• Is your child having a hard time with math?
• Does your child spend too many hours trying to understand the math homework and is unmotivated and ready to give up?
• Is your child taking a math AP class and not doing as well as you had hoped?
• Is your child preparing to take the SAT this year?
If you wonder if any of these questions relate to your child, have you considered a math tutor? I can help. I will help your child fulfill graduation requirements. I will get your child back on track if he or she has fallen back temporarily. I also work with students who are looking for a leg up in college admissions by accelerating their progress.
WHY I AM A GOOD MATH TUTOR
I am passionate about teaching and about math. I have much insight into tutoring, and I am compassionate, patient, and dedicated in doing it. I am also good at math having earned a B.S. degree in math from UC Davis, often being on the Dean’s Honor List.
MY INSIGHT INTO TUTORING AND MY STYLE
In essence, I think tutoring is not so much about passing on information but about enabling a student to bring alive the faculty to deal with and come to a result with a problem. My tutoring style is first of all to boost the student’s confidence, giving him or her a positive attitude, which may even lead to getting to enjoy math. I am very adaptive to each student's needs and am good at breaking any math problem down into many simple steps, detecting at exactly what step the student is no longer understanding, and explaining the step in many different ways. With repetition and success comes the seed of confidence. My goal is to plant and nourish that seed that enables a student to feel, “Yes, I actually can do this and with work can be successful with math.” This will last to times long after I finished tutoring that student.
WHY SO MANY STUDENTS HAVE TROUBLE WITH MATH
Math does not rely on memorization and reciting facts, hence, strategies like cramming just before a test do not work well with math. Instead, math requires students to understand specific and often complex concepts. Because of its reliance on detail, math cannot be mastered without dedicating repeated time to practice. It requires real understanding and good work over the entire school year.
Math concepts build on each other so that future topics depend on understanding previous material. Therefore, misunderstanding one topic can cause continuous problems down the road. If this is left unaddressed, knowledge gaps compound over time and the student gets further behind.
NUMBER OF TUTORING SESSIONS THAT WILL BE REQUIRED
If the student is struggling then multiple sessions are required each week until the student is back up to speed. Thereafter, one session per week is recommended to keep pace with ongoing new material. Each session is one hour. In case your child has difficulties concentrating that long, a shorter time may be chosen in the beginning.
After a few sessions, I usually know what can be reasonably expected from a student and then discuss expectations with the student and the parents. There are many factors that impact the student’s progress, but the most important is how much time and effort the student is able to dedicate to his or her success.
The first session is free. This takes away the pressure and allows the parents, the student and me to get to know each other and gives us all a better metric about whether we are a good match.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SESSION
I work with the student on assigned homework problems. We review all past tests to make sure that the student understands each problem on the test. We review and learn any missing knowledge in the student’s math background that may be needed to master the current subject. Since repetition is very important in studying math, we work on extra problems either from the book or that I offer myself.
The student should work on as much of the current homework before a session as possible. This allows us to focus on concepts or specific problems that the student is having a problem with.
WHOM I TUTOR
I work with all students that either need help with their math skill or are good at math and want to get even better. I try to instill confidence and self-reliance. I work with students in the 5th grade through college.
WHERE I TUTOR
I work in the student’s home or at the local public library. If the student is under age 18, I require that a parent or other adult is present at home during the time of the session. If this is not possible, the student and I can meet at the library.
I have a B.S. degree in Mathematics from UC Davis specializing in probability theory and did graduate work in Computer Science at California State University Chico. I retired after working 30 years as a computer programmer, three years in Silicon Valley and the last 27 years working at Autodesk in Marin County, mostly working on mathematical problems for Autodesk’s computer aided design program, AutoCAD. I have two daughters that graduated from Tamalpais High School.
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