I grew up in Silver Spring, MD, just northeast of D.C. My interest in math began at an early age: my father teach me topics such as long division and negative numbers before those topics were covered in the classroom. Throughout my education, I excelled in math class and competed on math team. I attended a mix of private and public schools, then went to the University of Maryland for degrees in math and computer science. I was most inspired by the teachers who adopted less common approaches to teaching, including a social studies teacher who designed a mini-economy in the classroom to teach us about capitalism and a teacher in college who gave tests that were intentionally too long to complete, allowing her to cover every topic with equal depth and challenging students to develop a good test-taking strategy.
I first became interested in teaching during high school, when I spent a semester as a teacher’s aide for a geometry class. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to work as a teaching assistant for three classes in college. Of these, the class that had the greatest impact on me was a remedial math class designed to bring new students who were behind on their math education up to the level where they could take on university-level classes. One of my primary duties as a TA for that class was to be available to assist any student with their classwork. In the course of performing that work, I learned how to adapt my teaching style to the needs of each individual student and to keep a positive and encouraging attitude.
When I needed a job after college while looking for software development work, I started tutoring. I tutored high school and college students in calculus and other subjects until I got a job at Google. However, I didn’t find the work particularly enjoyable or fulfilling, so when I left I decided to return to the field of education. I had previously enjoyed my work as a teaching assistant and tutor, and I wanted to pursue a career where I could have a direct, positive impact on my community.
I approach tutoring as a student-driven activity; the student, in collaboration with me and their parents, decides what the goals are, and it’s my job as a tutor to develop and execute a plan to meet those goals. The one-on-one format gives me the opportunity to tailor my instruction to the student’s specific needs. I have always been intrigued by the wide variety of ways that different students reach an understanding of the same topic, and I work with each student to determine how best to teach each topic so that they can more easily remember and internalize the lessons. I also use leading questions to encourage students to think through each problem, and to help them develop their comprehension of the core concepts.
In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, watching other people play video games on the internet, reading fantasy novels, and playing board games.