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As my profile title suggests, I am a huge proponent of conceptual learning and practical thinking. It is true that in many cases, success in a class or on an exam does depend on one's ability to memorize and recall individual facts, figures, dates, etc. However, as far as long-term success is concerned, I have personally found it most beneficial to understand and master concepts and ideas, rather than to get bogged down in minutiae and trivial details. In other words, I view learning how to learn as the most important, indispensable skill that any student could ever have.
With that said, I have spent a good portion of my adult life honing this skill in multiple work environments with people of very different backgrounds.
I have earned a bachelor of science degree from Humboldt State University in California where I grew up. There I studied physics for two years before switching my major to kinesiology and graduating in 2012 with a GPA of 3.71.
Throughout my time studying at HSU, I was also enlisted in the Marine Crops reserve as a heavy equipment operator. After six years and one deployment, I was honorably discharged in 2012 as I moved across the country to Massachusetts. Since graduating over a year ago, I have worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge as a health and fitness specialist. Each of these work environments have provided me the chance to not only learn new skills and concepts, but also to pass on to others what I have already learned. My success in each of these environments demonstrates mastery of the tools and processes necessary to succeed, both in educational and professional sectors of life.
By taking complex concepts and translating them into an easily understandable form without dilution of the content, I am able to teach methods for ensuring long-term success while improving grades and general knowledge in the classroom.
I see every subject, from calculus to history, as having a very specific and distinct set of tools (in an algebra class, for example, the "tools" of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are key). As important as it may be to memorize how to use them, learning why and when to use them is critical to student success, both in the classroom and in practical, everyday situations.
Since September of 2013, I have served as a Literacy Tutor through the Americorps program at Springfield College in Springfield. For a total of over 300 hours, I have served in a kindergarten classroom under teacher supervision. My experience includes determining and improving student proficiency in oral language and vocabulary, visual discrimination, and phonological awareness.
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