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Wesley S.

Conceptual Learning leads to Comprehension

Sacramento, CA (95811)

Travel radius
20 miles
Hourly fee
$40.00
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Background Check Status for Wesley S.

Wesley S. passed a background check on 7/4/13. The check was ordered by Wesley through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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Hello reader. My name is Wesley, and I greatly enjoy teaching. I have long been of the opinion that one of the more wonderful things in life is to see the glimmer of understanding dawn in the eyes of a client. I take great joy every time I see a client begin to comprehend subject matter with proficiency, and I believe every client has the fundamental right to feeling confident about his or her abilities as the learning process occurs. I encourage my clients, and indicate to them through time how they have improved. I feel strongly that a knowledgeable and capable client can still perform poorly on exams if the confidence is not there; positive reinforcement of increasing control over subject matter increases the likelihood of better performance. And at the end of the day, my goal is to see my clients not only understand the subject matter, but also perform well in the class.

When it comes to teaching, I have a great deal of experience, particularly upon the subjects of chemistry, biology and biochemistry. My experience has been acquired first-hand, from many years working as a Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor at UC Davis, and from my own private tutoring work. The general knowledge required as background for my degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have included significant and lengthy applications of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and physics. My aptitude for learning and voracious appetite for knowledge have driven my continual renewal of these subjects, particularly with regards to practical applications both in my professional and personal lives. At an early age, I began utilizing computers as an effective tools to enhance my performance in education and the workplace. I've also delved into computer usage in my personal life for entertainment and communication.

I have always had a strong affinity for biology, chemistry and biochemistry -- obtaining high marks in the two former topics in high school. Even as a teenager, my peers were quick to seek my assistance in learning the material. My first tutoring experiences began at the age of 15 in my sophomore year of high school, where I was hired to tutor several classmates in chemistry. I graduated top of my class from high school and then completed a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Santa Cruz, where again I was hired by classmates to tutor them in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, calculus and physics.

From UC Santa Cruz, I moved northward to pursue a PhD at UC Davis in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At UC Davis, I have worked quite frequently as a Teaching Assistant for general biology courses, general chemistry courses, and the upper division biochemistry courses. From my interaction with students in this capacity, I have been overwhelmed with requests for extra office hours and review sessions. In previous years, students have attributed their survival or excellent performance in numerous cases directly to my office hours and review sessions. I have had many former students become clients later on. I have also been hired by clients to assist in studying for the MCAT, the Biochemistry Subject-specific GRE, and the California Subject Exam for Teachers in Biology. Having taken numerous required standardized tests, studied for these tests, and later helped clients prepare for such standardized tests: I have become familiar not only with the subject matter (as explained above and in later portions of this series of paragraphs), but also with strategies for success.

My primary approach to teaching has always been to to assist the student in truly learning the subject matter, rather than purely memorizing the material. As undoubtedly many of you already likely know from experience: memorization generally results in (at best) short-term retention of information and does not usually result in high performance on exams. If the student is able to learn the actual material, student attains the ability to apply information in many varying circumstances. Actual learning means actual comprehension (actual understanding). This requires the student to build a mental framework by which the subject matter can be approached, deciphered, deconstructed, and finally correctly applied to arrive at the correct answer (per each homework or exam question). This arises from the recognition of the actual question and the understanding of how to approach it.

Though at first my tendency to ask the student questions in response to a question can frustrate a student and can be mis-perceived as merely confounding the situation -- the questions I ask are specifically-tailored to guide the student's thought process toward the understanding of how to solve a problem or answer a question. I have found that this approach combined with effective analogies can significantly improve a student's understanding of material. In gaining this understanding, the student does not merely learn how to leap behind hoops, but gains the agility of mind to grasp the question and construct a response appropriate to the scenario. In other words, I believe that I do not teach so much as guide a client toward mastery of a subject. Another way of stating this is: I teach the client to teach him or herself the material. It is possible to gain not only comprehension of the subject I am tutoring a client in, but also for a client to learn more general methods by which to learn.

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Wesley’s subjects

ACT Math

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. Preparing for a standardized test like the ACT Math section can be readily approached utilizing materials the student purchases on the student's own budget, and my particular expertise in sharpening the student's problem solving skills through the use of conceptual learning. With particular focus on the subject of mathematics: I have had to utilize math extensively throughout my entire education and subsequently, throughout my entire life.

ACT Science

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. Preparing for a standardized test like the ACT Science section can be readily approached utilizing materials the student purchases on the student's own budget, and my particular expertise in sharpening the student's problem solving skills through the use of conceptual learning. With particular focus on the subject of science: I am a highly experienced scientist with extensive training in both comprehension and instruction of science.

Algebra 1

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of algebra: algebraic calculations are pervasive throughout everyday life, and are quite common in most routine scientific endeavors. Outside of teaching, my day-to-day work and life require applied algebraic approaches. Having utilized the subject matter for a long period of time, I'm quite familiar with the ins and outs of said material.

Algebra 2

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of algebra: algebraic calculations are pervasive throughout everyday life, and are quite common in most routine scientific endeavors. Outside of teaching, my day-to-day work and life require applied algebraic approaches. Having utilized the subject matter for a long period of time, I'm quite familiar with the ins and outs of said material.

Biochemistry

My primary focus of study in life has been Biochemistry, having pursued it in both my undergraduate and current graduate studies. I have taken undergraduate and graduate level courses in the numerous subjects that are associated with Biochemistry; and furthermore, I have served as a teaching assistant and instructor for many biochemistry courses during my current graduate studies. I also have privately tutored many students on the subject.

Biology

Although my primary focus of study in life has been Biochemistry (having pursued it both my undergraduate and current graduate studies), biology has been a fundamental foundation upon which my education has been constructed. I have taken undergraduate and graduate level courses in the many subjects in biology. Furthermore, I have served as a teaching assistant and instructor for several general biology courses, as well as tutoring students privately for these courses.

Calculus

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of calculus: there are many such calculations utilized in applied fields of science, particularly with respect to physics and to a slightly lesser degree, chemistry. In the process of working and teaching chemistry, I've inevitably been utilizing applications of these particular calculations. Moreover, in the process of my education, calculus was a required prerequisite to the physics and quantum chemistry course work I have taken.

Chemistry

While my primary focus of study in life has been Biochemistry, having pursued it in both my undergraduate and current graduate studies, I have taken many chemistry courses as well— because this material overlaps and is highly relevant to biochemistry. I have taken undergraduate courses in general, physical and organic chemistry. Furthermore, I have served as a teaching assistant and instructor for several general chemistry courses.

General Computer

Computers have always been of interest to me since childhood. My first home computer as a child was a Commodore 64. I have subsequently owned and operated many machines throughout my education and personal life. I have always had a tendency to teach myself whatever knowledge would be required to utilize technological tools to their fullest capacity in my own endeavors. Combining many years of acquired experience with Windows, Linux and Mac OSX machines with my years of teaching and tutoring -- I very easily guide students, family and friends through whatever particular new application of a computer desired by said individuals.

Geometry

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of geometry: geometric calculations are pervasive throughout everyday life, and are quite common in most routine scientific endeavors. Outside of teaching, my day-to-day work and life quite often require applications of geometric calculations.

Linux

Computers have always been of interest to me since childhood. My first home computer as a child was a Commodore 64. I have subsequently owned and operated many machines throughout my education and personal life. I have always had a tendency to teach myself whatever knowledge would be required to utilize technological tools to their fullest capacity in my own endeavors. Combining many years of acquired experience with Windows, Linux and Mac OSX machines with my years of teaching and tutoring -- I very easily guide students, family and friends through whatever particular new application of a computer desired by said individuals. My qualifications specific to Linux are based upon over five years usage of the operating system. I have experimented and utilized many of the different distributions (including but not limited to Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, and OpenSUSE). I am familiar with the Operating System, and frequently dual boot my own personal computers with Windows and one of my preferred distributions of Linux (currently Linux Mint). In both my professional and personal lives, I have made use of the Linux OS, having actually converted some techniques previously only utilized on the Macintosh OSX to usage on the Linux system (allowing more computing power for the same procedures in the work place). I have always been my own technician and computer technical support, as well as having done similar work for both personal friends and family, as well as professional colleagues. When I did not know how to resolve a particular issue or make use of the Operating System in a desired situation, I would teach myself how to do so. I own and adore my Android smartphone (Android being a Google Operating System derived from Linux).

Macintosh

My qualifications specific to Macintosh are based upon over two decades usage of the Macintosh products. I am familiar with the operating system, the actual hardware, and the portable electronic devices (powered by the iOS).

In both my professional and personal lives, I have often made use of Macintosh machines. I have always been my own technician and computer technical support, as well as having done similar work for both personal friends and family, as well as professional colleagues. When I did not know how to resolve a particular issue or make use of the Operating System in a desired situation, I will teach myself how to do so.

Microsoft PowerPoint

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of Microsoft Powerpoint: I have learned throughout the years how to make use of Powerpoint as an effective medium for the delivery of information in multiple environments. I have utilized Powerpoint in the context of seminars and conference presentations to communicate material from my work place to large audiences. I have furthermore utilized Powerpoint in the teaching environment numerous times as a tool during my work as a Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor at UC Davis.

Microsoft Windows

Computers have always been of interest to me since childhood. My first home computer as a child was a Commodore 64. I have subsequently owned and operated many machines throughout my education and personal life. I have always had a tendency to teach myself whatever knowledge would be required to utilize technological tools to their fullest capacity in my own endeavors. Combining many years of acquired experience with Windows, Linux and Mac OSX machines with my years of teaching and tutoring -- I very easily guide students, family and friends through whatever particular new application of a computer desired by said individuals. My qualifications specific to Microsoft Windows are based upon over two decades usage of the Operating System in both my professional and personal lives. I have owned and operated more machines than I can recall, and have always been my own technician and computer technical support. When I did not know how to resolve a particular issue or make use of the Operating System in a desired situation, I would teach myself how to do so. I continue to utilize Microsoft Windows as my primary operating system throughout the day-to-day computer usage in my life.

Organic Chemistry

During my undergraduate education I was required to take an entire year of organic chemistry. Much of the material of organic chemistry is pivotal to gaining an understanding into the mechanisms of biochemistry and the metabolic reactions involved in biochemical pathways. During my subsequent doctoral education I have studied biochemistry in more detail, requiring further implicit study into organic chemistry. In many ways, biochemistry is an application of organic chemistry.

Physics

Physics has always been a subject that goes hand in hand with chemistry. The more you study chemistry, the more you require an understanding of physics. Quantum chemistry would not exist without quantum physics. Therefore, in my studies of chemistry, I have taken several courses in physics and have continued to apply my knowledge and gain more as time has passed. Physics, with its equations and laws, has always been very rational and clear to me.

Prealgebra

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of pre-algebra: both arithmetic and algebraic calculations are pervasive throughout everyday life, and are quite common in most routine scientific endeavors. Outside of teaching, my day-to-day work and life require applied arithmetic and algebraic approaches. Having utilized the subject matter for a long period of time, I'm quite familiar with the ins and outs of said material.

Precalculus

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of precalculus: there are many such calculations utilized in applied fields of science, particularly with respect to physics and to a slightly lesser degree, chemistry. In the process of working and teaching chemistry, I've inevitably been utilizing applications of these particular calculations. Moreover, in the process of my education, precalculus was a required prerequisite to the calculus and physics course work I have taken.

SAT Math

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. Preparing for a standardized test like the SAT Math section can be readily approached utilizing materials the student purchases on the student's own budget, and my particular expertise in sharpening the student's problem solving skills through the use of conceptual learning. With particular focus on the subject of mathematics: I have had to utilize math extensively throughout my entire education and subsequently, throughout my entire life. Having taken not only the SAT preparatory courses and actual exams in my lifetime, but also having studied and taken numerous standardized tests (as well as having actually participated in grading standardized tests) I can guide a student to apply material in a more effective method as well as make use of actual techniques that expedite the process of taking a standardized test such as the SAT.

Trigonometry

I have extensive experience teaching from my time as a Teaching Assistant at UC Davis. Furthermore, I have tutored many students prior to my association with Wyzant. I have continued to acquire tutoring experience since my association with Wyzant. As is indicative of the ratings and qualifications present in my profile: I am a highly-effective teacher. With respect to the specific subject of trigonometry: there are many trigonometric calculations utilized in applied fields of science, particularly with respect to physics and to a slightly lesser degree, chemistry. In the process of working and teaching chemistry, I've inevitably been utilizing applied trigonometry.

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Education

UC Santa Cruz (Biochem and Mol Bio)

UC Davis (Master's)

Very clear with explanations and knows his chemistry! I was very impressed by Wesley's knowledge right off the bat. He did not stumble on tutoring me in several different introductory chemistry topics in one session. If I wasn't sure of something he was describing, he would backtrack and expand to make sure I was comprehending all parts of the information. His voice is very easy to listen to, he was on time, friendly, and really wanted me to get as m ...

— Karen from Citrus Heights, CA on 5/9/14);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

The rate specified above is a default per client hourly rate. Group rated sessions subject to negotiation. All hours are billable, including phone calls and emails.

Travel policy

Wesley will travel within 20 miles of Sacramento, CA 95838.

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