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Be a patient Tutor and teach more than one avenue to solve a problem

The other day I was tutoring a 30 year old woman in preparation for the GED; she was having great difficulty with the Long end of polynomials. My work with her has taught me the importance of humility and having a positive and uplifting approach with those you tutor. Over the course of 4 weeks she seemed overwhelmed with the subject, she was dead set on learning how to solve the problems using long division. Finally, I explained to her a method for me that is easy but, may be confusing to you. Thus I taught her the synthetic division method which can be used with first degree problems. Once she mastered that, her confidence went up and when we returned to the long division method she grasped it. I learned from this woman that no matter how old you are, you still have the drive to learn and sometimes all that is needed to help a student is understanding and encouragement.