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The Utility Tutor

In sports, there are utility players who are not restricted to playing one position, but can be put in at any position as the situation warrants. In tutoring, there are specialists who concentrate only in specific areas and there are the utility tutors who can handle many different areas. I have just returned from a Physics tutoring session which became a Calculus tutoring session when the student realized that he did not have a list of the Physics topics for his next exam, but did have his Calculus text. When he asked if I could do Calculus with him, I said ok. Had I been only a Physics tutor, the evening would have been wasted. Anyone who has gone through Classical Physics (Mechanics, Heat, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism and Optics) could not have done so without being proficient at Calculus. Why should a tutor limit himself or herself to their favorite subject by not taking the proficiency exams in the various mathematics levels offered by WyzAnt? I am not... read more

Super Teaching - The Light of Understanding

I have been teaching for over 50 years as a university faculty member and as a tutor. I also testify as an expert witness in both civil and criminal trials. Testifying on the witness stand counts as super teaching because you have only five or ten minutes in which to explain a complex topic to a jury, a judge, and attorneys who may not have the faintest idea of what you are saying. You must keep it simple, use common language and everyday examples, and watch the faces of the jurors to see if they are following and understanding your testimony. Jargon is a way to keep people outside of your narrow professional field from understanding what you are saying. Never use jargon. Use simple words and simple examples. Watch the face of the student you are tutoring. Watch for the moment when he or she first understands what you are saying, even though their teacher or professor as well as their textbook had made the subject unintelligible. When you see that light of understanding,... read more

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