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Lesson Details

Physics

Levels Taught:
Middle School, High School

I have taught physics, chemistry, and math (from simple calculations, algebra, and geometry through to calculus) in classroom settings and as a tutor for over 10 years, before which I studied and worked as an environmental engineer. With the sciences, particularly, I find it helpful for students to understand some of the history of the evidence for why we currently think the way we do. For instance, it's useful to trace how people used to think about atoms and how they do now, especially looking at the evidence for why that model of an atom has changed.

At my school, I was the teacher infamous for answering a question with a question in order to lead the student from what they already know through reasoning out an answer, which can sometimes take a little more time and effort than just giving the student the answer. Research proves that this is the best way to solidify your learning for deep mastery, though. Don't worry - I won't let you get too frustrated or ever abandon you as we explore and learn together! I hope you find our time together enlightening and useful.

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Derek teaches

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About

Derek passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Derek delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
2008

Initially trained in environmental engineering, I made the switch to teaching after spending two years as a volunteer teacher abroad. From there, I went on to earn my Masters in Teaching at Seattle University and to teach at public and private schools for the last 10+ years. I've tutored elementary students for whom English is a second language in math, tutored calculus, taught geometry and algebra, high school physics, and introduced a new curriculum to my school for the honors chemistry class, which I also taught.

I'm a big fan of learning by inquiry (especially for science and geometry), which involves trying something out and exploring it a bit, then processing what you experienced through conversation and critical thinking. I understand that not every student is looking for this, though, so if you're just looking to get through tonight's homework, I'm there for you, too!

Though I'm originally from Washington State, I recently moved to Canada with my wife and three young kids. I'm a lifelong fan of J.R.R. Tolkien (author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), hiking, permaculture, and enjoying our miraculous universe. We're hoping someday soon to build our own little hobbit-hole house homestead...

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Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Norwegian
Limited Proficiency
Spanish
Limited Proficiency

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