I was drawn to teaching through my passion for math. I enjoy finding creative ways to engage with challenging content, and I also like helping people change their perspective on math to a more positive view, or at least see the usefulness of math in a new way. Education is the bedrock of a democracy and so I feel like it’s one small way I can give back to my community.
I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, and attended Santa Cruz High. I then attended San Francisco State where I served on the Academic Senate and spent a year studying film in England. The most useful things I learned in school were not facts, but rather tools (e.g. mindmaps) that can be used in any subject or big project.
I really fell in love with math when I was taking trigonometry: I would spend the afternoon after school laying in the sun listening to classical music while I rotated conics. I believe the memory remains with me because those days are when I realized how meditative math is and how satisfying it is to solve a challenging problem. My love deepened when taking calculus because of the creativity involved in choosing the strategy or strategies that could solve any particular problem. Calculus helped me see how all the different math concepts I learned up to that point were connected.
I have taught Algebra 2, Integrated Math I, and Geometry, along with AP Statistics and Consumer Math. I currently teach full-time in the elementary grade levels at Loma Prieta Elementary School.
My approach to tutoring involves using the targeted strategies that best support the individual student because not all strategies used in the classroom setting have the same efficacy with each student. I believe visual supports such as listed steps, color coding, and graphic organizers are all useful tools for learning and organizing information. I also think doing math problems that align with the student’s interests is an important part of making math relevant and engaging.
When I’m not teaching, I spend time film-making, swimming, and being with my family.