Name: Danchi Nguyen
Areas of Focus:
I am most versed in High School Math, Chemistry, Biology, and standardized test prep.
When I was a freshman in college, I walked past a sign that said, “Only 39% of 9th graders from Rochester City School District will graduate from high school.” Even though I had declared a major in neuroscience and psychology, that guided me toward an alternate path to teaching. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester, I decided to join Teach for America in 2008. In 2010, I received myM.Ed. in Secondary Science from ASU. In 2014, I went on to receive my M.Ed. in Secondary Montessori Education from Xavier University.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe any content is accessible, once you learn to speak in the language of the child. Too often we hear a student 'can’t do this and a student 'can’t' do that. When I hear that, I just have to focus more on what a student CAN do and how what they CAN do will build the steps to reach their end goal.
I also believe Dr. Comer when he says, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” If a student doesn’t trust you or if a student feels like they only represent a test score or homework grade to you, then you will never be able to unlock their true potential.
When you're not working with kids, what do you like to do?
I love to cook. To me, the slow, unhurried-yet-satisfyingly laborious process of taking whole ingredients and chopping, heating, and rearranging them into an entirely new dish is extremely meditative. I love knowing where my food came from and knowing that I created the meal being enjoyed with loved ones. I am also an avid reader in both fantastical fictional novels and social justice issues.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
In a strange way, my favorite teacher is not someone who taught me but someone who I taught with for three years. He was the other co-founding teacher of the Camelback Montessori College Preparatory program and I learned more about teaching in those three years with him than my prior four years. He had a goal to make sure every student felt cared about and known, and it’s something I strive for in my practice today. He also trusted and believed in his students enough to let them try new things, make mistakes, and create based on their passions.
What do you enjoy about tutoring?
I love the one-on-one time. In the classroom setting, it can feel overwhelming at times when a lot of students need help and there is only one of you. With tutoring, I feel like I can honor the child and really give them the attention they full deserve. The students feel calmer as well and watching students grasp concepts is thrilling.