Hi! I’m Mike. I’ve been in math education for 20 years. I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Mathematics in 1998, and from Boston University with a degree in Mathematics Education in 2003. I’ve been a middle school and high school math teacher (2003-2007), a high school teacher (2008-2011), and a professional math tutor (2011-present).

Tutoring Subjects:

Math: All middle school and high school topics. Middle school math, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus/trigonometry, Calculus, and Statistics. SAT Math and ACT Math. If it’s not on that list, please ask!

Extensive experience with tutoring all sections of the SAT and ACT. College Essay tutoring and Writing tutoring in general. I also have been a musician for my entire life and would love to take on any music-related tutoring topics, something I have not explored yet professionally.

Ages Ive Worked With:

All ages from 7th grade through 12th grade, as well as college students.

My Tutoring Style:

When I sit down with a student to work on a math problem, the first task before us is to sort out what the student does not understand, and to get at why that is the case. This task is one of the aspects of tutoring that brings me the most joy. I absolutely love helping a student figure out just what they are missing, misunderstanding, or forgetting, and then working together to unlock the answer. In fact this process is probably why tutoring is my favorite form of education: working one-on-one allows for this intricate problem solving to work at its best.

But in order to determine what a student is not understanding, it’s also essential to have a connection with that student. To that end, I strive to cultivate empathy for my students. If a student struggles with a problem, I think about what might make understanding that problem difficult for them. If I need to, I recall how difficult any math problem can be, and also that I’ve had my own share of tough problems and how they have felt for me. As well as empathy, I bring a deep subject knowledge to my tutoring sessions. I explain problems in multiple ways and do my best to integrate multiple approaches to problems in each session. I find that when possible, this process can really help students gain understanding of a problem in a way that a one-dimensional presentation would not.

To synthesize the above techniques into one statement: I value and strive for my students’ empowerment via their academic achievement. Tutoring is not just about improving grades or even just solving problems; it’s about helping students realize that they can get a task done that they didn’t think was achievable at first. Seeing this achievement is the ultimate reward for them, and for me as well.

Success Story:

J was a tough nut to crack at first. The problem was that he was failing, or close to failing, his Algebra I class. So the initial goal was just to make sure that he could pass. In addition, like many students in the COVID era, he was having trouble navigating his online assignments. So there were a number of challenges we had to try to overcome together.

One thing that I found out about J almost immediately was that he was very happy to do any problems he already could do, but would be almost paralyzed when he couldn’t do a problem. So I made a point of explaining problems carefully and drilling the same types of problems over and over, so that he would learn and reinforce techniques that he would then be happy to apply. Ultimately, I was able to help him pass his class using this technique. But almost more importantly, J learned to enjoy solving problems that he hadn’t known how to do previously - no small feat for this student!

Hobbies and Interests:

  • I have been an experimental electronic musician since 1995, creating, recording, and performing original music using various technology, for over 25 years.
  • I have been an experimental electronic DJ since 1995. In addition to performing as a DJ, I have had several radio shows. I’m currently doing a monthly show for WLPN in Chicago, which I’ve hosted since 2015.
  • I have spent the last year teaching myself to code in HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby and Rails. I recently built a fully functional 2 player chess game in Ruby, a several months long project.
  • I am an avid fan of comedy in all its forms, especially satirical and surreal comedy like Monty Python, George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg and Eddie Izzard. But the list is very long - those are just a few!
  • I love taking early morning walks around my neighborhood and have taken one almost every day in the past year.

Math:

All middle school and high school topics.

Middle school math

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II

Precalculus/trigonometry

Calculus, and Statistics

SAT Math

ACT Math

If it’s not on that list, please ask!

Extensive experience with tutoring all sections of the SAT and ACT. College Essay tutoring and Writing tutoring in general. I also have been a musician for my entire life and would love to take on any music-related tutoring topics, something I have not explored yet professionally.

Ages Ive Worked With

All ages from 7th grade through 12th grade, as well as college students.

Success Story

J was a tough nut to crack at first. The problem was that he was failing, or close to failing, his Algebra I class. So the initial goal was just to make sure that he could pass. In addition, like many students in the COVID era, he was having trouble navigating his online assignments. So there were a number of challenges we had to try to overcome together.

One thing that I found out about J almost immediately was that he was very happy to do any problems he already could do, but would be almost paralyzed when he couldn’t do a problem. So I made a point of explaining problems carefully and drilling the same types of problems over and over, so that he would learn and reinforce techniques that he would then be happy to apply. Ultimately, I was able to help him pass his class using this technique.

But almost more importantly, J learned to enjoy solving problems that he hadn’t known how to do previously - no small feat for this student!

Recent tutoring subjects: