Learning should be both effective and fun. I have followed this philosophy while teaching courses in statistics, psychology, and writing at universities, while mentoring graduate school hopefuls, and while tutoring English as a second language. When students are enthusiastic, we can count it as a good learning opportunity; when teachers are enthusiastic as well, the quality of instruction goes up dramatically.
One of the things I require in the services I provide is for us to set a clear goal, be it a grade to work towards, a word length to meet in essays or dissertations, a degree of improvement over previous performance, or a standardized test score. These metrics are critical for determining if our work is successful. I offer much of my tutoring by email, Skype, and telephone as well.
I have confidence in my approaches because I've seen them work for my students and mentees. Just in the last two years, I've seen two of my students accepted to prestigious Ph.D. programs. These techniques have also worked well for me in the academic arena: among my own accomplishments are graduating as valedictorian from my high school (out of a class of 550), becoming a National Merit Scholar, getting a 36 on the ACT, being admitted to a very competitive graduate program, completing my dissertation, being accepted for a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, and publishing academic papers. While I take pride in these milestones, I would enjoy them even more if I can leverage them--and the lessons learned along the way--to help others meet their own goals.
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