Hello!
My name is Kyle; I graduated from The Ohio State University with a PhD in Mathematics in August, 2013. I have extensive experience tutoring students of all ages, abilities, and confidence levels.
My Education Background:
I began tutoring in high school in the St. Louis, MO area. I worked for a local tutoring business, helping students from 4th grade math up through calculus. I tutored students alone and in pairs; I tutored students that needed weekly supervision, students that needed one or two cram sessions to get a good grade on an exam, and students that wanted some exposure to math beyond their schoolwork.
In undergrad at CWRU I was an official tutor for the university, offering one-on-one hour-long sessions in their tutoring center in the library. I was also a Supplemental Instructor (SI), which was a math major assigned to a particular calculus section that was available 3 hours per week to answer questions the students might have.
In grad school I began teaching courses myself. In my first year I was a recitation leader for 60 students per quarter in the calculus sequence; this corresponded to 2 hours of class time, 3 office hours, and 2 tutor room hours per week, as well as grading and quiz-writing responsibilities. I later lectured my own classes of between 30 and 120 students, ranging from Calculus to "Excursions in Modern Mathematics" (a math class for majors that don't need Calculus) and Discrete Mathematics. I was also a private tutor on the side. While at Ohio State I was a three-time finalist for the Graduate Teaching Award, an award for which you must be nominated and for which you are then observed by a handful of faculty members.
My Teaching Philosophy:
As a tutor, my job is usually to work with a student that has fallen into a vicious cycle of falling behind and losing confidence. The best most successful tutoring relationships are actually very brief; the tutor helps the student find their way back to the material, and in the process restores the student's confidence and helps them find better ways to stay with the pack on their own.
Unfortunately, by the time many students resort to finding a tutor they are too far behind or too afraid of math to do well on their own without longer-term assistance.
In either case, my approach is simply to build the student's knowledge up in stages, while simultaneously dissociating the idea of struggling with a concept from the thought that the student is "failing" or "can't do math." I explain a concept from different angles until I get some sort of response from the student that indicates a glimmer of understanding, then I slowly work through an example and tie each step back to the general motivation for the idea. I then let the student work through examples, offering less and less advice until the student is able to consistently work through a problem on their own.
Me:
Just so you don't think I'm an impersonal robot without interests other than math, I'll quickly mention that I also enjoy ice hockey, golf, softball, chess, and playing the violin and drums. None to the level that I want to try and tutor them, obviously, or they'd be listed in my subjects.
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Kyle's subjects
Algebra 1
I have several years' tutoring Algebra I as well as the later concepts that build on it. In my experience I've noticed that several students in college math courses that are struggling are lacking an understanding that began in this course; as such, I would focus heavily on drawing the connection between equations and graphs, in addition to the obvious pitfall of symbolic manipulation rules.
Algebra 2
I have been tutoring Algebra 2 since high school. I have experience both with long-term tutoring of a single student and with one or two emergency test-prep cram sessions.
Calculus
I have a tremendous amount of calculus teaching experience at all levels; I've tutored, led recitations and lectured to 120 students. In graduate school I routinely had the sections with the highest grades. I am quite comfortable with all concepts and question types in all levels of single- or multi-variable calculus.
Geometry
I have extensive experience tutoring geometry going back to high school. Though the class is one that is traditionally disliked by many students, I have found that a patient demonstration of the core principles can make the material understandable.
Physics
In addition to minoring physics in college, I have an abiding passion for understanding the physical relationships in our universe. I have excelled in my classes throughout my career and have tutored several students (and friends) along the way.
Prealgebra
As one of the first courses to begin to introduce abstraction to the student, prealgebra can be particularly daunting. I have extensive experience introducing ideas such as variables, commutativity, and exponents to students; this is another subject I've been tutoring since high school.
Precalculus
In addition to having tutored in precalculus since high school, I have experience teaching courses in the subject while at Ohio State. I have dealt with nearly every common question and pitfall to be encountered here.
Trigonometry
Trigonometry is not nearly as difficult as many students find it to be; the potential for trouble lies in the usual approach of memorization without understanding. I have significant experience explaining how the ideas of similar triangles and ratios of sides can be so much more useful that they first appear.
Probability
Probability can be maddening to a new student; the idea seems so simple, yet without looking at a problem from precisely the right perspective, even a simple question can seem to have no answer. The key to understanding probability is to understand the relatively few elegant ideas involved, as well as how to apply them to the ample supply of "word problems" to be found.
Discrete Math
I taught a course on Discrete Math at Ohio State that focused on logic tables, syllogisms, and basic arguments before delving into logic through the guise of basic number theory and set theory. We did, among other things, induction, recursion, and the Well Ordering Principle.
Differential Equations
I have twice been a recitation leader for approximately 30 students in a section of Diff EQ at OSU. One such section in particular earned me a nomination from the lecturer for the Graduate Teaching Award.
Linear Algebra
I have privately tutored several OSU students in linear algebra. I have also taken a graduate-level course, and I am quite comfortable with all concepts in an undergraduate linear algebra course. I have tutored students on matrices, vector spaces, bases, eigenvalues, etc.
Logic
I taught Discrete Mathematics at Ohio State; it was a course geared toward Computer Science students that included the basics of first-order logic. We did (among other things) syllogisms, logic tables, and axiomatic set theory.
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