I'm a college professor with 25+ years of experience teaching mathematics and computer programming. My favorite subjects include precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, optimization and numerical analysis.
I believe the only way to learn mathematics or computer programming is by working through many exercises and problems. There's no way around this. It doesn't matter how well a lecture is presented or how good the teacher is. If you don't do the work yourself, you'll probably not succeed. I also think there's a fear factor involving math. Most students think it is a difficult subject and fear they will do badly. This creates an additional barrier for the student to succeed.
Based on this ideas, when I tutor I try to achieve the following:
1. Create a relaxed atmosphere in which to work. Humor is a big part of this.
2. Help the student overcome their fear of the subject.
3. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students.
4. Ask them to work through problems that test or challenge their weaknesses.
5. Also suggest problems that play to their strengths in order to build up their confidence.
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