What is your favorite lesson to teach?
My favorite lesson to each is the topic I found most bewildering when I was a college a student – Statistics, Combinations, and Probability. Typically, I’ll start the lesson by mentioning a study in which a group of physicians, given a set of statistics about a hypothetical patient, estimate that the patient has a 75% probability of having a certain disease; the correct probability in this case turns out to be more like 9%. In addition to being deeply disturbing, the study is a great reminder that even highly educated people make horrendous mistakes when it comes to these types of problems – the human brain simply isn’t hardwired to be good at probability. However, students quickly see that with a couple of equations and a few helpful timesaving tricks, these once madding, complex questions become not just manageable, but easy. I’ve lost count of the number of times a student has said something like “I thought I was really bad at probability. I just never learned how to do these questions!” That’s true for everyone, not just doctors who terrify their patients with inaccurate prognoses of gloom.
What is your favorite Veritas Prep success story?
Several months ago, I had a student named Christie. In addition to being a delight to teach – always sitting at the front of class, always smiling, always participating in discussions – she was an energetic and inspiring person. Her passion was green energy, and she wanted to get into a top MBA program to broaden her opportunities to make the world a cleaner, healthier place. But in order to get into an elite program, you need to ace the GMAT. These were high stakes.
Fortunately, Christie was as hard a worker as I’ve ever had in my classes, often staying late to ask questions, and even indulging me when I offered to show how a GMAT question was connected to Euclid’s proof for why there’s no largest prime number. (It’s a simple and elegant proof, but after a three-hour class, enthusiasm for non-GMAT math generally tends to wane.) Happily, Christie scored a 740 on the official test, exceeding her initial goal. She will go on to do great things, and I get to feel like I played a small role in helping her clear that first hurdle on her way to saving the planet. For a teacher, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Real reviewsPhenomenal instructor who is truly passionate about teaching.
Dave Goldstein is a phenomenal instructor who is truly passionate about teaching. He went out of his way to ensure that each student walked away from every class with as much knowledge as we could possibly retain. I have taken a prep course with Kaplan before, and the standard at Veritas is just way above the competition.
He is one of the best teachers anyone can have.
David is a true teacher he is a great person and a great professional. I think I speak for all of the others students when I say that he is one of the best teachers anyone can have.
DAVE was amazing.
The class was a small, intimate class, and DAVE was amazing. He always made sure everyone was along for the ride- but kept the pace up. The study materials that Veritas Prep gave were great because each subject has a book. Instead of one huge study book- the material is broken out. All around I would recommend this class to anyone.
BA, Boston University
MS/MBA, Bentley University
What is your proudest accomplishment?
It seems terrifically cliche to say aloud, but my proudest accomplishment was having my daughter, Athena. I haven't had the easiest path in life, which is likely why it surprises me that it is neither pulling myself out of a lower income household and terrible school district to receive an undergraduate merit scholarship nor receiving my MS/MBA while working full-time and traveling extensively.
When I look at other aspects of my life, those are things a person can arguably control. I can always study more, work harder, invest better, improve relationships. But the rollercoaster that is carrying and having a baby resides on a different plane, and the sheer fact of making it this far, alive, and without any huge screw-ups, is something to be proud of!
What do you love about teaching?
I've actually never looked at teaching or tutoring as the word is defined. It seems one-sided, filled with images of talking drones standing in front of a whiteboard. When I think about my teaching I see it as sharing - sharing knowledge and an immense passion for that knowledge. Einstein said, I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. I am no Einstein, but the curiosity he speaks to is part of why I have chosen to teach. Like the goofy PSA says Knowledge is Power! but I believe knowledge controls access to opportunity and advancement. I have an internal drive to teach as many students as I can, so they are able to access the knowledge needed to achieve and reach goals.