Any time someone asks me why I tutor I remember the worst teacher I ever had. She told me that because I was different, that I would never amount to anything, I would never graduate college, and I would never hold down a job. No student should ever have to hear this, much less believe it. As a result, I make it a point to help others that having trouble. As for the teacher in question, I made sure to send her an invitation when I graduated from TCU. Sometimes the best revenge is to prove someone wrong.
As a person who is not too far removed from being a student himself, I am well aware of the difficulties that young people face today. Throughout my academic life, whether it was elementary, junior high, high school or college, I always had to work extra hard to make the grade. Some people can never touch a book and still make straight A's. I am definitely NOT that person. Even though I had to study a lot harder than most people to get good grades, I have something they don't: I actually remember what I learn!
This is what makes me effective as a tutor. For one thing, I have ADD and this is something I have learned to use to my advantage. Before I learned coping skills in high school, I used to have to sit on the floor of my bathroom, clear everything off the counter tops and turn on the vent fan just to stay focused. It may sound crazy, but anything that distracted me even the slightest bit was a potential grade-killer. In order to be successful over the years, I had to develop strategies for effective learning. A lot of people will prepare for a test by "cramming" information in their brains, only to forget it as soon as they leave the classroom. That has never worked for me. I prefer to teach the same way that I learn-through applying the information and by having a thorough understanding of the subject matter.
Just as a house that is built on sand will surely topple over, information that has no meaning or practical application in our daily lives will never be fully understood. When learning any subject you have to work from the ground up, starting with the basics and slowly building on them with more complex parts. To achieve this, I use mnemonic devices ("My Very Earthly Mother..."), analogies and metaphors and maybe a few flash cards thrown in for good measure. I find that these techniques teach the student in a way that simple memorization simply cannot do alone. By learning to associate visual images with the subject matter they represent one is able to better process the things they are reading and hearing.
Finally, I help the student to learn effective organizational skills. I achieve this by teaching the student effective note taking skills, by helping them to become better organized and teaching them critical thinking skills through active participation. It all depends on what works for you. We are all wired a little differently-I know I am and I feel that I can help people who are having trouble. When it comes to learning, everybody is different. There is no right or wrong way to study it’s all about what works for you.
Texas Christian University - B.A., Communications