Science and math have always been fun for me, so it was natural to get my first college degree in chemistry. But much as I enjoyed chemistry, my real love turned out to be teaching. So, when my youngest child started kindergarten, I began work on a masters degree in secondary education, and two years later I was certified to teach chemistry, physics, physical science, and all the math courses from general middle school math through calculus. My first years of teaching high school were rewarding, and I became fascinated with the way people learn -- so fascinated that it led to a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a special emphasis in science. While I finished my doctoral dissertation, I had the pleasure of teaching in middle school. Since then I’ve taught college courses in methods of teaching math and science, and also occasional courses in calculus-based physics. In all of these situations, tutoring individual students has been important.
I know how to help people learn; it’s all about finding each student’s unique strengths and building on those strengths. Through all of my teaching experiences, I’ve found that students who have difficulty tend to be weak in the basics. Either they need help connecting back to the basics,or they need help understanding the basics that they only memorized to pass a test. Often students become frustrated with science and math, because they try to learn by brute force, by memorization. Memory is important, but true UNDERSTANDING is the key to building a lasting and useful foundation in math or science. Each person’s path to that kind of understanding is a little different, but it’s a path well worth finding.
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