Simplifying Math Concepts
What do you love about your job?
I have an academic division in which I tutor high school students in Hawaii in mathematics (geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus) and science (chemistry and physics). I love being able to meet with students one-on-one and slowly build their confidence and skills so that they get over their math anxiety and antipathy towards physics.
My approach is very much "paper and pencil and practice," which is viewed by many as old school and not very technologically advanced. My counter argument to rushing to adopt the latest tech-toy in the name of improving education is that paper and pencil have successfully produced the Madame Curies and Albert Einsteins over the last 400 years, so we should be cautious about setting aside a proven methodology for unproven technology.
What or who inspired you to start your own business?
Both my parents were teachers, and both earned master's degrees while married with eight children. While they always put family first, they also pursued their intellectual interests and motivated me to earn a PhD years later to honor their zeal and dedication to improving their lives by constantly reading and learning well into their retirement years.
Describe your most memorable project.
My most memorable "project" as a tutor is Ian, a fourteen-year-old football-loving teenager who struggles with a disability. He was failing in his math classes and being teased because he is "slow."
After a year of tutoring in algebra and now geometry, Ian's face lights up when I come each week, and he proudly shows me his latest graded math assignments, which he now passes with confidence. He will never perform above a certain level, but that no longer worries him as he knows that like the quarterbacks he worships, he can also become better if he devotes himself to practice.