I am Nikita Tejwani, and I teach math and ELA for 3rd-8th grade, as well as SAT, ACT, AP, and Regents for high school with a focus on math and science. I have been working as a tutor in Arizona and New York for six years, and I am currently a M.S. candidate in Learning Analytics at Teachers College. I am a graduate of New York University (NYU), where I studied research practices for equity in education. In addition, I earned a minor in Computer Science and Mathematics while at NYU. I always try to spread my love for STEM/STEAM among our students at Tip-Top Brain, but since I started working here three years ago, I have come to see that they already share my passion! Outside of school and teaching, I love to read and knit.
In my high school in Arizona, I took several AP classes, including US Government and Politics, Psychology, Calculus BC, US History, Chemistry, and Biology, receiving all 4s and 5s. Additionally, I scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT and SAT, and was able to graduate in the top 1% of my class.
In the Learning Analytics program, I have studied education data management, which is a key part of research when it concerns students. I have learned how to evaluate educational research. This is incredibly important for my work at Tip-Top Brain because it has helped me improve my use of evidence-based teaching practices.
Outside of my coursework, I have performed original research examining how developmental psychology can be used to help pre-service teachers implement critical math literacy education practices in the classroom. Additionally, I have worked as a research assistant, performing literature reviews and organizing information in a database for a sociology professor in NYU Gallatin. These research experiences have been personally and academically rewarding. They have also given me stories to share with students when they ask, “when am i going to use [math concept x] in the real world?”
In studying research methods and working as a tutor, I have learned that it is difficult to teach well without being able to investigate one’s own classroom and teaching methods. As such, I have adopted a Socratic method of teaching, in which I ask questions to learn what my student(s) think about the subject matter, and I use their answers to guide my own explanations. I have found that this works very well in the personalized setting that Tip-Top Brain offers. It helps me start where my students are – I do not have to spend unnecessary time on material they are familiar with, and I avoid the risk of introducing advanced material when they lack the background to fully grasp it. Most importantly, I get to see for myself how much our students are growing!