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1 employee

1 years in business

Math and Science virtual academic tutor available!

Initially trained in environmental engineering, I made the switch to teaching after spending two years as a volunteer teacher abroad. From there, I went on to earn my Masters in Teaching at Seattle University and to teach at public and private schools for the last 10+ years. I've tutored elementary students for whom English is a second language in math, tutored calculus, taught geometry and algebra, high school physics, and introduced a new curriculum to my high school for the honors chemistry class, which I also taught.

I'm a big fan of learning by inquiry (especially for science and geometry), which involves trying something out and exploring it a bit, then processing what you experienced through conversation and critical thinking. I understand that not every student is looking for this, though, so if you're just looking to get through tonight's homework or prepare for a test, I'm there for you, too!

Though I prefer to work in person, since starting social distancing, I've had to rethink how I meet with students. I now have a document camera and whiteboard, and I'm available to meet over Skype, Google hangouts, or Zoom, at least until things open up enough to actually start getting together again. In person, I usually charged $40/hour, which excluded commute time, but as I'm now working from home, I'm only charging $35/hour. Please feel free to contact me by email ([email protected]) or at (403) 458-0454 to discuss what might work for you. I look forward to meeting you!

-Derek B.-

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Bellevue, WA 98008

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I usually discuss logistics (when and how to meet, compensation) and special needs (equipment/software, learning differences or preferences) with the student and/or parent beforehand by text, email, or phone, and then when it's time, we get together and start going through the material together. Sometimes students just want someone to check how they're doing on the tough questions, sometimes a student needs more guidance through each question along the way.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a Bachelor of Science in civil/environmental engineering from Gonzaga University and a Master in Teaching degree from Seattle University, have taught math and science classes in public and private schools at the middle school and high school levels for over ten years, and have tutored for an additional 2 years beyond that.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Online sessions are $35/hour, $40 for in-person sessions. I offer discounts for multiple students from different families meeting at the same time: $30 each for 2, $25 each for 3. I also give discounts for referrals. Any new student who mentions that they heard of me from an existing student will get $20 off the next lesson for both themselves and the one who referred them.

How did you get started teaching?

I started as a volunteer teacher in the Marshall Islands right out of college, and I loved it! After teaching there for two years, then returning home and working as an engineer, I realized that engineering was not for me - I missed teaching too much! I went back to school to get my teaching degree, and have worked as a teacher or tutor ever since.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have tutored math to elementary students from Guatemala, taught English to Chinese and Marshallese students, tutored calculus to high school and college students, taught physics, chemistry, accounting, geometry, algebra, and even a little biology at Catholic schools and public schools at the high school and middle school level. I have students who learn quickly but are going through challenging material and other students who are not really into academics and have to work hard just to keep up.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I was recently hired by a college student in another country who was taking an online chemistry course. We met over Zoom, and she emailed me some of the questions that she was working on. The entire time, she didn't have her camera on, so I couldn't see her, but I could detect a little bit of an accent. When we finished the session, she told me that she goes by a different name than the one she had signed her emails with. I wondered the ethnicity of the name and guessed it was Bulgarian or somewhere in Eastern Europe, but I was way off: she was from Tanzania!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Experience can help save you time and headache. That is, someone who has a proven record of working with a variety of students, who has encountered the most common misconceptions and mistakes, and knows how to help you get around them can help you to acquire the skills and knowledge you need to move forward. There are frameworks and strategies that can help make this easier for you, and an experienced teacher or tutor probably knows more of them!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Where am I strong as a student, and where do I need some help? Are there underlying skills that need to be strengthened? For instance, sometimes students struggle in physics not because their math is bad but because they have trouble reading and understanding what the problem is asking.

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