I have extensive experience tutoring and coaching all ages from elementary school students through college age students. I've done official tutoring work through my college as well as outside tutoring work. One of the main things I focus on is developing an active interest in their work and building up the confidence that they are capable of doing it. In my years of tutoring I have found that it is all too easy for a tutor with the best intentions to help a student with, for example, a practice problem by essentially doing the problem for them when the student starts to struggle at various parts of the solution process. I make an active effort to avoid this whenever possible and try to get my students to develop solutions of their own.
As a tutor in Math and Physics, I believe that the best way to learn is by doing. When broaching a topic I normally begin with a sample problem (or problems) that illustrates the topic at hand, and I try to get my student to understand every aspect of the solution process, and not only what to do at various stages in the problem but why. I then introduce similar problems to the student and encourage the student to solve them him/herself, with help given as needed but being careful not to do all the work for the student. I increase the difficulties of problems as seems appropriate.
During all this, I try to keep the atmosphere comfortable and informal, keeping the stress level under control and encouraging students to ask any and all questions they have.
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