I have been teaching physics, chemistry, and math of various levels for 10 years. I also have been tutoring since my own college years for nearly 20 years.
I like helping my students find the ways to learn and become independent learners and thinkers. I like finding out what drives a student to study and succeed in learning.
With this said, I strongly believe that everybody should have a sound understanding of how our physical world works. And this is PHYSICS!
Certainly, mathematics, the language of physics, is to be mastered to appreciate the power of knowledge of physical laws. This lets anyone learn and appreciate things as tiny as atoms and as huge as the whole universe.
With test preps, I emphasize the importance of understanding. Still, I show how to quickly find the correct answer in circumstances when knowledge of the topics is not very strong and there is an issue of time.
I also go over some psychological aspects of preparing for a test, taking a test, and post-test. A lot depends on how a student is emotionally prepared to handle the stress of taking a test.
In Physics and Chemistry (to some extent in Astronomy) I use conceptual approach, analogies, and all kinds of silly situations, which help reveal student's misconceptions and help understand the correct concepts.
In math, I encourage students to apply math to real world examples and use techniques that simplify and shorten solutions of the problems.
Finally, teaching and learning is a two-way street. If I do all in power and go out of my way to help a student, and the student does not apply himself/herself (after a given introductory period) then I have to call it quits. I am willing to concentrate my efforts on students who are willing to learn and achieve good results rather then becoming a family consultant.
P.S. I try not be involved in "emergency" tutoring as it is usually waste of both time and money. Only in special circumstances when a student knows the basic material and needs a little help to review I may agree to assist during one or two sessions before the exam.
P.P.S. I would like to look at my work with my students as a project, which I want to plan, build, and see the results of. In this respect long-term steady work is more beneficial to me and my students as we all get the best and consistent results from learning.
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