I am currently a junior concentrating in Finance and Statistics at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and I am also pursuing a math minor.
I will be in NW Suburbs/Chicagoland area starting May 8, 2013 and will be available on evenings on weekdays and all-day Saturday, and will be in downtown Chicago starting June 15. I had put this up early for those who are interested in getting a head-start for finding tutors. If you are interested, feel free to reach out now!
I have approximately three years of private tutoring experience in mathematics, both online and in-person. I have also mentored students with advanced mathematics while in college.
I also taught a one-day seminar on the economic progression of the financial crisis to students in high school and middle school. Preparing for this class taught me to learn to present very complex ideas in a way where a student could leave with a sense of having learning something they could understand.
My thoughts on how to approach the learning progress of a student:
1. Intuit the concept: Before starting on a new topic, it might be overwhelming for the student to exposed directly to the subject. Therefore, I believe that starting with a real-life example as well as integrating past concepts helps the student prepare for the topic at-hand. Sometimes, the student might be more than prepared and might not require this step.
2. Understand the concept. Once the student has an idea about the concept, this process is about contextualizing the problem. As a tutor, I believe being patient with the student as well as reinforcing core ideas is what this section is about. This means going through many examples of varying types and finally concluding with either an overarching example or summary of the examples and approaches for each example.
3. Master the concept. Probably one of the most challenging parts of learning and teaching is mastering a concept. This step requires going through more examples but in potentially greater depth and complexity.
An Annotated Example of these steps:
1. The derivative is, intuitively speaking, the rate of change of some function. This function could measure the distance of a person walking with respect to time, or could also measure the value of a car as time increases. If a person is walking at a constant speed, then his/her rate of change remains the same. Therefore, it is reasonable that the derivative would also be constant. However, if the person starts of walking and starts running, then it is safe to assume that the person does not have a constant derivative. That is, the person's speed is not necessarily constant.
2. We start with the formal definition of a derivative using our knowledge of limits and possibly some algebra. Then, I will introduce various techniques to solve derivatives of functions and will also start solving some examples of where derivatives commonly come-up.
3. After an extensive session with Step 2, we begin to integrate concepts that were developed in Step 2. For example, we will most likely have covered the Product Rule, Quotient Rule and Chain Rule. First, I might provide an example that starts with any combination of the two ideas. Then, I would integrate all three concepts into one problem to see if the student can separate the question into the building blocks from Step 2 to decompose a potentially tricky question. Furthermore, I might introduce problems and potential traps that might come up with derivatives? For example, one might realize that not all functions have derivatives. Such ideas might be explored in this step.
Although this might appear rather regimented, I believe it is a natural process. I believe that through patience and perseverance, a student can achieve this mastery but requires dedication and effort and each step should come naturally. Forcing a step creates unnecessary stress and tension for the student.
Personalizing the tutoring experience is also important. Should the parent and/or student like additional homework or exams and/or would like to set up a reward system, I would be more than willing to accommodate.
If you have any questions or would like to chat about ideas on the ideal tutoring session, please feel free to contact me!
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