Jodi and James Ralston
A graduate of the University of Minnesota where she earned her Masters Degree in Mathematics Education, Jodi is a math teacher and tutor with more than 20 years of experience helping students of all abilities to do their best.
James is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Canada where he earned his degree in Electrical Engineering. James has also tutored math and physics for many years.
A dedicated teacher and mother of four, Jodi explains that, rather than trying to learn math as a series of mechanical procedures and algorithms to be memorized (and, later, forgotten), every student can be made to see and appreciate mathematics as the layering of patterns, processes, and relationships. Once understood and eventually mastered, mathematics can reveal so much about the world around us and open many doors of new understanding and opportunity.
James notes that, too often when learning math, rote memorization of "math facts" takes precedence over developing real mathematical intuition. Math is often presented to kids in a manner that is analogous to having them learn to read by first memorizing the dictionary -- how can a student string words together into something meaningful, without first appreciating patterns of speech (e.g., pronunciation, spelling) as well as some etymology of the diction. Yet this is what too often occurs when stressing the importance of memorizing math facts over fostering foundational understanding and skills.
When asked what sets Mathnasium apart from so many other tutors and supplemental education providers, Jodi states that "our [Mathnasium's] singular focus on mathematics, supported by our expert teaching staff and excellent curricula, makes the difference. This, coupled with our philosophy of teaching in a manner that makes sense to each student as an individual learner --all Mathnasium instruction is one-on-one; we offer no classes-- makes us unique among so many."
Jodi and James welcome the opportunity to address your student's specific needs and to discuss what Mathnasium's customized programs have to offer.