I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to talk with people about math.
Below, you can find info about my math background, sliding scale fees, and my cancelation policy.
Please reach out to schedule a session or with any questions:
maths (at) hazelboughfarm (dot) com
or use the contact form below
The sort version:
I love math. It is a beautiful language with a lot of potential creativity. But, I also struggled through a ton of math anxiety.
I earned a BA in mathematics from Smith College, with a studio art minor. I use my experience of perseverance as well as my education to help people gain confidence in math and reasoning.
I was never “bad” at math (we will get to that phrase in a moment), but was always seen as good at reading and writing, so any skill was not particularly cultivated. I fell behind in math by junior high. Tons of mitigating circumstances later, rather than finishing high school in my small town, I went to community college in Seattle when I was 17. I was studying math and art then. About then years later, I went back to community college in Oregon, while spending a lot of important time with my grandparents. I studied a lot of math in Oregon, as well as environmental science, some art, and a lot of English language and literature. When it was time to transfer, I was accepted at Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar.
At Smith, I was certain that I was done studying math, because it stressed me out so much. In my first semester, as I discerned my path, I found myself in Logic 100. Half way through, I thought to myself “okay, I will have to take more math,” then by the end I was asking the instructor to be my advisor as I declared a math major. I was fortunate at community college because I was allowed as much time as I needed for exams. I always took more than anyone to complete them. I rarely achieved above a C on the initial exams, but managed to always pull together an A on the final, which by the instructor’s policy earned me an A in the class. Smith did not have this sort of luxury, and much of the experience was an intense struggle.
That all is to say, though I am actually good at math, I know what it is to struggle with it, and to not feel like I’m good at it at all. I know what it is to be overwhelmed with anxiety about math. I know what it is to understand a subject, but not have an instructor recognize my strengths. There was some famous math person who said “we never get good at math, we just get used to it.” My advisor at Smith quoted that to us often. It’s worth noting that I also know what it is to feel all of those things and persevere.
Math anxiety is not a minor thing, and math educators in schools often feed its flame. Any sort of fixed intelligence mindset involved increases it so very much. That was where I was coming from before I arrived at Smith and I needed the whole time there to push myself out of that box.
Having worked through my BA in math, more or less in the worst case scenario—that is no calculus and working double to build a foundation—I learned a lot about how I learn. I enjoy knowing a lot about the big picture first, rather than step-by-step instruction. I prefer visual instruction, when I can have it. Despite my math preferences, overall, I am very lucky, because I am able to learn visually, with spoken instruction, as well as with tactile methods. I have preferences, for sure, but I can work with just about anything. From there, I can pivot my instruction to fit the student, because I am able to be flexible.
Prior to tutoring math,
I tutored and taught English as a second language, in Mexico.
I’ve worked in childcare with all ages for the past 25 years.
I have a four year old of my own, too.
I’m happy to provide references!
I tutor virtually any math level, from addition and subtraction to pre-calculus. I especially enjoy helping people gain a strong foundation in math. I am never bored, even with “basic” math. I enjoy working with a wide range of ages. I have some experience with statistics, and am happy to work through lower course level work with people.
I welcome neurodivergent students, as well as people with diverse learning needs. I will work to provide the best instruction to any person.
My goal is always to work myself out of a job, but that does not mean I want to stop tutoring anyone for any reason or in any particular timeframe. I don’t give up on students. My focus is in helping to build confidence, and cooling anxiety.
I find that I am always able to find some strengths to reinforce, and I believe that growth intelligence mindset is the most important thing to cultivate for any of us. Of course, the math material is essential. I work to increase math comprehension on my student’s level, as well as ensuring best practices regarding assignments and testing. In short, I help students gain tools to learn math, or any subject, and be the best student they can be.
I use an online whiteboard for our sessions. The site has a native video and/or voice chat, as well as typed chat. I will email you a link prior to our first session, which will connect you to your own personal whiteboard. You don’t have to pay to use the site, they have a guest access option. Once you receive the link, please connect to the site and ensure your system is compatible. The site also has an app, but to use any chat options, the site must be opened in a browser. We can definitely use a combination of zoom, facetime, skype, phone call, or texting. I’m very much sensitive to privacy and security, especially of young people, so please don’t feel obligated to use video options.
We meet for an hour typically, but if the student is quite young or for other reasons, we can break up a session into smaller times. The material we work on is based on the student. If there are specific assignments you’d like to work on, please plan to provide me with a copy of some sort ahead of time. I will provide screenshots of our work throughout the session, but please be sure to let me know if you need them!
I am happy to provide written weekly progress reports, upon request! I usually like to send periodic updates anyway, but they are informal.
My goal is for my work to be accessible to everyone. My fees are sliding scale-from $15-$45 per hour. Please pay what you are able, so that everyone may as well. BIPOC folks, please consider your choice in the spirit of reparations.
Please be prepared to pay for our sessions ahead of time, unless other we make other arrangements. For anyone paying for three or more appointments ahead of time, I offer a 10% discount. For first sessions, if you’d like to be sure of compatibility it is totally okay to pay for a single session, and book a few more at the same time. You can always cancel the additional sessions, if it proves to make sense for you. If however, we are a good fit (and I bet we will be), please be prepared to pay for your sessions prior to their dates. If you choose to pay for several sessions at the same time, I will apply the discount to your total, including your first session.
Life is hectic right now, right? If you have to cancel, please try to give 24 hours notice. Payment will be retained as credit toward your next appointment. I do my very best to be available, so it is important to know about schedule changes ahead of time. Similarly, I do my best to be my best, so there may be times when I have to reschedule a session. I will give as much notice as I am able, and reschedule in a way that works for both of us.
I completed a studio art minor at Smith, largely working in oils, but with drawing, sculpture, multimedia, and performance art. Here’s my portfolio.
When I was at Smith, I continued my work in English Language & Literature and Environmental Science. I apply that experience every day.
I live in Western MA with my partner and our kiddo.
I have a flock of Icelandic sheep, a couple non-sheep dogs, and a little yellow pick up truck that was my grandfather’s. For lots of baby lamb photos, and all the rest of my real life, here’s my instagram. I also have a listing of wool fleece products on the home page of this site, and more to come, but my purpose here is math.