I have been a tutor for over five years, and my primary goal is to make students more independent. There are multiple ways I try to achieve this goal.
First, I see a student's ability to do the basic operations: add, subtract, multiply, and divide. This is the basis of most math, and the more proficient (s)he is, the easier and faster learning a topic will be. I try to make a student rely on memory instead of counting on fingers when doing problems because it makes a problem longer to solve. Once a student deals with variables, those fundamental skills are needed.
Second, repetition is a key to success. Continuously going over a topic will help a student understand the steps needed to do a problem. Even if a student understands the topic well, I will go over it step by step with one or two examples. Immediately after, I will ask a student to do a problem with me, so the (s)he can participate in the discussion and slowly build confidence and comprehension. If I feel a student is ready to do a problem independently, I will give a problem for independent practice. If (s)he answers it successfully, then I move onto a more difficult problem. This leads to my third practice.
Lastly, what I demand of my students is regurgitation. Can the student explain to me what (s)he was doing with confidence? If so, then we continue with the work. If not, then I repeat the process of giving problems while instructing. Now, students may not understand a topic completely, so I tell them to look over it at home. The next time I see them, I give one or two problems on the topic we just went over as review. If the student recalls the steps and recites them, (s)he is that much closer to being an independent student.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Bachelor in Arts, Political Science and Government
SAT Math: 700
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Elementary School Math
High School Chemistry
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Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Repetition is the key to mastery of a subject. Constantly doing problems will not only show a student the steps to a problem but help them understand the material as well.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I introduce myself and ask the student what particular topic they're working on. I notice a person's grasp on basic operations and see how well they understand the topic.