My name is Kyle; I graduated from The Ohio State University with a PhD in Mathematics in August, 2013. I have extensive experience tutoring students of all ages, abilities, and confidence levels.
My Education Background:
I began tutoring in high school in the St. Louis, MO area. I worked for a local tutoring business, helping students from 4th grade math up through calculus. I tutored students alone and in pairs; I tutored students that needed weekly supervision, students that needed one or two cram sessions to get a good grade on an exam, and students that wanted some exposure to math beyond their schoolwork.
In undergrad at CWRU I was an official tutor for the university, offering one-on-one hour-long sessions in their tutoring center in the library. I was also a Supplemental Instructor (SI), which was a math major assigned to a particular calculus section that was available 3 hours per week to answer questions the students might have.
In grad school I began teaching courses myself. In my first year I was a recitation leader for 60 students per quarter in the calculus sequence; this corresponded to 2 hours of class time, 3 office hours, and 2 tutor room hours per week, as well as grading and quiz-writing responsibilities. I later lectured my own classes of between 30 and 120 students, ranging from Calculus to "Excursions in Modern Mathematics" (a math class for majors that don't need Calculus) and Discrete Mathematics. I was also a private tutor on the side. While at Ohio State I was a three-time finalist for the Graduate Teaching Award, an award for which you must be nominated and for which you are then observed by a handful of faculty members.
My Teaching Philosophy:
As a tutor, my job is usually to work with a student that has fallen into a vicious cycle of falling behind and losing confidence. The best most successful tutoring relationships are actually very brief; the tutor helps the student find their way back to the material, and in the process restores the student's confidence and helps them find better ways to stay with the pack on their own.
Unfortunately, by the time many students resort to finding a tutor they are too far behind or too afraid of math to do well on their own without longer-term assistance.
In either case, my approach is simply to build the student's knowledge up in stages, while simultaneously dissociating the idea of struggling with a concept from the thought that the student is "failing" or "can't do math." I explain a concept from different angles until I get some sort of response from the student that indicates a glimmer of understanding, then I slowly work through an example and tie each step back to the general motivation for the idea. I then let the student work through examples, offering less and less advice until the student is able to consistently work through a problem on their own.
Just so you don't think I'm an impersonal robot without interests other than math, I'll quickly mention that I also enjoy ice hockey, golf, softball, chess, and playing the violin and drums. None to the level that I want to try and tutor them, obviously, or they'd be listed in my subjects.
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