I received my undergraduate and graduate education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Biology and my Masters of Science in Biomolecular Science. While completing my graduate program, I served as a Teaching Assistant for a Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab where I used models and cadavers to teach undergraduate students about the human body. Though I have done some tutoring before, this position helped me discover my passion for teaching/tutoring, and I now find my drive for learning science is rivaled only by my desire to help others do the same. I treasure the moments when I see the proverbial light bulb switch on and the concepts “click.” Though I am willing to tutor in most of the sciences, my favorite subjects are Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology, and Biochemistry, and I do my best to make the learning experience memorable and fun. I have no problem adapting to each students’ specific learning style and going as fast or slow as they need, and I believe that with determination, practice, and a little humor, no academic obstacle is insurmountable. When I am not tutoring I enjoy evening walks with my family, listening to rock music, and frequenting zoos and aquariums with my girlfriend.
Undergraduate Degree: Lipscomb University - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Lipscomb University - Master of Science, Biomolecular Science
Playing the guitar, visiting zoos and aquariums, and spending time with family and friends.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that your academic future is in your own hands. If you find a passion and work hard towards it, there is little you cannot accomplish. I believe "intelligence" is the capability to learn something you love, and everyone has that capability, just in different arenas.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce myself, get to know them a little bit, and see how knowledgeable they are on the topic. After gauging their experience, I'd ask what resources they had at their disposal, learn their study style, and get to it!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teaching someone material is like giving them a fish. Teaching them HOW to study is like teaching them to fish. As long as they have a willingness to learn, I believe I can help students become independent learners by dissecting their study styles and habits, identifying potential obstacles, and showing them new resources and new ways of approaching the material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I could use my own story as somewhat of a cautionary tale, as I was not a motivated student for the first half of college. More importantly though, I would find out more about their drives and passions. With a better understanding of why they are taking the courses they take and why they are trying to succeed in them, I believe I can help them see the bigger picture--the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try a different approach. Not everyone learns in the exact same way, and perhaps the issue was with how I was presenting the information. I would refine my methods to better match their learning style, as well as relate the information to something familiar or more "interesting" to them.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I think the first step is to start with passages that interest them. No amount of my encouragement or pushing will match the effects of intrinsic motivation if you enjoy the topic. Next, I would move them to short "problem" passages, and walk them through making a concept outline for each paragraph and looking for key words (transition words, words with positive/negative connotations, etc.). With time and practice, I think they could improve greatly.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that being overly formal (like treating it as an interview) can be detrimental. A more relaxed approach I think puts the student in a better position to learn. I also like to get to know them first, and to try to invoke a little humor, though I have been told my sense is dry/quirky. Finally, I think making an outline of the goals and how we set out to accomplish them would give them a proper sense of control and confidence.