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During my career as a lead teacher I have always worked with low income students.  It doesn't matter what the situation is, all students need a quality education and professional tutoring when challenges arise. This is why I keep my fees low. I don't want to see a student struggle because the family can't afford extra help for them.

1. Humor always finds me with students, especially those of elementary age. 2. Have a fun extension of the math exercise set or read from a favorite book, on grade level of course. 3. Make an appropriate comment about something observed on the way from the car to the door, e.g., decorations or an animal on the sidewalk. 4. Never completely open the bag, there are always surprises in there. 5. Pay attention to what is on the wall - any one of those could be a cool conversation piece.

My current cancellation policy: You must call if canceling within 24 hours of the scheduled start time, if I can’t reschedule, a full hr. will be charged. A  full hour will be charged for no shows.   However due to the snow today, the 24 hour rule will NOT be enforced for Snow/Ice/Sleet. If it is snowing and you need to reschedule your (or your child's) appointment, please call or text me at least 3 hours before your scheduled appointment if you wish to reschedule. I will contact you if I need to cancel or reschedule. If I do NOT hear from you, I will assume that we are holding our session at our scheduled time.

Most students taking the SAT, GRE, or GMAT know their algebra fairly well, but many find they can't complete all the problems in the allowed time. Why? It's NOT because those students are just naturally slow: it's because they're doing more work than they need to! It's not their speed but their very approach --- the very way they conceive of the process of problem-solving --- that's flawed. To ace the math sections of standardized tests, you have to learn how to attack problems in new ways so that you get the right answers by doing as little work as possible! (Part of the reason so many students don’t already know how to do this is that it’s not taught well throughout middle and high school math classes. Learning how to think quickly and deeply often requires UNLEARNING habits your math teachers instilled in you in school!) To see if you’re up to par, try the following problems, which test your ability to make deep algebraic connections that will save you time. If your... read more

Many of my students preparing for the SAT, GRE, and GMAT have decent algebraic intuition when it comes to EQUATIONS, but most are much weaker when it comes to INEQUALITIES. On the one hand, this is entirely natural: inequalities capture less information than equations -- they establish merely a relation between two quantities, rather than their equivalence -- so they are inherently trickier to think about. But on the other hand, it's crucial to have a very solid grasp of how inequalities work to do well on the SAT, GRE, and especially the GMAT (which tends to love data sufficiency questions that deal with tricky inequalities). To test yourself to see how up-to-speed you are, try to decide whether the following statements are true or false. (I have intentionally made the problems very abstract and seemingly confusing to see if you really know what's going on, so DON'T WORRY IF YOU'RE TOTALLY LOST OR INTIMIDATED!) 1. If a+b=c+d and e+f=g+h, then a+b+e+f=c+d+g+h... read more

As a teacher and tutor of math and chemistry, dimensional analysis is always the way to get from "here" to "there" when one is working with diverse unit systems or just trying to work a path from the givens or knowns to the solution.   As a student, I didn't formally learn dimensional analysis until I was in high school. Yet, little did I know, I had been using it all along. Certainly, though, when I learned to use labeling units and canceling them to my advantage, I had a Eureka moment and both my knack for, and comprehension and appreciation of, mathematics and the sciences blossomed.   For these reasons, I believe dimensional analysis should be taught when fractions are introduced... in fourth grade, perhaps. Just a thought. What do other teachers/ tutors of math and/or science think?

How do you solve 8/x = 2? Many people will say the answer is 16. But certainly you will agree 8/16 is not 2. The problem is the variable is in the denominator. You fix that by multiplying both sides by x. That is, x*(8/x) = x*2. This results in 8 = 2x, a much easier problem for most people. Then after dividing both sides by 2 we see the correct answer is 8/2 = x = 4. Could we have gotten there more directly? Yes. Look at the original problem 8/x = 2 and the last equation 8/2 = x. The x and the 2 just switched places. The two steps we used will be the same regardless of what numbers we are given. For instance, 14/x = 21 can be solved immediately by switching the x and the 21. The answer is then 2/3. It's called the Van Delden Switch. Yes I named it after myself. Know it, love it, tell a friend, bring it up at parties.

1-4-2015 Happy New Year! As I begin this New Year, I am pondering what this year will bring. So I asked myself several questions: 1) How can I maximize my efficiency so my students get the maximum benefit? 2) How can I streamline the process of learning so the learning curve is greatly reduced? 3) How can I increase my communication efficiency so that my students not only grasp a concept, but retain the knowledge and put it into practice immediately. These are questions that demand answers. As anyone who examines my profile can attest, my main focus is on teaching the ASVAB test. A majority of my students have successfully passed my course and successfully passed the ASVAB test and are now in the military. Getting these students to pass the ASVAB is a daunting task. Why? well to begin with much of the prior learning that they (should) have attained has been forgotten by the time they come to the test. The most common... read more

I can't count how many times I've sat and watched a student erase half a page of her hardest math work just because the end result didn't come out right - or because it didn't fit neatly on the page.  I'm not sure if this is a new thing, this preoccupation with making one's homework look nice and flow perfectly from Point A to B.  But it makes me sad to see my students erasing some of the most important records in their academic lives.   Mistakes are not failures.  Mistakes show you how hard you worked, how far you got and exactly where you went wrong.  They are beautiful pieces of your mental history.  They show you what kinds of things you need to watch out for in the future.  Do you often forget to distribute your negatives?  Do you get exponent rules mixed up?  Maybe you're not so great at remembering when to rationalize the denominator.  Whatever your personal "weaknesses" are, they are uniquely yours.  Acknowledging... read more

1) You can have fun and be silly, but still increase focus on the subject   When I taught piano lessons to a 5-year-old girl, I would start off by asking her to find the weirdest, funniest sound that she could find on the keyboard, and then ask her to play the song she had practiced for that week in that sound! She always would laugh and make faces, but it made the repetition of practicing the same song over and over less monotonous and more fun! This would start our lessons off on a great note, and they would be more of a game or exploration of music than just a class.   2) Take a snack break     After about 30-45 minutes of studying the same subject, it can get tiring and hard to focus. Our brains need a break! Stopping 30 minutes into a tutoring session to have a quick snack or drink can really help to give your mind the rest it needs to be able to refocus and start refreshed after the break!   3) Talk about your... read more

???! Hi Everyone! In lieu of an introduction, I thought to share some of my favorite Mandarin Chinese characters with all of you.     ??: ? bing3 This is a beautiful food-related word that doesn't translate perfectly into English. Somewhat similar to the French crepe or 'galette', a ? is a generally delicious and very thin flatbread or pancake. Usually round, examples include ?? bing3gan1 which means 'cookies' or English-style biscuits and ??? 'green onion pancakes' as frequenters of Northern-influenced Chinese Restaurants might be aware. Given its flexibility and overall tastiness, it will point you in the direction of some lovely things on your average menu. If it's a ?, I'd generally recommend it!     ??: ? zhou1 Another food-related word, I love this one especially for its visual appeal. 'Zhou' is congee, or rice porridge, a beloved Chinese breakfast food. Sometimes eaten with ?? (you2tiao2, fried Chinese breadsticks)... read more

There are many arguments schools give for having Latin as a language course: Its being the basis for a host of other romance languages; its use in the legal or medical fields; and even (which is a bit far-fetched in my mind) for forming the mind to function more logically. Students who are obliged to take Latin will inevitably question reasons such as these or any reason a teacher or headmaster might give for studying Latin... and rightly so. If students are not satisfied with the answers teachers give, new answers should be sought, answers that get to the heart of the matter of “why Latin?” Anyone who speaks a handful of different languages can tell you that when they speak those languages they can sometimes take on a very different character. When I am with a group of Italian friends my way of communicating becomes much more ebullient, my need for personal space is instantly shed and an exaggerated intonation is applied to every word I say. Moreover, my facial features... read more

I received my BS in Physical Chemistry from Chongqing University, China and my Ph.D in Biochemistry from Miami University, USA. I have extensive teaching experience in college-level General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Plant Biology as I served as a Teaching Assistant in Miami University for 4 years. I know their backgrounds and ways to improve their grades. Right now I am tutoring AP chemistry and Chemistry Olympiad in an education institute in the Bay Area. During my Ph.D, I did independent research in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and plant biology. I also mentored undergraduates in developing research proposals and projects for fairs/conferences. My goal is to help students to understand, summarize and prepare for their exams to obtain desired results in a reasonable period of time. During my teaching, I strive to foster an exploratory atmosphere by asking questions and knowing their backgrounds/weakness. I try to make connections... read more

In my view, the ultimate reward is being able to empower students to apply the concepts and theories presented in their course of study. Once students are able to use the knowledge they have acquired, the student is able to grow both personally and professionally.

I always find remarks about anything concerning money interesting. A recent poll asked the reasons for tutoring, and one of the responses possible was to "maximize my income". Tutoring, like most aspects of education, isn't about the money. Sure, there are people who make quite a bit of money here, in relative terms. But is there any concern about the product? Many people here are not teachers or trained educators; so, I presume that this is (a) either your primary source of income, or, most likely, (b) you are a full-time employee and this is a second job to pick up additional money. I am also somewhat surprised at the backgrounds of some of the tutors, but that is their business.

Students have a wonderful opportunity to show admissions officers who they really are, by using the college essay to stand out from the crowd. In my experience, if you find a topic that you care about, and you write an essay that speaks from your heart, you will have a successful application experience. Admissions officers have to read dozens of applications per day in the 'busy season'. If you give an application reader a chance to pause, laugh out loud or wonder about the end of the story, and really recognize you as an individual, whether using humor, philosophy, creative writing about a memory or a fictionalized experience, or a profound lesson learned, you will hit a home run!   I am happy to help you get started, and then to edit your results. I do not write essays for students, but I do help you present yourself in the best light possible, and to give you opportunities that you may not find on your own.  Contact me for 3-session essay writing... read more

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