My teaching experience started in high school as a teacher's assistant, when I would help younger students with science and math problems in class to supplement the teacher's efforts. In college, I worked as a one-on-one tutor for introductory and advanced biology and biochemistry courses during walk-in sessions.
Eventually I was hired as a full-time study group coordinator, where I organized and supervised regular discussion sessions to review course material and hold mock quizzes and exams in preparation for actual examinations. After I graduated with my bachelor's degree, I worked as a high school science teacher for a year before my son was born. In graduate school, I organized and helped develop a grant writing course for students in the cancer biology program, in which they learned how to form a hypothesis, organize their scientific thoughts into a coherent proposal, and ask and answer scientific questions. This graduate course also included an animal experimentation laboratory that I helped organize that would allow students to learn how to handle the mouse animal model and to perform ordinary tasks such as injections and minor surgeries.
In addition, during my last year of college, I coached my younger brother's Odyssey of the Mind team. We developed a short play that involved the creation of a mechanical mouse trap-like device, and I also trained them on spontaneous creativity skills that were part of the Odyssey of the Mind competition. We advanced through Regional and State competitions to get to the World Finals, and while we did not win the grand prize, all the children had an incredible experience. I also got the opportunity in my graduate career to train a number of undergraduate and graduate students in biological experimentation techniques, the scientific method and time management skills.
I am currently teaching ACT preparatory courses at various Chicago Public Schools and am also a substitute science teacher at both the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and Francis W. Parker School.
I believe that focusing energy on a student keeps them involved in the coursework and gives them a feeling that they are being cared for as they learn the material. My philosophy is to give the student as much time as I can to properly explain the technique, problem, phenomenon, or whatever topic interests them, such that they derive as much understanding as possible from the study topic. The goal is not for them to memorize a factoid for a trivia show, but to understand why a given theory or mathematical formula is used and how to properly apply it to other situations, including those in everyday life. If you are looking for someone who is much more than a tutor, someone who truly cares about education and the quest for knowledge, then I believe I can help.
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