I have always been fascinated by my mathematical studies and, having a flair for the subject, there was never any doubt that I would choose to tutor it. It is a pivotal subject on which so many others depend (such as physics and chemistry). I relish the challenge of problem solving that mathematics provides. For me, it is an endlessly intriguing subject, as the discipline appears limitless, allowing so much scope for further study and research. I believe I am a well-rounded mathematician. Pure mathematics is my personal favorite because of its focus on thought processes and problem solving techniques. I hope to make math go from your least favorite subject to your favorite by the end of our tutor lessons.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe the fundamental goal of teaching is to help students learn. A student's desire to learn is vital to effectively mastering new concepts and skills. People have multiple learning styles: some learn best in lecture atmospheres, some are motivated by discussion, and others learn best when they read and reflect on what they have read. Accommodating different learning styles makes it easier to learn the material. Students take many of their learning habits from the tutor. If the tutor doesn't show interest in the subject and a passion for learning, students are less likely to put forth the effort to learn that subject. A tutor must convince students of his or her knowledge and expertise before they will show a willingness to learn. My job, as a tutor, is to create an atmosphere that fosters learning. I am a tutor because I have a passion for guiding students through the learning process, in addition to a passion for the material I present. One of the best ways to foster learning is to demonstrate those feelings to my students. I encourage learning by creating a relaxed environment for students, stimulating conversation about concepts being presented and organizing material in a way that makes it easiest to understand.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I would first introduce myself and explain my experience in math to reiterate to the student that I am in fact qualified to be teaching. This helps build trust between the student and my knowledge. I would ask and understand why it is that they are needing a tutor, whether they are not understanding the material itself or just unable to apply the material they learned in test (stressful) situations. Once I understood the problem, I would help the student find solutions and go from there.