Tutor Spotlight: Chris M

Name: Chris M

Educational Areas of Focus: My educational focus area is mathematics.

Educational Background: I have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, my master's work was focused on statistics, and my PhD work was focused on mathematics education. 

What is your teaching philosophy? I believe that everyone can understand mathematics. I think that the first step is to overcome fear and self-doubt, that the work done in mathematics can make sense. I also believe that we build knowledge by connecting new concepts to prior understandings. Thus, in mathematics, students will develop new understandings when the curriculum is presented in a way that makes sense with their previous knowledge.

When you're not working with kids, what do you like to do? I like to write mathematics curriculum (I know it seems odd but math is really fun). I also enjoy playing and watching almost any sport imaginable. 

Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was my college mathematics professor. He was always so excited about math and that enthusiasm was contagious. He orchestrated the dance between learning and exploring that gave us the freedom to push our limits but the security to know that he was there with us the whole time. I like to emulate his example. 

What do you enjoy about tutoring? I love tutoring because working one-on-one allows me to uncover a particular student's way of thinking and tailor my tone and delivery accordingly. In mathematics there needs to be a level of trust between myself and the student that enables them to be honest about their level of understanding, knowing that I am there to help them build confidence and ability.