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Orego State University (Mathematics)
Oregon State University (Master's)
When I first arrived at Oregon State University everything felt larger than life. The buildings seemed enormous and the amount of people that flooded the campus seemed hard to fathom. Little did I know that years later I would became a professional math teacher at South Ridge High in Phoenix, AZ. At OSU I had many tutoring opportunities. These experiences helped to lay the foundation of how I became a teacher/tutor.
During my post-baccalaureate year I was eager to complete the classes and begin OSU’s master's degree program. It was in this year that I had my first real experience as a teacher/tutor in a middle school/high school classroom. I was enrolled in a class that sent me on two practicum experiences. It is hard to forget my first experience in tutoring at this level. At first, I found the environment somewhat intimidating because I was a student teacher. Yet, I still found myself able to get over the fact that I was “just a student teacher.” What really helped me a lot was when I tutored the students one-on-one or in small groups. It was in these moments that I could really see students for who they are---eager to learn new ideas and concepts. Also, grading the students’ papers helped me see a side of teaching that I had never seen before. The entire experience was invigorating.
The following year I entered graduate school at Oregon State University. It was now that I truly had my work cut out for me because it was a one year accelerated program. The work load was heavy, and I had to prove my worth. It turned out that my first teaching assignment was teaching 7th graders in probability. These students tested me with everything I could imagine. Moving about the classroom was an exercise in humility. Seventh graders are pretty smart but they can sometimes get on the nerves of even the best teacher. The most important adjustment I made at this time was to dig in and work with my supervisors on how to handle classroom management and formative assessment. It was quite a struggle, but I made it through the first experience and was looking forward to my spring teaching at a high school.
That spring I learned a lot about punctuality as I had to drive 44 miles to get to the high school. Apart from that it was an exciting experience for me. The students that I taught algebra to were a joy to be around. I worked hard to design lessons that were rigorous, and I used different methodologies to teach the students. Sometimes I would teach using a hands-on assignment, other times I had the students solving problems in small groups, and we even had a lesson where we were working with graphing calculators. It was a lot of fun to see my students make progress throughout the quarter. Also, with the help of my supervisors I was developing my skills as a teacher/tutor. The high school experience really boosted my confidence and helped prepare me for what laid ahead.
Now, being done with my master's program my sight was set on full-time teaching. Yet, after several interviews I ended up unemployed and looking for another opportunity. Shortly thereafter, I found my opportunity at Sylvan Learning Center. This job turned out to be a great preliminary in how to teach at the high school level. At Sylvan, we had to follow rigorous lesson plans that were based on a multi-sensory approach to learning. These lessons were how we were able to maximize the success of every learner. From 1-on-1 to 3-on-1 tutoring my work was again cut out for me. It’s a different world when you are teaching in a three to one ratio and all of the students are being taught different material. This was a great opportunity to learn some patience with myself and with my students. I had to be succinct and exact because failure was not an option. The stress was much but seeing the students succeed right before my eyes helped me work through the stress that was involved. And it was not to long after I joined Sylvan (5 months) that I landed my first full time teaching job at South Ridge High School in Arizona.
There is a stark contrast from teaching in Portland to teaching in Phoenix. Arizona had one of the worst test score ratings in most of the 50 United States. One thing to note is the major cultural differences that exist in Phoenix. It is a very diverse environment and it took me a year to get used to it. However, what I learned is that students are students wherever you go. They all want to learn if the teacher can make that possible. These students wanted to get their high school diplomas and move on but our school had bigger plans for them. We were a brand new charter school and our sole ambition was to get each and every student to college and to develop the students into life-long learners. By using different methods, such as those I learned in graduate school and at Sylvan Learning center, I challenged all of my students to be successful. The students were able to pull themselves together and each one became a success story. Our school won a bronze medal in News Weeks special report on high schools in the US after the school had only been open for four years. It was amazing.
After four years of pouring my life into South Ridge High School I had to leave my job. I was still recovering from a car accident that occurred in 2007. What I needed was a less stressful work experience where things would move at a slower pace. So I moved back to Oregon and immersed myself in Web Design and other media design. With the help of some other people this is what I’ve been doing for the last three years. However, my time of teaching was not to be over as I felt that I was ready to approach the idea of teaching/tutoring again. To test myself I tutored at Wilson High School from February 2013 to June 2013. It felt great to be back in that environment helping students to master their subject matter and moving them on and up in the world.
When I first arrived at Oregon State University everything felt larger than life. The buildings seemed enormous and the amount of people that flooded the campus seemed hard to fathom. Little did I know that years later I would became a professional math teacher at South Ridge High in Phoenix, AZ.
Andrew was able to meet my son on very short notice to help my son prepare for a test, will certainly use Andrew in the future and would recommend him to other parents.
Andrew has worked closely with me and my son in developing and implementing a plan that enables my son to learn calculus A/B and prepare for the calculus A/B AP test. At his suggestion, we arranged for him to get in touch with our school's calculus A/B teacher who provided a course outline that was being used there. This lesson plan was then used, along with the same book, to formulate a plan to enable my son to learn this material in time for the calculus A/B AP test. His suggestions and efforts went well beyond what I would have expected from a tutor.
In addition to setting up the plan, Andrew's work with my son has been exceptional and his feedback on each lesson has been insightful in determining how to course correct the original plan to help my son succeed.
I would gladly recommend Andrew to others, especially to those children that require a more sensitive, personal, and unique approach to learning. He really has matched quite well with my son and is greatly helping my son meet his goals.
Thank you for the comments. Andrew is well deserving of his success in Calculus. He works hard at mastering the material. Good job!
I really didn't think I was going to pass my trigonometry class until I starting talking it out with Andrew. He is patient, kind, and an all around great guy. Even if you don't get something right away, he will gladly explain something twice or in a different way. Andrew was always on time and was willing to meet at the times and places I needed. If the need arises that I need a math tutor again, I will be contacting Andrew.
Thank you for the comments. You worked hard and deserved to pass your class. Good luck in your future endeavors.
Andrew has been a great help to my son in his Math class. He is extremely reliable, always on time and flexible with his schedule. He also emails after every session in detail what they went over during the tutor session. He is friendly and easy to get along with. I highly recommend him.
Thank you for the comments. Jackson is a good student and works hard at being successful. Good job Jackson!
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I have extensive experience teaching/tutoring Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. As a teacher, i have mapped out these two courses and developed the curriculum and added the resources to be used in these classes. I know these courses inside and out and understand that every student requires a unique approach to help them achieve their goals.
I have taught Algebra two many times. I understand that students can master the material but only when the teacher can build a bridge for the student to travel across. I have spent much time learning how questions and different approaches to teaching can affect the students. When I learn how the student learns then it makes learning, for the student, easier and more enjoyable.
I was a math major at Oregon State University and have tutored many students in Calculus. All of my mathematics classes at OSU were Calculus intensive. I have studied Advanced Calculus and am well trained in algorithmic programming (related to Calculus).
I have taken Linear Algebra 1 and Linear Algebra 2 at the three hundred level. Also, I have taken Numerical Linear Algebra where I created algorithmic models to describe linear patterns. Finally, I have taken a Quantum Spin course and other upper-level physics courses which rely heavily on Linear Algebra with Matrices.
I have taught Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 at the high school level and understand that Algebra needs to be taught with the use of all senses. Some students learn best with a kinesthetic approach while other students learn best with a visual approach. The key to teaching students correctly is to pinpoint their learning style and thus maximizing their potential.
I have had the opportunity to teach Trigonometry at the high school level. I was able to use what I learned in college to help make Trig understandable and exciting. By incorporating different teaching strategies I can make Trig a fun subject to learn. When teaching I try to show my students that Trig is not difficult if you understand some of the main ideas including; right triangle trigonometry, the Unit Circle, graphing "one cycle at a time".