I have found math tutoring very exciting. I have been able to help thousands of struggling students in Community College and also students wanting to enter college but lacking basic skills. The ability to help such students give me tremendous satisfaction.
I have found that most students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have a willingness to do well, but lack the understanding as to how to pursue their goals. It is only after winning over these students, and in many cases, even going out of the way to help them, that they are really able to succeed.
University of Engineering & Technology, Pakistan - Bachelors, Electrical Engineering
10th Grade Math
11th Grade Math
12th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep
CLEP College Algebra
CLEP College Mathematics
COMPASS Mathematics Prep
Elementary School Math
HSPT Math Prep
IB Mathematical Studies
ISEE-Middle Level Mathematics Achievement
What is your teaching philosophy?
First, understand the level of skills of the subject matter of the tutee. Then, make a plan to raise the existing level to the desired level. While doing so, make sure the student gains confidence as we go along. Avoid making negative comments and ignore any attitude problem that the tutee may exhibit. Create a friendly environment so that learning can thrive. Relate to real life applications of the subject matter. Students learn best when they are convinced that what they are learning applies to real life.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Assess the student’s existing level in the subject. This can be done in giving the student a pre-test and also by talking and making sure the student understands the purpose. Make sure that the student does not interpret this as unnecessary and futile.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students become independent learners only when they have confidence that what they are learning will help them. Confidence results from having the necessary basic skills, especially in math. It is, therefore, imperative that the student understands and realizes that basic skills are imperative. Any holes in basic knowledge are detrimental for them.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Constantly provide confidence to the student. Appreciate their good efforts and ignore any immature attitudes. If a student appears to lose motivation investigate and get to the roots of the problem. It could be academic or in many cases social or family related. Talking to parents and others can be helpful.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It has to be determined as to the cause of the difficulty the student is facing. There could in many causes be from lack of confidence, lack of basic skills, social issues, or even a learning disability, which should not be assumed unless all other possible causes have been eliminated.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension problems result from lack of reading. This is a common problem and in many cases can be attributed to student’s interest more in digital media than serious reading. Students have to be encouraged to read more. Interesting reading material can be suggested and encouraged. Parents and guardians can play a vital role in this direction.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The first strategy is to obtain the existing level of the subject being tutored. A clear and effective plan to raise that level is imperative. The next strategy is to "win" over the student. The student must realize that he or she is not there only because their parents want them to be there but because it is for their future and self-respect.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Most students do not see far into the future. They get motivated when they see good results in their class grades. Other than improving their overall skills it is necessary to make sure that they do well in their class performance. Thus, a two-pronged attack in the tutoring sessions is required.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The student should not be burdened with too many tests, but frequently should be assessed with well-formed scientific evaluations. Results of class grades and teachers’ assessment are very helpful.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Students' confidence is built with having a strong base of knowledge and acceptance of this base in class performance. Encouragement of the student plays a vital role. This encouragement comes from the home, classroom and tutoring sessions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As in any activity, a needs analysis has to be carried out. The more professional and scientific this is there is a better chance that the analysis results will be more useful.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student is an individual and deserves an approach tailored to that student. However, there are certain accepted standards that can help most students. Each student has to be viewed in that perspective.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For math tutoring the materials required would depend on the age and grade of the student. For High School students a calculator, even a graphing calculator, prescribed textbooks, class notebooks (to see student's performance), suitable math learning software, scratch paper, etc.