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Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Phil and I have taught in middle schools and high schools in California for the past 15 years, from math and physical science to honors chemistry and advanced biology. My preferred subjects are Biology, ranging from Life Science to A.P. Biology and Earth Science, although I enjoy Chemistry as well.
I believe all students need opportunities that promote a positive self-concept. The greater the use of multiple senses and manipulatives, the longer the recall. Biology is a living science and as such should be experienced, not just viewed in a text. During the ten years I participated in the high school biotechnology unit, I witnessed timid students excel and embrace learning with enthusiasm. Having designed my own Advanced Biology curriculum, and receiving UC approval for my efforts, has also enabled me to enhance my skills at simplifying the text's abstract concepts while putting them into a format more easily digested.
Being the academic advisor for the California Scholarship Federation for six years provided me further opportunities to provide guidance and downsize the overwhelming wealth of information a college-bound student was expected to absorb. Using individual informal workshops, I provided my students with the necessary tools via the same tutoring skills I have developed over my teaching career.
Over the years, I have developed various strategies for working one-on-one with students to improve their comprehension and recall, minimize their test anxiety, amplify their understanding of Greek and Latin word bases, and putting science in simpler terms for greater understanding.
As in the classroom, the home student needs support, structure and guidance to overcome barriers to their learning; I supply that and more, providing real life examples and/or situations enhancing the textbook and thus putting the information in a frame of reference students can understand. The goal is to convert facts into images that lie within the student's world, thereby allowing absorption of the information after being slightly dissected, and reduced in volume. Simplest is best. Fancy comes later.
I was the Chess club advisor for 5 years at multiple schools.
For 10 years I instructed detailed biotechnology via Gene Connection at the high school level (primarily Biology students) and served as Master/Lead Teacher for one year at El Camino High School (SSFUSD). I have included genetics as a sub unit of the Biology curriculum for 11 years.
For the past 12 years, I have studied Danzan Ryu Kodenkan Jujitsu in San Bruno, California. During that time, my sensei has had me instruct students in the skills necessary for promotion for the following ranks: Rokyu, Gokyu, Yonkyu, Sankyu, and Nikyu.
Currently I hold the rank of Nikyu (2nd degree Brown belt).
I have been a competitive swimmer for 18 years and a swim coach at the high school level for 3 years.
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