A photo of Avery, a tutor from CUNY City College

Avery

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I am a driven, passionate student tutor with years of experience. I focus on enabling the student to understand and learn material on their own by teaching problem solving skills and habits that facilitate understanding. By simplifying the topics and making use of numerical, analytical, and analogy-based approaches, I shatter math phobias and encourage a means of exploring topics which leaves no stones unturned. There are fundamental ideas, concepts and approaches that the broken school system does not teach, yet they are required of every mathematician. I give these essential missing concepts to my students!

I am intellectually curious. I am constantly learning new things myself, and I frequently review old material to make new connections. I encourage lateral thinking styles to draw from the students' knowledge in other fields to build the tools needed to solve analytical problems. Having struggled with math in New York's school system myself, I can quickly identify my students' train of thought and deduce what they are thinking. This allows me to guide them through problems in a way tailored to their current understanding and personality.

Avery’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY City College - Current Undergrad, Music

Hobbies

Won the advanced Math Award at her HS; Cross-Country/Track team captain; Musician, enjoys speedsolving Rubik's Cubes


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I focus on enabling the student to understand and learn material on their own by teaching problem solving skills and habits that facilitate understanding. By simplifying the topics and making use of numerical, analytical, and analogous approaches, I shatter math phobias and encourage a means of exploring topics which leaves no stones unturned. There are fundamental ideas, concepts and approaches that the broken school system does not teach yet is required of every mathematician. I give these essential missing concepts to my students!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Our first session is our time to talk about the big picture and get to know each other. Before the evaluation session ends, I will understand the student's needs, the challenges they face, and the assets that will help them overcome those challenges. We will form a list of goals and key dates, and make a plan to meet them with flying colors.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I put the proverbial ball in the student's court. Students are responsible for engaging in discussions about the material and taking an active role in the study process. I give them the tools they need and let them tinker on their own. Math is something you do, not something you simply learn!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I keep a light-hearted rapport with my students and discuss realistically the ways the subject matter ties in with what matters to them. I craft my analogies around each student's personality and interests, and I constantly look to connect the dots and seek common ground. I work alongside my students rather than above them, and I lead by example.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Attack the concept from every angle. Find analogous situations in their field or hobby of interest, and use them to the fullest. Seek the core concepts that are necessary for understanding and develop them. Don't engage in tunnel vision. Don't get discouraged!

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Finding out what kind of person the student is and what the subject matter means to them is integral to success. Focusing on the differences between working alone and having help lets me communicate all the resources available to the student and encourage them to use them all.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Every subject is connected, and there are no real separations lines. There is always a clear path from the things that make a student tick to the things they struggle with, even if it isn't always obvious. Lateral thinking is the way to balance in all of these areas.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Giving the student problems to work on that occupy every level of abstraction allows me to start from the small and work to the whole, or vice versa. Testing knowledge of terminology and basic concepts, and seeking patterns is part of the process.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I give the student applied problems that I have created from everyday life. Sometimes they exceed the grade level of the content considerably. It's surprising what a student is capable of when they don't know that. When the rest of the material suddenly seems easier, it becomes clear.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The following are some areas for consideration: 1: Immediate concerns. Passing the class and getting the work done is a given. Keeping school from being an obstacle is paramount. 2: Current activities. Being accommodating and respecting the student's autonomy a means toward (1). 3: Present interests and Future aspirations. The student and parent have a vision of the future, and making it happen depends on what we do now. 4: Personality. I use the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI) to gain a clear view of the student’s preferences and thinking style, and make sure their present and future endeavors are consistent with who they are and what they value. This self-examination is the ultimate goal, as it is the most neglected in the school setting.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

In order to help someone, I have to listen to my students and find out what help needs to them. Some students want peace of mind from a troubling academic roadblock, and others are looking to sharpen their skills. Everyone gets a different program, and there is no cookie-cutter method.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use the course material provided by the student to review material; if there is no course material I can tailor a curriculum by communicating with teachers and making use of free PDF eBooks and Google drive to provide a reference and exercises. I teach and encourage students to make proper use of the textbook and build comfort using the index to find key terms when confused.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I help the student zoom out and get the big picture. I teach techniques for multiple-pass reading styles and address possible roadblocks such as vision problems, dyslexia, ADHD, and more.