I believe that all students can succeed in math. All they need is to see and understand the math rather than just memorizing some boring steps. As a retired college math professor I can certainly help any student 'see' the math rather than memorizing it.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY College of Staten Island - Bachelors, Mathematics
Graduate Degree: CUNY City College - Masters, Mathematics
SAT Math: 780
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Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that all students can succeed in math. You just need to be taught how to understand math rather than simply memorizing it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Go over their homework, and when I find a deficiency that they have, then we will do problems in that area until the student fully understands the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By giving them confidence. Once you understand something you have a great sense of confidence in that area and will be ready to tackle the next set of problems.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
If the student does not understand a small part of the concept, then I'd explain that part again along with examples until I'm confident they understand it. If the student does not understand the entire concept, then I'd explain it in different ways until they understand it.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Math is its own language, and thus it has its own vocabulary. I'd start off by defining math words into English words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to make the student feel at ease by working simple problems that I know that they can do. After speaking to the parents and learning the test scores of a student, I have a good idea what they will be able to handle.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
That's simple! I'd show the student that they actually understand what the problem is asking.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have 10's of thousands of tutoring hours behind me, and at this point I can just look at a student and see if they understand the material. And more often than not, I can look at a student and see where they are confused.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By letting them do the problems and getting it right.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By going over their homework or old exams and seeing which area(s) they are weak in.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That depends on the student and their mathematical ability.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pencil and paper AND THINKING!