Precalculus Videos For Folks to Look At

March 9, 2016 Leave a comment

To give folks an idea of what the videos I make for my flipped classes look like, I’m posting links to a number of precalculus videos on inverse functions below:

5.1.1 Inverses (7.5 min)

5.1.2 Inverses and One-to-One Functions (10 min)

5.1.3 Finding Formulas for Inverses (18.5 min)

5.1.4 Inverse Functions and Composition (6 min)

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A New Direction for this Space

June 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Back in 2011, when I first created this, I had primarily intended it to be a space where my tutoring students would go to get information about my tutoring services. Back then, tutoring was my primary source of income, and advertising my business was my primary reason to have a web space. Once I was hired at my current position at the University of the Fraser Valley, I almost abandoned this site, leaving it to exist in largely the same form as it did when I was tutoring full-time. But, now I think it’s time for that to change….

I was inspired to write this post as I was riding the bus back from the CanFlip14 Conference in Kelowna. I came to the conference to learn more about the “flipped classroom”, an innovative model of instruction in which lectures are replaced with videos that the students watch at home and homework is  replaced with interactive activities that happen during class time. While I did learn a fair bit about the “flipped classroom” and other innovative approaches to instruction, the bigger thing that I’m taking home from this conference is the importance of having a PLN (for those who, like me when I arrived at the conference, have no idea what a PLN is – it is an acronym for “Personal Learning Network” – a group of people who you share ideas with in order to help you learn more about how to improve your own teaching). I have learned that if I am to work on improving my teaching and introducing new ideas into my androgogy (I choose not to use the term pedagogy as my students are NOT children), it is much easier to do it in a community than in isolation.

Working in isolation has been how I have spent much of my teaching career. Some of this is due to the academic cultures in which I have worked which have usually valued autonomy over community. Some of this is due to my own experience studying in research-intensive universities in which faculty didn’t really talk to each other about teaching, because they had used up all their social energy talking to each other about their research. And some of it is due to my own fears that, as someone who advocates a very non-traditional approach to university-level education, my teaching innovations wouldn’t be supported by my colleagues. I’m not sure if this is a “grass is always greener” situation, but I sometimes feel that post-secondary math departments tend to take a more traditional approach to curriculum and teaching methods than other departments do.

But, having met other folks at the conference who are working through some of the same things that I am, I am feeling more and more that there are people out there who I can reach out to and who I can learn with. They may not work in the same institution as me, or be teaching the same level of material as me, or be teaching in the same discipline as me, but they have good ideas that I can learn from and I have good ideas that they can learn from. The internet can be a tool not only for building social connections, but also for building professional connections which can give me access to a community so I do not have to break my own trail all the time.

When I think back, it was years ago that I was told that I should create a teaching blog. Back then it was in the context of looking for teaching work and the idea that by sharing my ideas in a blog I could help show prospective employers what I stand for and what I work towards in my classrooms. But, even since I have been regularly employed I have had the same suggestion made by colleagues who felt that I had good ideas to share and believed that having a blog could be a great way to share these ideas with the world.

So, now I have resolved to repurpose this web site to serve as a home for my teaching blog. No longer will the “posts” section of my webpage be solely limited to me making announcements about my tutoring business. I have resolved to make regular posts sharing my ideas an experiences about teaching. I will share my sucesses and failures, my dreams and fears, and hopefully find that there are other people out there who can be inspired by my ideas and others who have suggestions to help me move forward. But, if I don’t put any of this stuff out there, then my ideas don’t have the potential to meet other people’s ideas, to mate and to give birth to litters and litters of wonderful new idea-lings!

So, to make a long story short, welcome to my new blog!




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Changes to my tutoring hours

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I have recently been hired to teach at the University of the Fraser Valley on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. This means that I will not be available for tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will be unavailable also on Wednesday and Friday mornings so that I can get enough sleep. This means my new regular hours are 2pm – 10pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Please try to schedule your appointments during those hours.

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My first video tutorial is available!

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I have (finally) finished my first video tutorial, on using a plug-in table to solve limit problems. Go to my tutorials page to see the full description, or go straight to youtube to start watching the videos.

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I’ve moved farther West. Rates for tutoring at SFU Burnaby have gone up.

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

On Sept. 1st, I moved from East Vancouver to Central Vancouver, which means it will be much easier for me to get to UBC and Langara Campuses, and I will be more available for tutoring there. However, it will be much harder for me to get to SFU Burnaby, so my rates for tutoring at SFU Burnaby are going up. All my SFU Burnaby rates will now be $10 more than they were previously. However, my standard on-campus tutoring rates will still apply for tutoring at SFU Downtown as well as all Vancouver campuses.

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New Fee Structure for house calls

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

As of Tuesday, March 8th, my rates for tutoring have changed. I have implemented a new fee structure for house calls, as I realized that my current fee structure only made sense for on-campus tutoring. If I was already tutoring you at my old rates, and if the new rates are higher, don’t worry, I’ll continue to see you at my old rates. But if the new rates are lower, you should start saving money!

Also, happy international women’s day to all you women and girls out there!

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Hello world!

February 12, 2011 1 comment

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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