Hi, My name is Lynne. I’m a longtime 20+ year tutor of Mathematics, predominantly, in the Remedial Maths (ie...general mathematics, algebra, geometry and algebra 2). Although I’ve helped some students with GED, MCAS and some high school/middle school aged children in the Upward Bound Program, I’ve mostly worked with adults in Bristol Community College’s Math Lab where learning is self-paced. I’ve helped students’ struggle to complete a semester’s requirements through an extended semester, as well as those excelling quickly for early completion. I’ve helped many finding great struggle, as well as to excel quickly. I’ve assisted many unaware of the potential they have, to become adept as well as confident in excelling further. For some, it’s a struggle to find that potential. As a tutor, a struggling student who finds a goal mine in their own potential is of great reward. Yes, I did say goal, not a misprint. Initially it was, but I think I like it.
Most of my days in this classroom environment require me to be consistently flexible to answering questions and assisting individuals working at their own pace. Even in the beginning of the semester, there are students continuing on from a previous semester’s unfinished work. Any student can be anywhere in the coursework at any given time. This often requires split second responses at any given area within the coursework. During what is called open hours, there is often a mixture of these students from different classes. I sometimes find myself helping one person with adding fractions and another with logarithmic functions in what seems to be the same breath. I’ve frequently had students’ joke with me that I should get paid more for memorizing the book. I just jokingly respond that I didn’t memorize it, I wrote it!
Of course I didn’t write it! Math is just a box of tools. There are books to reference the different ways/reasons you can use them. Of course, there are the ways they should be used, in order to obtain accuracy. Often the biggest hurdle is determining which tool to use. Does this sound a lot like life in general? For some, this is just another struggle. Whether it be math, history, English or science, it’s got to be somewhere. I’ve had greatly artistic individual’s laugh at my stick figures.
Overall, I like working in a self paced environment. It provides me opportunity to engage in my own educational standpoint. My goal is to provide for more confident and independent learning. I ask a lot of questions, more so, than the giving of answers. Often, when asked the right questions, students find they are able to answer their own questions. This is often a learning exercise as to how important “making the connections to what is previously learned” is to understanding reason. Understanding reason and its importance is one of the biggest assets to working toward being adept and confident in excelling further. I think it’s important for students to learn the kind of questions to ask themselves, as well as how to use their resources effectively. It’s sort of the buy a fish, teach how to fish theory. There is an abundance of GOAL mine in one’s own resourcefulness.
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