I've been tutoring math for about ten years now. From basic math through algebra, geometry and trigonometry, the most important part of learning is getting things in terms the student can understand and grasp completely. I pride myself on my ability to adapt to the pupil's style of learning because everyone processes information in different ways; I identify a students' strengths and put the material in a form that plays to them so as to maximize retention for the long haul. Mathematics builds on what is learned year after year, so it's of utmost importance that a student get a strong foundation and be comfortable with the material to continue to progress in their academia. Everyone is more than capable of learning math, and getting them to subscribe to that notion is my specialty! Please don't hesitate to reach out so we can get on the fast track to success together!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My philosophy with regards to teaching is to put the material in terms the pupil can understand; no two people learn the same way, and putting math in terms that appeal to the student's strengths is a surefire way to keep confidence up and retention levels high!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first order of business is getting to know what kind of learner the student is, and how they most easily indoctrinate information. Knowing what kinds of activities the student enjoys, and what subjects the student excels at, really helps mold the way the information they are being tutored in should be presented.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By solidifying the fundamentals so that they can always rely on the basics, students gain a sense of confidence with which to approach their schoolwork, undaunted and successfully, on a regular basis.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Keeping the attitude upbeat, the praise high, and the material in a format that makes them comfortable because it makes sense. The number one deterrent for learning is frustration and lack of understanding.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Take a step back and break down the individual steps so that the student feels like they know all the individual processes involved in approaching a particular type of problem. Then it's just a matter of bringing the individual steps together!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Resummary! Getting a student to put things in their own words, piece by piece, really helps retention of information and enables a student to feel like they are able to swallow large concepts in bite-sized pieces.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that relating the subject matter to it's usefulness and purpose in real world applications helps students feel more at ease because the material is in terms that they understand and can refer to in the future so that they retain the information longer and more clearly.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Usually, finding a way to relate the material to something they are already excited about or sharing personal anecdotes of how it has helped me become successful in different ways motivates students to apply themselves.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Making sure the student can, step by step, explain a problem and its solutions in their own words is the best way.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By showing them problems they have already solved or that they have the knowledge to solve. If you give a student incremental increases in challenges, it enables them to taste success and feel accomplished in tackling challenges while instilling confidence for future endeavors.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It is important to test a student's limits and measure them against the curriculum. After finding out the margins, addressing any deficit is just a matter of presenting the material in a way the student can assimilate.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I make sure that the explanations to concepts and problem solving strategies are incremental and build on what the student already knows to ensure that they can keep up with the material while still being challenged and learning new things.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen/pencil, paper, ruler, Internet for quick retrieval of reference material if necessary, and a calculator for higher level math.