Professional Biography and Teaching Philosophy

Professional Biography
I graduated from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and education with a minor in psychology. 

I taught algebra 1 and geometry for two years in Florida before coming to Hartsville high school, where I have taught algebra 1 for the last 7 years.

Teaching philosophy

My first thought when I meet a new class is always about how much  we are going to accomplish this year, and how much we are going to learn from each other.  My goal is to teach each member of my class how to think their way through difficult problems. It is my greatest satisfaction as a teacher to see in the eyes of a student that they are putting in an honest effort and have a twinkle of realization.  I love watching the “light bulb” turning on for them and the pride they feel in themselves for each new found piece of knowledge and accomplishment.

However, everyone who has ever stood in front of a math class has seen in the eyes of many students "math anxiety". If a student finds the material difficult and the teacher unapproachable, then that student soon decides that there is little hope of picking up the material and shuts down.  When trying to calm and encourage such students, I often think of a question my father once asked me.  “How do you eat an elephant?”  His answer was, “One bite at a time.”  This is how we need to tackle difficult problems in math; one step at a time. Asking questions is often the first step in learning and understanding difficult concepts.  That is why I emphasize that students should feel free to approach me about any and all questions they may have.  I also make myself available to students before and after school as well as during school to answer these questions. 

There will always be that question many of us dread, “When will I ever use this?” When confronted by a student with such an attitude, I try to instill in them a sense of the bigger picture; math is here to open up a world of opportunities.  Math is needed every day in every profession.  By studying mathematics, students may develop specific skills and techniques, and will gain an analytical perspective that may be applied far beyond the classroom. This is what makes mathematics invaluable.