Oakland University (Mathematics)
I am a certified tutor with eight years of experience as a private full-time tutor, and I was a public tutor for almost one year. Tutoring is my passion in life.
My specialty is advanced mathematics, through calculus and beyond, but I can tutor many other subjects, including physics, business, ACT/SAT, and English. I can also tutor in test taking, study skills, career development, and time management.
During the school year, times fill up quickly. During the summer, times are generally more open.
Since I am gone all day most days, I often reply to emails either around midnight or in the morning.
Thank you for your interest. I am a certified tutor with eight years of experience as a private full-time tutor, and I was a public tutor for almost one year. Tutoring is my passion in life.
My specialty is advanced mathematics, through calculus and beyond, but I can tutor many other subjects, including physics, business, ACT/SAT, and English. I can also tutor in
I can do group sessions, preferably in the same subject, for the same rate as for one student (unless a large group).
I initially came to Brian for help in Intermediate Algebra. My whole life I have been convinced that I was only a mediocre math student, usually receiving B's. Tutoring with Brian exceeded my expectations. Not only was I receiving A's on all of my tests, but for the first time, I was actually beginning to understand the subject. Brian is great at explaining the material, and he is patient if you aren't able to pick up the information right away. He knew various ways of explaining one topic so if I didn't understand one way, he would utilize a different method in order to get me to understand. I also used Brian for Statistics, which is known to be a very difficult course, and with Brian's help, I ended up receiving an A. He's easy to get a hold of and will go out of his way to help you if you are struggling. Highly recommend!
Brian was very helpful to my oldest son and daughter who were both struggling in math. Brian was able to dive right in and help them out. Will use again should my kids needs help next school year. Thanks Brian!
Very knowledgeable and does it what it takes to get the job done in a very organized and efficient manner.
He is a great tutor and I would highly recommend him. My son is really learning how to read better and faster.
Brian taught me about derivatives and limits in Calculus. I liked that he wrote out directions for me to complete each problem and gave specific examples for me to try.
Brian is extremely patient and very enthusiastic about the subject he is tutoring. I would recommend him to anyone and will continue to hire him for as long as I need tutoring!
Brian did a great job preparing my son for the ACT. His knowledge, along with his style of teaching information, along with study habit tips, were invaluable.
Brian is very good at what he does. Not only did he teach my son how to study, he gave him assurance and confidence. I highly recommend Brian.
I am learning how to answer standard test questions and strategies will help when it comes time to take the ACT test. Brian is very helpful in communicating how to do this.
Brian has been with us almost 4 months now and he continues to tutor my daughter with algebra and other math related subjects. My daughter passed the entrance exam and got accepted to the number one high school in Michigan because of Brian's effort and support to help my daughter fully understand and grasp algebra. He taught her how to solve problems and improve her study skills. With this being said, he definitely is the tutor to go to and I highly recommend him.
Brian was very patient and a great tutor. He was able to provide a thorough and simplified explanation that really helped my daughter understand her lesson. My daughter walked away from the session with a good feeling of understanding and confidence with her math assignment.
Brian is brilliant, patient, and is EXCELLENT at explaining abstract and complex concepts. He is polite, kind and genuinely cares about his students. Brian will go out of his way to accommodate his students. He also has outstanding communication skills. He always replies to messages promptly, and his writing is very clear and concise. I am so grateful I found Brian. If anyone is going to help me pass Advanced Calculus 1, it's definitely Brian!
I really enjoyed meeting with Brian. Not only did he quickly understand what I needed help with, he made sure I understood what he said before moving on. I would definitely recommend Brian to anyone.
Would highly recommend! Very patient in explaining the math in terms I can comprehend. Being out of school for many years and having a accelerated class, I was totally lost on the work being given by the teacher. Brian has been able to guide me in the right direction on how to solve the problem.
I received tutoring in the subject of Intermediate Algebra at the College Level.
Brian met me at a convenient location close to School. He was very helpful at explaining the meaning behind certain math applications and formulas. I really like his teaching methods and the knowledge I gained through Brian as well as the knowledge gained in the classroom will certainly pay off and result in passing grades! I will continue to utilize Brian as a tutor for this class and others in the future as needed. I am very happy with my first tutoring session and would recommend Brian S. to anyone seeking tutoring.
Our sophomore daughter has always been an A student. The first few weeks of 10th grade however, she was having difficulty with Honors Algebra II, getting -A and +B on quizzes and tests. We wanted a tutor to give her a gentle push back to As, and that's exactly what Brian S. did. Since he started tutoring her, she has a better understanding of such a difficult and demanding subject, and she gets 98-100% or more (extra credit) on her exams.
He also occasionally tutors her in Honors Economics, and we are thinking to continue the tutoring sessions into the summer, so she will be utterly prepared for the ACT exams in her junior year.
Brian is not only highly intelligent, and knowledgeable in a vast array of subjects, he has also great character and integrity. Additionally, he is patient and adjusts his teaching method according to his students' most problematic areas.
In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.
As a full-time tutor for many years, I have seen a lot of "acronym" tests. Of all of them, the ACT is my most popular. For the English section specifically, I find that knowing one's punctuation and conjunctions are of utmost importance to catch the most popular errors. I also specialize in teaching students how to find keywords and phrases that explain which answers are correct or wrong.
As a full-time tutor for many years, I have seen a lot of "acronym" tests. Of all of them, the ACT is my most popular. For the math section specifically, I focus on what I call "guesstimation," which is the process of determining correct answers based on logic instead of actually doing the problems. I find it to be very helpful to students for when they get stumped by a problem. I also specialize in teaching students how to find keywords and phrases that explain which answers are correct or wrong.
As a full-time tutor for many years, I have seen a lot of "acronym" tests. Of all of them, the ACT is my most popular. For the reading test, I first explain the four primary reading techniques and how to customize them. From there, I work together with the student to show them commonly overlooked ideas that cause troubles. I also specialize in teaching students how to find keywords and phrases that explain which answers are correct or wrong.
As a full-time tutor for many years, I have seen a lot of "acronym" tests. Of all of them, the ACT is my most popular. For the science section, I focus first on being able to quickly read the given graphics and try to explain how the idea is to NOT understand the passages. The vast majority of the questions come down to nothing more than finding trends. I also specialize in teaching students how to find keywords and phrases that explain which answers are correct or wrong.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped many ADD/ADHD students over the years. One thing that often surprises those students is that I too have ADD. I explain to them that I try to turn that "weakness" into a strength. Most of the time the mind is working too fast for the rest of the body to keep up and thus it drifts, but if one can learn to steer those thoughts, the extra mental power can be used for good instead. For example, I use mine to come up with new, better ways to help out my students so that I am constantly improving. When students can learn to harness that power, it's a beautiful thing.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of different subjects. Of all of the subjects I tutor, algebra 1 is the most common. I teach students how to better read the questions so that they understand what to do, and I explain why algebra 1 works the way it does. In the first level of algebra specifically, understanding the intuition that forms algebra is paramount to their success, so I try to build up that strong foundation.
Of all of the subjects I tutor, algebra 2 is one of the most common. The number one issue I see with my students is that they over-complicate the problems. Thus, my focus is twofold: I teach students how to better read the questions so that they understand what to do, and I explain why the algebra works the way it does. In the second level of algebra, there really is not much expansion from the first level if one knows how they relate to one another, so I build those connections to make them simpler to understand.
Welcome to the lush valley hidden in the midst of the dry desert of pure facts. Before we depart though, please allow me to be direct here: if you are looking for someone to help memorize names and dates, look elsewhere. I do not believe that American history should be distilled down to just a chore of memorization. Instead, the richness of history opens up when one understands the events that have shaped our country and how those events affect one another. My specialty is in showing that cause-and-effect chain, focusing on how we can learn from both the mistakes and triumphs of the past. There is a reason why so many video games and novels are based on history: it's actually exciting to learn when done properly!
In my experience, physics and architecture go hand-in-hand as long as one goes beyond just the theoretical. Back when I was in high school, I won all but one of our architecture challenges, and that was because I understood the principles. So many basic concepts are often forgotten about, such as the importance of circles and triangles, or finding the proper center of mass. However, there is more to architecture than just strength; there is also elegance, which is where I apply my art background to help students discover options that will make a true lasting impression: both in one's mind and in their solidity.
As a full-time tutor, I have seen a lot of uncommon subjects, such as Art History. My approach to teaching it is similar to how I studied the subject myself as a member of La Pittura in college: understanding the flow of time and seeking out unique details. The flow of time is important as one can see how mankind has changed our opinion of art in history, which can help to narrow down dates and phases of art knowledge. The uniqueness each artist brings can help determine who created which piece, and it can also help students discover possible artistic skills latent within them.
That was no typo in my description. I do believe that one of my greatest strengths I bring to Art Theory is that I was not born with an artistic gift. Instead, the fact that I have moderate art skills right now is because of my dedication and my knowledge of art instead. I may not have a lot of formal art training, but I have practical ideas I have picked up along the way. For example, I grew up thinking solid lines were the way to go, but now I tell students to use many short lines instead to discover a better line. I also have a strong command over colors, knowing what sets work well together and which to avoid.
As a full-time tutor and as a devout Christian, I know that the idea of "Bible Studies" has a diverse range of topics, and I can help in all of them. If one is referring to simple Bible knowledge, I lead two online Bible studies every week, and I know most of the ideas in the Bible by heart (although not verse numbers themselves). If one is talking about understanding the Biblical times, I have spent years learning about the culture, lifestyles, and other aspects of people from ancient eras. If one is referring to apologetics - the study of why to believe the Bible is true - I have read up on as many sources as I can find on that topic and have debated with quite a number of atheists. Regardless of the focus of your study, I can likely help you out.
As a full-time tutor, biology is one of the subjects that sometimes comes up. Now, I will be up-front that biology is not one of my strongest subjects. I mostly help with just high school biology, but I do have one benefit that most cannot claim. For over five years, I worked in a biomedical laboratory, so while my book knowledge may be weaker, I have practical knowledge formed from being immersed in the field for so long.
Before becoming a full-time tutor, I was a business analyst, working for both Audi and Central Transport. To this day, I still work as a business analyst as a side job. As such, I have both a large amount of practical knowledge on top of my book knowledge from college. I help companies to make million-dollar decisions and can help you understand businesses in their entirety too.
As a full-time tutor, I tutor in a lot of subjects. However, of all of my subjects, my favorite is calculus, and with my nearly 100 subjects offered, that is quite the statement. The reason is that I see so many students who have a fear of calculus, that it is some sort of alien entity in math. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you understand basic slope and area formulas, you can understand calculus. It is the most applicable of all higher math classes and the most misunderstood, which is why I love to help and set the record straight for it. Also, please note that I help with all levels of calculus, even multivariable and theoretical forms.
"Of all of the lessons we have had, that was the best one." As a full-time tutor who helps in virtually every area, I am often with students throughout their high school - and sometimes college - paths. That means I can see students for well over 100 times, and yet time and again, that statement comes up; of all those lessons, their favorite is the time we talk about planning out their futures. As I do have a diverse knowledge base, I am familiar with many jobs, including uncommon ones. By listening to students' strengths and weaknesses, along with what they like and do not enjoy doing, I am able to find options that they often have not even thought of. The joy of seeing someone find their calling when they didn't know it before is amazing and can be felt even in the air during those meetings.
As a full-time tutor, chemistry has been one of my more popular non-math subjects. As such, I have developed a unique skill set to help out those students. I do not claim to have much formal chemistry training, yet I have tutored it at even upper college levels. My ability stems from my adaptive nature, the ability to quickly comprehend an idea from a single example and my job at a biomedical laboratory for five years. At this stage, I am well-versed in most foundational areas, and I can use my strategies not only to help me understand the rest, but also divulge them to my students to help them better adapt in chemistry as well.
In addition to being a full-time tutor, I am also a programmer who uses the free tool known as Stencyl. I have created dozens of tutorials for the language, many have been recognized as being some of the best out there. Due to my specializing in one area though, I do not necessarily know the syntax of other languages. That said, I am still good at debugging programs as I know the logic flow of programming extremely well. I also am good with creating Excel macros and formulas if that aspect is desired.
As both a full-time tutor and a computer enthusiast, I have a diverse range of computer skills. For the past 15+ years, I have been building and upgrading my computer, including the motherboard itself. I also have formal training from college, including a computer science minor, giving me both programming and engineering knowledge. My mathematical knowledge also comes into play when handling the various equations involved.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of uncommon subjects, including differential equations. I find that a working knowledge of linear algebra - matrices - is extremely beneficial before going in as the second half will be using those matrices to solve the equations. For the first half, I find that a full understanding of the chain rule and how exponential functions work helps a lot.
As a full-time tutor with an emphasis on math, I have seen every math class. One of my most enjoyable classes to help with is discrete math. It is an introduction to the "mathematical" ways of thinking about the world and math itself. While it can see foreign at first, with a bit of help, it often makes sense. I have helped students who were generally weak at math pull off A's after they simply understood the thought process for the class, which is a real joy to see.
As an individual who was not gifted with artistic ability, I have had to develop those skills myself. I have a good understanding of a lot of the basics, and I am capable of helping both with digital and traditional mediums. If you are looking for advanced drawing help, all I can offer is detailed suggestions for where to improve as an art critic (I can point out the areas that are weak and suggest improvements, but I cannot really teach how to actually do them).
One of my first students when I became a full-time tutor had dyslexia, and I helped him from middle school through high school graduation. Besides him, I have had a couple of other dyslexic students, and I have found that patience is the most critical aspect to have. There are some techniques that one can use to help out with dyslexia specifically, and I do employ those, but in my experience the biggest benefit is to let them learn at their own rate or slowly try to speed them up in a natural manner.
As a full-time tutor, the times I enjoy most are when I am teaching things of practical importance. One subject that has that in droves is economics, which is basically the study of human psychology applied to money. Topics like Nash Equilibrium really highlight just how the human mind works. Furthermore, many of the microeconomics topics can be applied to everyday life.
As a full-time tutor who helps with all ages, I have had a good number of younger students. When I am working with elementary ages, I find that keeping them engaged is the first priority. However, I am one who rarely does true "games" with them; instead, I try to find ways to use what they are learning in creative ways to make it more fun to learn.
For example, with one elementary student, we did the "four 4s" challenge to make the numbers 0-10 using four 4s. After that, she was so tired of 4s that she didn't want to see any more 4s… so I made her a bunch of problems that had no 4s, but all made a 4 in the answer. We were both almost on the floor laughing.
As a full-time tutor, I have seen every level of math, including elementary students. I find that negatives are often one of the hardest things to understand, so I find unique ways to explain them to students. Fractions and decimals are other issues, so I have developed my own techniques to help students understand those too, such as an "extended triangle" for fractions.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped a lot of English students over the years, with both writing and reading. As an author myself, I know the struggles of writing a full-length novel, and I have a grasp on how to keep writing even when one hits a writer's block. I can also help with grammar, spelling, form, annotations, and any other area of English.
As a full-time tutor, I find a lot of students from other countries. While many of them have spent a sizable amount of time in the US, others are still relatively recent immigrants or otherwise do not have a strong English knowledge. Helping out those students has refined my skills in ESL as I patiently help them explain how different English "isms" work (or similar challenges). In addition, my fiancee is from Kyrgyzstan, giving me much more personal experience with helping her with her ESL skills.
As a full-time tutor, the topic of history comes up from time to time. In fact, that "time to time" is my approach to history. There is no isolated event in history; every action has a consequence, and viewing time as a flow through history allows for a much more dynamic view. For example, instead of just memorizing details about the Black Plague, I encourage students to understand rationally how each event led into the next.
Before I was a full-time tutor, I worked as a business analyst - and I still do as a side job. One of the primary areas that business want to analyze is their finances, looking for where they are losing money or could otherwise gain more money. This has given me much practical finance knowledge on top of having tutored it for several students and my business minor in college.
In addition to my work as a full-time tutor, I have worked at an accounting firm, helping businesses and individuals manage their accounts and taxes. I was responsible for finding a whole slew of accounting errors in old accounts and fixing them accordingly. I also have strong knowledge of the stock and bond markets, having been an active participant since I was 15. I can even bring my financial analysis from my work in mergers & acquisitions to the table to help students understand how the accounting practices can affect buyouts in real life.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped with GED several times. However, my far greater experience has come from my volunteering at Grace Centers of Hope for their GED program. For three years now, I have been going weekly to help out and have seen every aspect of the GED from there.
As a full-time tutor, I handle a lot of alternative subjects, one being general computer knowledge. I have helped with areas such as email, Microsoft Office, building computers, learning keyboard shortcuts, organizing files, creating macros, etc. If it is something related to computers, I likely know it and have taught it to someone.
As a full-time tutor, genetics has come up a number of times. As a mathematician, I love Punnett Squares and calculating probabilities. However, my greatest knowledge of genetics actually came from my sister, who bred rabbits for specific types & colors. She taught me all that she knew... and she was one of only two individuals in the world with a certain combination. Thus, my practical knowledge is far beyond what is in most high school or similar courses.
When many think about geography, they think of only locations. However, for a true geography buff, the idea that geography is only locations is a real shame. It's a far richer topic. Of course location matters, but so does the culture, the climate, the history, the people, the size, the GDP/GNP, the natural resources... the list goes on. As a tutor who tries to learn about the world as much as possible, I have a lot of knowledge about the various locations across the world and do my best to constantly know more. That means while I know the locations, I also know many other details to give a more complete geographic lesson.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of math classes, and geometry is no exception. Not only do I know the topics covered in geometry classes, but I have also helped with their college variations, such as the abstract class - geometric structures. My personal favorite shape is the parallelogram as there are so many ways to slice it to form different proofs.
As a full-time tutor, I have seen a lot of grammar students. Many of them do not know what the idea of 'form' even is, and while it's a shame, I understand why. 'Grammar' is the list of rules to follow when writing, and although there are exceptions, they are mostly clear-cut. However, 'form' lacks any unified approach, focusing instead on the idea of what makes a good paper, such as a strong hook, proper flow, and parallel structure. I can help with both areas as I am also an author in my spare time.
As a full-time tutor, I have seen a lot of situations over the years. While I do not get many who have a hard time hearing, my diverse background helps me to help them. I have had many lessons where I have said very few words; instead, I use my writing and my visual cues to communicate the lesson. I also have a background in sign language, which I can use although I will admit I am rusty in it.
As a full-time tutor who specializes in math, I have seen linear algebra - a.k.a. matrix algebra - several times over the years. When I worked at a biomedical lab, I even gave a lecture on the topic. I also know of alternative ways to do some calculations, such as determinants and the Reduced Row Echelon Form. I find that many students are surprised when they learn that the complicated-looking equations are actually sensible after one understands what the subscripts actually mean.
Logic is a diverse field. For different subjects, it can mean different things. In discrete math, it means deductive reasoning. In programming, it is the flow of commands. In philosophy, it is the one aspect to the study of knowledge. For the normal person, it's the idea of common sense. Regardless of the style of logic you want help with, I've seen it and helped with it and look forward to aiding you as well.
As a full-time tutor, accounting is a subject that comes up each year. I have helped numerous students with the managerial side of accounting, that is accounting for a firm. I can help with statement creations & analysis, journals, and how to use QuickBooks. I also have practical knowledge from my work at an accounting firm, where I went through files to find - and fix - errors, some of which were years old.
"So how many of you thought there wasn't going to be any math in marketing?" Those were the words from my marketing professor when she began the class. The reality is that marketing is somewhat of a hybrid of statistics & psychology, two areas I am very familiar with. While I may not have a lot of direct marketing knowledge, I can help a lot with the extra details that often make the marketing classes challenging.
In addition to being a full-time tutor, I am also a programmer and a business analyst. I often put all three together to help companies learn how to be more efficient using Excel. I have made macros that can automate most tasks, and even when I am not using macros, I can still use the majority of the functions Excel has to offer. Furthermore, I know how to teach those skills to anyone who needs them in ways that actually make sense.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped a large number of students with PowerPoint presentations, as well as Google Slides, Prezi, and others. Many think that a good presentation has a lot of words, when in fact the opposite is true. I tell my students to think of the slides as similar to note cards, with only the major notes written down. Add in some graphics and neat transitions, and one has the making of a good presentation. I also help with public speaking, so I can aid with the delivery as well.
When most talk about needing help with Windows, they need aid with organizing their files or finding programs. While I help with those areas, I can also take things a step further. Windows Powershell is an option within your computer that allows you to manipulate a large number of items at once. All it takes is knowing the syntax and what you want to do with those items. It's a handy tool for things such as changing all of the file names within a folder at once, regardless of how many items are in that folder. I also know practically every keyboard shortcut, and I can help with Macs as well.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped a lot of students with their papers, in addition to my own novel. As such, I have discovered most of the tricks that Word, Google Docs, and similar tools have to offer. My knowledge goes beyond just changing margins, fonts, orientation, and headings. I also know how to use more advanced functions, such as adding in symbols and charts, or replacing words automatically. I also know most of the keyboard shortcuts to make life easier.
One reason I became a full-time tutor was my fascination with knowledge. I enjoy finding solutions to problems of life to the point where I have even turned it into games. I find that philosophy is a combination of logic and English, two of my strongest subjects. There is logic as one must make a strong case for one's position, using deductive reasoning to show that one's conclusion is valid. To do that efficiently requires a solid writing ability so that the reader can follow along. I can help with both areas.
As a full-time tutor, I have helped with phonics several times, for different levels of learners, from kids to adults. When I was young, I had a lot of phonetic issues, so I understand the struggle. Now, I have a strong enough command over their use that I can change my voice style at will. My approach focuses on the pieces of language, learning both what each phoneme means (i.e. the roots) and what each sounds like, along with how adding in details (i.e. the "e" at the end of a word) can change how the sounds act.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of students who need physical science help. One of the ironies I often find is that while physical science often tries to "dumb down" physics to make it easier to understand, that very process is what makes it difficult. I know those formulas where the concepts come from and can explain them in a way that makes sense without requiring a lot of extra knowledge. A lot of students have seen a solid improvement from just understanding the concepts using the formulas as the foundation for the knowledge.
Physics is my most popular science class to help with. I have tutored at almost every level, including undergraduate calculus-based classes. My focus is on helping students understand the importance of units. I have seen some students take literally a page to do a problem when they could have done it in one step if they had just stopped to see how the units must work out. Beyond the units, I also do what I can to explain the rationale behind the formulas to show how the various equations relate to each other, making them simpler to understand.
I find poker to be one of the most underrated past-times. The most likely cause is simply that many do not understand it. While poker is all about gambling, there is far more skill to it than just luck. On one hand, there are the probabilities of getting a better hand than your opponents, calculations that must be carried out on the fly, but can be simplified to make them doable. The second aspect is reading one's opponents, which is where non-verbal cues are of utmost importance. Whichever area you need help with, I can provide that aid - or if you are a beginner just trying to learn the ropes, I can help you get your start and grow into the more advanced concepts.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of math problems, including prealgebra. I find that the transition to algebra is often compounded by a lack of a strong foundation in math basics. Thus, I often begin with topics such as negatives, fractions, decimals, and the order of operations to make sure the start is solid. From there, we dive into the algebraic concepts, such as how algebra is actually just that same "order of operations" done in reverse. Whatever the student sees, they should do the opposite in the problem. Thinking in those terms often helps smooth over the transition.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of precalculus students. Most assume that because the name is different that it will be a totally different class from previous years, but in reality, it is often taught as just Algebra 3. The concepts are an extension of what has been taught for years, and when students can truly grasp that detail, the class becomes much simpler. For the few new parts, I can introduce them based on the concepts they already know to make them easier to digest.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of questions about probability. One of the biggest challenges is just the difference between a permutation and a combination. The standard way of thinking of it is if "order matters", but for many students, that definition is not good enough. Instead, I suggest students think about the objects once they have been selected: can you mix up the results without changing the outcome? If so, then it is a combination; if it does change the outcome, then it is a permutation. For most probability topics, I can offer a different perspective to make more sense of the actual questions.
In addition to being a full-time tutor, I am also an author. I have written many nonfiction pieces, mostly help blogs and instructions, as well as a full fantasy novel. When it comes to proofreading, my goal is to improve the writing without destroying the original voice in it. I try to explain to students the reasons why I would make the changes and leave it up to them what to do.
I find that there are often two types of people who know psychology: those who are book smart and those seeking practical applications. I am in the second category. I do not focus on who came up with what idea but rather how understanding the material can help out the student. I look for uses instead of just memorization.
Before I was a full-time tutor, I had to overcome my own challenges of speaking in public and private. For me, what it took was a combination of testing myself - starting off in small areas - and a knowledge of English & communication skills. I can help you with either or both parts. I know how to break down the difficulties of shyness in ways that are far more manageable. I also can help you learn to communicate more effectively and speak more clearly.
When I began as a full-time tutor, I did not realize how many reading students I would get. Over the years, I have changed my approach to make it more dynamic. I first try to learn what the students like to read about or what may be of interest to them and then find - or sometimes create - pieces that will push them at their current level while making it enjoyable. I can help with both general word comprehension as well as understanding the deeper meaning of pieces.
As a full-time tutor, I have tutored for the SAT - particularly the math section - many times. I find that the no-calculator section is often a challenge for students who have grown up with a calculator in their hand, but as a tutor who almost never uses a calculator, I know many tricks for quick calculations and can offer those to students. That said, I know those calculators better than most people and can teach students how to fully utilize each button and option, including how to make their own programs for the test. I also know all of the math concepts themselves that come up.
As a full-time tutor, I have seen a lot of SAT students. My approach to the reading section is a bit unique. I have found it actually beneficial to start off with ACT reading practices instead to teach the foundations - speed, strategies, keywords, perspective, etc. - as those are often simpler to digest. I then transfer to the SAT to add in the extra concepts, such as vocabulary, evidence, and critical thinking. Of course, if it is desired that I focus entirely on the SAT, that is also an option; my goal is to set up a system that allows for students to best hone in their skills naturally.
In my case, the sheer amount of time I spent tutoring is my key to helping out with special needs students. As a full-time tutor, I have seen a lot of the more common challenges, such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, narcolepsy, learning disabilities, reading difficulties, speaking difficulties, excessive speed, and many others. It is often with these students that my patience and love of tutoring shines through the most as I am able to work with them, learning how they learn and working from there. My goal is often to help them work with their challenges, turning potential disabilities into room for growth - and sometimes even turning them around into newfound strengths. These skills are on top of formal training I have had, especially for ADD/ADHD students.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of spelling errors. Some of them are simple mistakes of just misjudging the writing of the word, whereas others are confusions between similar-sounding words, such as "than" vs. "then." Thus, my focus for spelling is to understand the roots of words; even just a knowledge of prefixes and suffixes can help immensely both with spelling and with understanding what the words mean, but I can go deeper than that if desired. Spellings often have a rich history and to understand that background can really grow one's skills.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of math, and one of my more common subjects is Statistics. Statistics is often broken down into two parts: probability and hypothesis testing. I can help with basically all levels of probability, from the simple one-event calculations to multiple dependent actions. I also know of multiple approaches to hypothesis testing, so I can tailor my explanations to make that seemingly-complex area make sense in ways that students can understand.
As a full-time tutor, one of the areas I help with the most is with study skills. With a wide variety of options and techniques, I reach students where they are and work with what they are currently doing to make it better. I have found that doing smaller changes - based on their own strategies - can help the student to "own" those changes, building up to much greater long-term improvements.
As a full-time tutor, I see a lot of math students, and trigonometry is one of my favorites to help with. It still amazes me how useful some simple length ratios can be, and I enjoy sharing that knowledge with students. I also bring my programming background to help. So many are surprised at how much trigonometry there is in a good video game; all of the angles for shooting, the physics for platforming, and even the speed the actors are moving at all come from trigonometry. Even the graphs of the functions are useful for making the music and sound effects! When students see the applications, it often becomes more "real" to them, helping them dig deeper into the subject.
As a full-time tutor and as a tutor of the SAT English sections, I have grown my vocabulary rather considerably. I also have training in the nature of prefixes, suffixes, and root structures that I can impart on students, which can make learning new words simpler. I also know of memorization techniques to help out in those circumstances when the root knowledge is not enough on its own.
I have tutored the history of most locations throughout the world in my 15+ years of tutoring. In addition to formal training in geography, cultures, history, and ancient knowledge, I also have first-hand access experience with those from other countries whom I have worked with over the years. While we live in a global society to begin with, I am one of the few I know of who goes out of my way to learn more about the other parts of the world, which has greatly broadened my knowledge basis.
In addition to my years of experience as a full-time tutor, I also have written a full novel and have had several shorter pieces published. I am known as one of the harshest graders of writing around; I know basically every major writing rule and how to apply it. I can tear a paper to shreds and explain each mistake along the way if that is what is desired. Once a paper passes my standards, though, the student will have a paper that is likely far beyond the previous "best" paper he or she ever wrote before.