the way you need to hear it.
What is the last thing I really understood well?
Do I need to see the process step by step, hear it, see pictures? How do I learn best?
Do I have a short term math goal (a quiz tomorrow!) or a long term math goal (I want to rock differential equations next year!)