As a recent college graduate with a degree in Mathematics, I never really knew what to do with my degree. People always asked me if I wanted to be a teacher, and I never really took that idea into consideration. Recently my older brother was taking a college level calculus class and was really struggling, so he turned to me for help. I was afraid I would be impatient if I ever had to teach someone about a subject such as math , simply because I understand math in a way that isn't completely elementary and what is common sense to me on a math level, I learned, was not so common. But to my surprise, I was extremely patient with him and even helped him pass his math class. I had a great feeling of satisfaction because I was able to help him and because I learned a lot about myself. I enjoy helping others learn things they struggle learning, and because of that I love to tutor.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Getting the correct answer is not nearly as important as understanding why the answer is what it is.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get an understanding of what they feel like they understand and what they are completely uncomfortable with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching them why an answer is what it is, and having them practice on problems separate from their homework problems, until they are confident they can answer any kind of problem.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making sure they get a couple answers right. Nothing motivates someone like the correct answer.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Working through different variations of the same question, until they have an idea of why an answer is what it is.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them how powerful of a tool math is in our daily lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Showing all work. In math every problem can be solved, and any mistake can be found if all work is shown.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Having them do multiple practice problems and explaining how they got their answers. I would like them to teach me how to solve a problem.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By hearing how they would answer a question without any judgment or advice.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I listen to them to get a feel of what they are struggling with specifically.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Just a paper and pencil. And a calculator too.