"It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you don't stop" -Confucius
My teaching experience dates back to 2003 when I taught biology labs for East Carolina University while working on my Master's degree. During this time, I became enamored with teaching and it has remained part of my career and academic endeavors. Currently, I have taught both lecture and labs in the field of biology for East Carolina University, Shaw University, William Peace University, and Wake Technological Community College.
My expertise in biology focuses more on the environmental and ecological aspects of biology. I am also knowledgeable in other branches of general biology and fluent in the scientific process, writing, and study skills/organization.
During my free time, I enjoy running, piano, photography, web design, and amateur documentary filmmaking.
I would be happy to discuss how my expertise and skills can help you with your academic studies and careers.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: East Carolina University - Bachelors, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: East Carolina University - PHD, Biology (M.S. 2006) /Coastal Resources Management (Ph.D.)
Ecology, Environmental Biology, Citizen Science, Running, Photography, Documentary Filmmaking
What is your teaching philosophy?
My role as an educator is to create a welcoming and productive learning environment for students. I strive to construct a non-intimidating environment so students can feel at ease during the learning process – this will also encourage them to become more engaged. Students should feel comfortable talking to me if they have questions or need guidance regarding their academic studies or careers. Teaching is a fine science and art. It takes time and practice to see what works and what does not. Educators are constantly adapting to new learning environments, new technology, and new science. Every student is different. My goal is to take these differences and create a sound-learning environment, which enable students to leave the course with appreciation of science. I do not want to necessarily hold their hands throughout this process. Instead, I want to be their guide through the learning process.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
After proper introduction, I specifically would like to know how I can help the student. Do they need more attention on the subject matter or do they need assistance in writing, study skills, etc.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I want to guide the student in the learning process... I do not want to hold their hand. Additionally, I want to see them motivated to learn and find a study method that helps them best.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Encourage the student to set goals to do better on the next class exam or project; maintain a positive learning environment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find another way to explain the concept in a way that helps them understand. There are many ways to teach a concept. You have to keep trying until it clicks with the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Assist them as they read. Stop every few sentences to assess if they have retained the information they have read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Make them feel comfortable and remove any potential intimidation they may have towards the instructor. Once they feel comfortable, they are more likely to become connected or better engaged.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
You have to make it fun! I like to use analogies that connect concepts to some of the student's personal interests, hobbies, or popular culture.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I use mixed media to explain and discuss concepts. For instance, many students find animated tutorial videos helpful. I also like to find web links with helpful study guides or self-assessments.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student will become more confident with the material as they develop their learning skills in that subject. Once they reach that confidence level, they will feel on top of the world. To get there, the students has to put in the work and be encouraged along the way.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I communicate with the student. I like to find out their learning style so I can adapt my instruction to best fit their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
As an educator, you have to be adaptable! Every student learns differently. Once I understand the learning type of the student, I adapt my teaching strategy to best align with that learning type.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A tutoring session should be a mutual exchange of communication between the instructor and student. From there, I will go over the concept, which includes discussion, engaging questions, and mixed media to offer different perspectives on the concept. Importantly, what type of materials the student would like to see.