I am a professional civil engineer very skilled in mathematics with a track record of teaching individuals one-on-one and helping fellow students achieve great improvements. I once helped an upper classman while in high school (at the request of my teacher) improve his quiz scores from 40-50% range to 80-90% in a few short weeks.
The method I prefer is figuring out which way of completing a problem or question makes the most sense to the student and then pursuing that method. It does not matter if the method is not the same as taught in class. Once the topic is clear from whatever method works, then we can go back and figure out why the other ways make sense too. There is more than one way to skin a cat, so they say. Subjects and problem types make sense to people in different ways. All there is to do is find that "ah-ha" way, and presto - the other ways make sense too.
I find that practical methods work best. Not just answering questions for the sake of getting the right answer, but figuring out how the topic can be applied in real life. If the topic becomes interesting it is much easier to learn.
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