I have an Associate of Science in Engineering from Austin Community College. The degree is largely worthless, but does include some vector calculus, calculus-based physics, and chemistry.
In the course of obtaining my degree at ACC, I worked in the Physics Lab at ACC, and in my work I've helped dozens of students receive good grades in Physics, Calculus, and related classes (all math). I did this for about 2 1/2 years. As a result, naturally, I have some insight into how instructors grade students, what sorts of topics appear on tests, what sorts of problems appear, etc.
Math and physics are topics that can't be learned by rote memorization. A tutor in these fields isn't really a teacher, he's more of a coach. I help students to figure out how to work the problems. I'll lay down some ways to solve problems, and show students new approaches to solving problems, which is what a good coach should do. And I'll provide appropriate encouragement to help the student along. In the end, the student has to figure it out, just like the soccer player has to figure out how to kick the ball.
My general method is to take representative problems from the homework set and work them with the student. In the course of working each problem, we will discuss the overall problem-solving strategy, how each step is a part of that strategy, and often relate specific concepts to more generalized ideas. The emphasis is always on the few simple ideas that make Geometry the subject that it is. When we finish the current section, we'll look forward to the next sections so that the student will have some preparation before the class studies it.
Best results are obtained over several sessions when the basic problem-solving strategies are given time to sink in and the student will become more independent of the tutoring.
I believe very strongly that learning is fun, and that no clowning around is required to make it fun. I also believe very strongly that the reason so many people in this country are bad at math is because they've had Bad Math Teachers. I'm the guy who, with a few words, can make the most arcane mathematical concepts suddenly appear to be obvious. Don't let yourself be convinced that you're not good at math. Turn it around, you *can* do this.
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