To introduce myself, I am a semi-retired college professor (B.Sc., physics, M.I.T; Ph.D., physics, Brown University; M.A., mathematics, Boston University) currently (and for the past 11+ years, since September 2002) working part-time (about 20 hours per week) as a professional tutor (Math/Physics) at a local community college (Holyoke, MA).
The courses that I tutor range from Pre-Algebra (Basic Math), Beginning Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra to College Algebra, Pre-calculus (including Trigonometry) and Calculus (I, II and III), as well as Elementary Probability and Statistics, and General Physics.
This is the best job I have ever had. I really enjoy working one-on-one with the students. Not only do I enjoy the subject matter itself, but equally, or even more so, the process of asking the student leading questions (as opposed to simply giving the student the answer) so as to help the student discover for himself/herself, as much as possible, the thought processes involved in understanding and then solving the particular problem at hand.
At this stage of my life, helping students is what gives meaning to my life -- in particular, helping to empower students to become independent learners, as much as possible -- this is my passion.
My immediate supervisor (name/email/phone number available on request) would be more than happy to give me a glowing testimonial regarding my talents as a professional tutor, as would all the many students that I've tutored over the past 10+ years. I know this because of the feedback that I've gotten from both my supervisor and from the many students that I have tutored over the past 10+ years.
I also tutored high school students (at a local high school) in mathematics (mainly Algebra and Geometry) in after-school programs (first UPWARD BOUND, and then GEAR-UP) for 5 years beginning September 2004, until the program (GEAR-UP) was de-funded. My supervisors (names, emails and phone numbers available on request) there would similarly be more than happy to be references for my work at Holyoke High School.
In addition to my tutoring at the community college and high school, I have also tutored students, both college students and high school students, privately (again, since September 2002), and again in such subjects as Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus and Physics.
Tutoring has the advantage (over teaching) that I can adjust the pace of the tutoring session, with questions asked back and forth, between tutor and student, to accommodate the needs of the individual student in question, which is to say that we can go as slowly (or as quickly) as need be to make sure that the student is getting the material, 100%.
I do pride myself, perhaps most particularly, on being patient with the students, and also in explaining the subject matter in great, though not overwhelming, detail.
In particular, I would never simply ask the student whether he/she is getting the material. Rather, I would make sure that the student can actually work the problem at hand, with hints if necessary to start with, but then, eventually, with the student completely working the problem on his/her own.
The students I tutor are always appreciative of the help that I am able to give them. Needless to say, this makes the tutoring experience a very positive experience for me as well as for them.
One final thought. When I first started tutoring a Community College some 11+ years ago, I was really not familiar at all with the graphing calculator. However, gradually, yet fairly quickly, I began to familiarize myself with the various features of the graphing calculator, in particular the TI-83 and TI-84 (also, the TI-85 and TI-89), so that now, routinely, on an almost daily basis, I use the graphing calculator in my tutoring of such courses as College Algebra, Pre-Calculus (including Trigonometry), Calculus, and Probability and Statistics, both for routine calculations and graphing (involving polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions), confirmation of problem solving that could be done without the graphing calculator, and investigation and exploration of problems which could be approached only with the aid of the graphing calculator.
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