• GCSE/IGCSE Maths: AQA, Edexcel and OCR
• A-level/IB/Irish Leaving Certificate Maths and Further Maths: AQA, Edexcel and OCR
• A-level/IB/Irish Leaving Certificate Physics: AQA, Edexcel and OCR
• Undergraduate Mathematics: Mathematics for Biochemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Engineers.
• Undergraduate Mechanics: Mechanics for Engineers
• Undergraduate Physics: Physics for Biochemical Science, Earth Sciences.
• Teaching assistant, Irish Centre for Talented Youth (Summer 2010), an academic course for gifted children.
I have a wealth of experience teaching Mathematics and Physics over the course of seven years, from GCSE level to university level, focusing on understanding core concepts, the thought processes involved in problem solving, and exam technique.
I grew up in rural Cork, in the south of Ireland. At school there, I gained the top mark in the Irish Leaving Certificate exam (the Irish equivalent of A levels), studying Irish, English, French, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Technical Drawing, whilst working hard on the family farm, hiking and playing lots of music.
I studied physics at University College Cork at undergraduate level, where I tutored privately and for the university, I then moved to Manchester where I completed an MSc in applied Mathematics. My dissertation focused on the recovery of Antarctic meteorites and was recently published in Nature and featured on BBC news online and other science media.
I'm currently doing a PhD in Geosciences at the University of Oxford under a Clarendon scholarship.
I feel that, while it's important to teach a syllabus and ensure good exam results, the real value of learning mathematics and science is in learning how to think independently and solve problems. In teaching maths and science I emphasise the thinking process in solving problems and answering questions, rather than rote learning for exams. This focus has been successful, and helps students to maintain and even regain composure in exams; those who rote learn for mathematics may panic when given a curve ball in an exam and forget everything they've learned, students who learn how to think can dig themselves out of any hole.
Importantly, I've found that very few students are inherently bad at Mathematics or Science. Students often lack confidence or become frightened when faced with questions that seem hard or unintelligible from the outset. I've found that with just a small bit of encouragement and teaching, students can make considerable progress very quickly.
What I do when I am not tutoring
I'm an Irish musician, gigging around the UK and Ireland. Most recently I provided the soundtrack for an Irish language documentary on the 1916 Easter rising in Ireland.
I spend a lot of time hiking and whitewater kayaking, competing in and organising competitions. I've also worked as a kayaking instructor in Ireland, the UK and the US. Athletics and sport are quite important to me. I trained in Tae Kwon Do during secondary school, and took up running in university. I've run marathons, half marathons and 10k's, cross country races and love going to Parkrun.
I'm also big into science media. For the last few months in Ireland I produced and hosted a science and technology radio program on UCC's student radio. ''Black Holes and Revelations'' airs 3-4pm, Mondays on http://www.ucc.ie/en/983fm/.
I'm an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, literature and Science, and rarely leave the house without my Kindle, though it's getting harder to eke out time for reading during my PhD.
Whenever back in Ireland, I'm heavily involved in the family farm, a large beef and dairy enterprise of several hundred acres in the lush south of Ireland, and spent the first quarter of this year calving cows.
“After I got a bad mark in my mock maths exam, I went to Michael for a few months of classes. He cleared up a lot of things I didn’t understand and I aced the final exam.” - Sam, Cork, Ireland, Irish Leaving Certificate mathematics exam.
''Guillermo has been offered a place in Dulwich, we are very happy and we know you have been part of the success. All our Gratitude''. - Monica Piniero, on behalf of Guillermo who I helped with the 16+ exam.