I'm a 25-year-old student who recently earned a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics from the California State University of Long Beach. I student taught at a high school in Long Beach in Fall 2012. I have already worked with teens at the junior high and high school level in the following subjects: Prealgebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA for the last two years of my education at CSULB.
So that's some of the technical stuff, but what I thinks makes me exceptionally competent as a tutor is my teaching philosophy. The most important strategy in teaching is positive reinforcement. There is no way to force someone to learn something—learning requires motivation. It turns out that the most successful motivator is not fear, but desire. It also turns out the an extremely common desire for a student is having someone they respect telling them that they are doing a good job. I have not only learned this from university textbooks and working with adolescents, but also from my two years of experience of being an instructional aide for applied behavioral analysis of students with autism. And I can assure that without positive reinforcement, my day job would be a very unhappy and unproductive place.
Of course, there are other virtues in teaching. Patience is one of them. I can thank my day job for that, too. When dealing with difficult students, it takes a high degree of patience to respond appropriately and effectively. Creativity is another important quality. Whether it be a representation of how to solve systems of equations by graphing using sequential computer graphics or coming up with a sci-fi story in order to teach a lesson on measurements and proportions, I have done my share of creative lessons. Age can also be another important factor in teaching. Now I'm not saying that older teachers are automatically not as good as younger teachers simply due to their age, but it can be an advantage to be old enough to be an instructor and young enough to relate to students. That brings me to yet another important factor: empathy. I've had my share of academic struggles in the past, and being able to validate and attempt to remediate that frustration, anxiety, and tension can make a big difference between success and failure in any lesson.
All things considered, if you or your child is struggling in math, I'm sure I can help.
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