Everyone can learn. And you know more math than you think you do.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning should be fun. Learning shouldn't be boring, mundane, or stationary. Learning requires movement and action. Teachers and students should laugh together, interact with each other and learn from each other.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
At the beginning of the first session, I will share with the student some of my background. I would then ask the student to do the same. Then I would ask the student to identify their strengths and challenges. Lastly, I would assure the student that they can and will be successful in this endeavor.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe in talking to students throughout the learning session. I constantly and continuously ask leading questions about learned skills and newly acquired skills.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help students remain motivated by constantly reminding them that they are doing well and that they know more than they think they do.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When students are having difficulty mastering a skill or concept, I backup a little bit in an effort to identify what previously taught skill has not yet been mastered. I break the new skill or concept down completely so the student is able to identify where their weakness is.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Math has its own vocabulary. I teach students how to read math. When a student knows how to read math, they can identify actions and steps that are associated with particular words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Hands on! Students must work and solve problems themselves. Students must be reassured that they already know a lot of math and they shouldn't be afraid to show it.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I work hard to keep the student involved in the learning process.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I teach a student how to teach me what they are doing. In other words, when a student is solving a problem or has solved a problem, I ask them to teach it to me. Tell me each step and give me the justification for that step.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I boost confidence by constantly pointing out successes.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
When students are working on a problem, I look for mistakes. I look at the kind of mistake they made and I look to see if that mistake is consistently made.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It varies. If a student needs more time on a concept, I spend more time on that concept and the skills needed to master it. If a student learns a concept quickly, we move on to new concepts and periodically review previously learned concepts.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use a lot of paper, pencils, whiteboards, and dry erase markers.