I have been a professor of mathematics at the community college for 25 years. I have also taught high school. I am now retired and enjoy tutoring very much. It is gratifying to work with one student at a time and to be able to match my explanations to the students needs and level and preferred mode of learning. I am calm, reassuring, and encouraging at all times when dealing with students, especially those struggling with math and math anxiety. I try to ask questions and get feedback from my students, and make sure they're engaged. I try to figure out what students needs are and tailor my tutoring to meet those needs.
Aquinas College, - Bachelors, Business, minor in accounting / Mathematics Education
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that everyone can learn mathematical concepts and skills, but at different levels. It is important for a tutor or teacher to not only excel in the field, but to be able to communicate and listen well to each and every student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would ask pertinent questions to find out where the student is at in his mathematical sequence. I would explore what prerequisite knowledge the student already has. I would be also exploring the student's current attitude and experiences with mathematical learning. I would do a lot of listening!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would emphasize strategies. I would guide the student to find the answer themselves instead of just demonstrating the solution.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would be very encouraging and supportive, helping the student to overcome anxieties and/or weaknesses in their mathematical background.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would ask guiding questions to uncover whether there are preliminary concepts that the student has not mastered in order to understand the concept at hand.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I take time at the beginning of each session to ask and answer questions that are still pending.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would try to emphasize keywords that have mathematical meanings.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would try to make the lesson relative to his/her life experiences.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Administer a short post-test after completing a session and/or have the student teach me a similar problem.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Always give positive feedback after a problem has been completed.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
During the tutoring and discussion process, I can usually determine a student's weaknesses.