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I began tutoring in high school - I had the opportunity to help out my younger neighbors with math questions and foundations and really enjoyed seeing their delight when the concepts clicked. I find that math is essential to all areas of life and I love to share that wonder with those I have the opportunity to help; often, the thought is: how does this basic math (or geometry), when will I ever do this in the real world - and the honest answer is that you won't ever solve math equations for the sake of solving them, but you run across them at all times and are applied at all times (you just don't know it), and it is wonderful when you understand why things work the way they work.
A little background on myself: I enjoy taking math tests (I participated in Math Counts throughout middle school and went to math competitions in high school), the SAT and SAT II math tests were relatively fun - it was the English that I found challenging as I went through the engineering program at Berkeley.
I received an 800 in both SAT and SAT II math and near perfect in GRE without studying. Quick math is fun and natural for me - and I love introducing that to others.
When I think of Algebra 1, what comes to mind is a hybrid of all maths (obviously, between Pre-Algebra and Algebra 2) - a place where the foundations of math are laid. I think it is integral for this particular segment of math to be carefully experienced and very hands-on, and that is how I would tutor Algebra 1. It isn't about being able to find the right solution, but the reason and motivation to reaching understanding.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Algebra 2 class; I have fond memories of a teacher who made it interesting: he always had some anecdote or random mnemonic to help us remember. My most favorite part of Algebra is dealing with exponents (logs) because it just makes so much sense when you understand the "rules" actually describe the process.
I took AMA (trigonometry and pre-calculus) and AP Calculus BC (5 on the test) my first two years of high school and tutored the neighborhood kids in math all throughout. I've been doing online math tutoring (mainly calculus) and have gotten high praise and ratings for my help.
I remember geometry being filled with many challenges, but fun along the way. Who knew that understanding sines, cosines, and tangents would be so important further on in life.
I have been a long term tutor (since high school) and being able to pass on study skills has been an important part of my job: helping students to understand what to look for in what they're reading, what to practice to grasp concepts - those are all integral to learning.
I, myself, have had to deploy those skills many times during my studies at Berkeley. Not only that, I love being able to pick up new material and to learn simply because I've learned how to study.
I would say that Trigonometry was what I considered the first course in math that I came across as challenging (not the last in the least) - I thrived in the environment of conquering a new flavor of math to describe the world we live in. My favorite parts of Trigonometry (without a doubt) were the proofs and using Trigonometric identities to manipulate equations (which, having a keen sense of is important for calculus).
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