A Summary of my tutoring methods
- I am not the class teacher or the instructor. Tutoring is not the same as teaching a class. This is the main reasons why good tutoring must be done one-on-one. That is, the full attention of the Tutor is on this one student (Tutee) and vice versa.
- I am patient with the student and make sure that he/she knows and understand that I am here to help and to provide opportunities to him/her to use the available resources at his/her disposal. Example: how to use the internet efficiently. It is a powerful tool if you know how to use it. (I point to resources other than myself).
- I let the student defines and explains clearly what is it that he/she does not understand. This encourages the student to organize his/her thinking process and help me (the tutor) identify problem areas.
-I try to keep explanations simple, logical, clear and to the point.
The student may have a problem with a particular mathematical concept. Whenever possible, I try to explain the concept in a non-mathematical way. For example: Why - (-5) = +5 = 5?
You can explain it in words, that the negative sign to the left of the parentheses negates the negative sign inside the parentheses. It is like stating that “It is not true that the number inside the parentheses is negative”, which makes it a positive number. (Refer to my blog for more details).- I encourage the student to think and use his/her imagination, logic and common sense by asking him/her questions that requires more than just Yes/No answer.
- If the student and/or I think that a particular problem or area within the subject was not fully understood by the student during the tutoring session, I put the solution/explanation in writing and discuss it further with the student in the next session, or (in some cases) I email the solution or explanation to the student prior to the next tutoring session (free of charge) so the student can go over it in advance.
- I encourage the student to email me or call me on the phone to talk about a particular problem, a question or a subject prior to the tutoring session. Also, in some cases (such as a harder than usual mathematical problem) I may prepare a written solution with detailed explanations and clarifications prior to the tutoring session (No charge). I believe that this approach benefits both the student and the tutor by making the tutoring session more effective.
- Similarly, I encourage the student to email me or call me on the phone if he/she needs additional explanations/clarifications to a problem or a subject we discussed during the tutoring session (No charge). I usually provide a written solution if the student request it.