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For the past fifteen years I have taught Science (all major subject areas) in a high performing, college preparatory, Long Island New York public school. The first 13 years were an amazingly gratifying experience of being able to work with students from 7th to 12 grade, facilitating their learning process in subject areas from Earth Science to Biology, Chemistry and Physics. At the completion of all of these courses the students were required to take a standardized national or state test (assessment). While we spent a few weeks at the end of the year reviewing material for the test, neither the students nor I became unduly stressed as we had been effectively learning the material all year long and historically had done very well compared to other schools in the state and the nation. In my final 2 years, the administration bowed to pressure from the state and overhauled all science curriculums so as to focus on constant drilling of test materials throughout the year with a focus on boosting already high test scores even higher. Classroom micromanagement became the norm.
As a result, student absences increased, engagement in lessons decreased and I personally witnessed several students running to the bathroom to throw up in the minutes previous to the start of the myriad of new high stakes tests being implemented. Through this period of time I did get to have my small victories. They came through working with individuals and small groups in after school help sessions or private tutoring. In this forum, I was able to return to my old way of teaching, which is to involve the student as an active learner in the process, allowing for discussion and maximizing student input. It felt just as good to see those students who I had worked with walk in to school on test day calm and confident, as it felt bad to see the others who hadn’t done additional preparation drag themselves in with a dreadful look on their face.
It was then I decided I wanted to focus on helping the students that really wanted and sought extra help. In addition to teaching and coaching, I had been tutoring for years and working with individual kids and small groups kept me connected. I no longer call the classroom my home and am instead focused on helping those that want help excel in their understanding of scientific concepts translate that into doing better in the classroom and on tests (standardized and other). If along the way I can inspire a love of science similar to my own in a student, that will be a bonus.
I love all areas of science and work with kids from middle school through high school to help them find success in general science, biology, chemistry, earth science, and test prep for the ACT.
For the past fifteen years I have taught Science (all major subject areas) in a high performing, college preparatory, Long Island New York public school. The first 13 years were an amazingly gratifying experience of being able to work with students from 7th to 12 grade, facilitating their
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I have taught a broad range of science subjects in a highly competitive school district for the past fifteen years, tutoring students throughout. I have had to prepare students with a wide range of learning styles for standardized testing and worked diligently to provide differentiated instruction in inclusion settings with up to 25 kids at a time. I can easily adapt my teaching style to accommodate specific learning styles.
In addition to my years in the classroom, I love biology. I have a degree in Wildlife Fisheries Biology and have been an avid outdoorsman my whole life. I fish, dive, keep an aquarium, have farmed shellfish, and have begun several organic farms. I worked for a university in its plant sciences lab. I live to talk biology.
I love science. If you enjoy it, you will learn it better and you will retain it longer. I delight in making connections between all aspects of nature and science.