- Academic Support
- Bethesda, MD
- Remote (Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, etc.)
- Tenleytown, DC
A happily-returned DC native, Ashley began college at Wesleyan University a resolute math major, but ultimately graduated instead from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in English literature. It was either her dual penchants for words and numbers or her indecisiveness that led her to pursue graduate work in both domains: she completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at UNC-Wilmington and a Master of Science in Math Education at Tufts. At UNCW, she worked primarily on crafting and refining mathematical personal essays, with the goal of making them accessible to and engaging for readers not necessarily predisposed to take an interest in things mathematical — without compromising the mathematics! Subsequently, as a Math Ed student at Tufts, she had the (awesome) opportunity to divide her studies between coursework in math education theory and practice and coursework in math itself. These latter experiences solidified her conviction that mathematical passion is a highly communicable affliction.
Ashley’s zeal for communication that’s both effective and enjoyable and her math fascination find a perfect marriage in tutoring. She has tutored professionally since 2007, collaborated on research exploring K-2 students’ early understandings of functions and mathematical generality, worked as an instructor for a graduate-level math / pedagogy course for in-service middle- and high-school math teachers, and TA’ed a History of Science course at Harvard on the rise of mathematical and statistical methods in medicine and baseball during the past two centuries (every bit as cool a class as it sounds like).
If you see her effect a quick costume change and dart through the alley behind PrepMatters, don’t be alarmed; in her other mode, Ashley teaches dance fitness and barre classes at several nearby gyms, a gig so unerringly fun she remains amazed it’s a source of income.
For me, excitement about a subject has always come packaged with a severe itch to impart that excitement to others, and the opportunity to do so is part of what I love about tutoring. But the Really Greatest Thing about math tutoring is the chance it affords to watch students surprise themselves. Many students who think they’re bad at math have developed a self-exclusionary interpretation of the subject: they almost define it as something in which their own intuition and reasoning have no place. The attitude that math is the province of supposed “math people” is often itself the most significant barrier to progress. I love helping students to answer their own questions or take the wheel and drive in navigating problems even when they don’t think they know how, and witnessing their reaction — each time and over time — when the reasoning and intuition in which they lacked confidence actually leads them to solutions.