While I did some tutoring on the side, both as an undergraduate as well as when I was in graduate school, I never really did it for the money. I did it because I thought science was the coolest thing on earth and I wanted to infect other people with my excitement
for the subject. Now, all I can say is thank goodness for WyzAnt!! This is my "other" part time job and at times it is the only thing keeping me afloat in this economy! Believe it or not, the WORST thing I did was to get my Master's degree - I've overqualified
myself out of a full time job! Nobody wants to hire qualified people with higher amounts of education when they can pay someone with less education at a lower rate - and with no benefits. Sadly, this is the first time I have ever experienced a job market where
those who have done MORE are worth so much LESS. But WyzAnt knows better and thankfully they have made it easy for me to find clients and work at a per hour rate that reflect my skill and educational...
While I would love to spread the love about how wonderful WyzAnt is - and believe me, I do! - Facebook is just not my preferred place to do it. In fact, this is one of the few places that I blog at all. I am not a fan of social media because I believe that
it is extremely dangerous and I don't particularly want to share a great deal of my personal information with the world at large. This, however, is a bit different in the sense that it is focused on specific topics related to education and (maybe) our experiences
in that arena only. It is designed to be a helpful conversation area with a specific purpose since most of us cannot actually get together and converse face to face.
Some students are conditioned to struggle with science because they have "science phobia". Not all, but some ... And I have to agree that the more we learn and the more technological our world becomes, the more scientific information there is to learn and
understand. That doesn't suddenly mean that it becomes less fun or that we change the way we go about learning it. Experiments, visual aids, manipulatives, etc. are all still effective tools.
Two of the tools that I like to use are silly mnemonics that the students make up themselves, especially if there isn't one commonly in use (such as Kings Play Chess On Fine Grain Sands - we all know this one...). I find the sillier, the more easily remembered.
I also like to find one specific technique that works well for each individual student, such as making their own flash cards, drawing flow charts, listening to their notes on tape, writing questions and answers, doing mini experiments or other learning techniques....
I currently teach Biology on-line as well as tutoring, and while I much prefer the face-to-face aspect of teaching, on-line can work. In my current situation, the students can see and/or hear us, but can only type back. In a tutoring situation where I would
hope it would be one on one or a very small group of say, no more than three, I would hope that the vocal or video communication would be both ways. Typing just takes too long and I would not feel right taking a student's money if they are spending a significant
potion of their learning time just asking the question.