My approach to teaching math, is to teach math the old-fashioned way, without calculators. Students today have lost the ability to do simple calculations in their heads. This causes them trouble on test day, because it takes much longer. Teachers today are focused on passing the state tests, rather than actually teaching math. If a student knows the material, they will be able to complete any assessment. Also, teachers of the advanced classes; geometry, algebra 2, pre-calculus, statistics, and calculus, assume the student has mastered the material from the previous class. If the teacher of the previous class was focused on passing the SOL test, then those students start the advanced classes, already behind. It has always been my goal to teach math, NOT tricks on a calculator.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
With a new student, I want to gauge their abilities, their interest, and any parental involvement. If the student is in college, I will skip the parental involvement. However, if the student has not completed high school, I believe parental involvement is paramount. Knowing the level of parental commitment will make my job easier and improve the results. I will assess abilities with worksheets. As far as their interest, students "hate" math, because they do not excel at it. And those students who master the subject, will usually say they "love" math. My job is to take a "hater," and transform them into a "lover" of math. Important to remember, knowledge of math is vital to learning the sciences, and science teachers do not possess the time to teach math to those students who never learned the subject. So, if a student "hates" math, they are not going to like any of the sciences, either.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Information Technology from Old Dominion University. I completed the Career Switcher Program at ODU, for teaching licensure. I have taught, on a limiited basis, algebra, geometry, and physics. I have tutored students in most areas of math, from basic math, all the way up to calculus. I have also tutored Computer Science, statistics, history, English, theater, and physics students. I have managed to transform failing students into passing students, and my greatest success was with a student who had a learning disability. When I started with him, he had failed a basic algebra class three times, but when I finished with him, he was getting "A's" on every assessment.