Nevada State College
I am Cristina K. When I was a student, my favorite teacher told me one day: “everything is difficult before it is easy.” I didn’t get it right away, but in time it became more and more clear for me that difficult materials are easy to learn or memorize when I understand them or when I make a correlation between them. I try to be logical, and any material that I find difficult to understand, I organize in my notebook. And I discovered something else very important for me at that time: in order to learn math, I need paper, pencil, a math book and my brain to begin solving math problems. It’s not that hard and the rest is an on-going learning process.
Today, I believe that algebra is one of the most critical courses that students take in high school. Because algebra involves a new way of thinking, many students find it especially challenging. However, many parents also find it an area where they have the most trouble helping their high school age children. From my own experience, I noticed that perseverance in algebra pays off because those who master algebra in high school are much more likely to succeed in college in general. I feel that because I have a sound knowledge in psychology and science, I easily detect issues when students find themselves having difficulty understanding and solving problems.
I help my students by teaching them how to think, and how to approach the problem. I work with them step by step, from the beginning to the end. I explain that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and I give them confidence to succeed. My students know that I am there for them when they need me. It takes time and a lot of practice to build knowledge. I teach my students the habit of turning a problem over in his/her mind, choosing an approach, and then working through a solution. I’m not saying this is easy; it takes time and sustained effort---a lot of work---but at the end of the tunnel the student will see the light, and it will be worth it.
I feel my students are more secure and well-prepared on the material; the parents are happy because their child is a good student, and I, as a tutor, know that my work has accomplished our goals and the results will make a difference in my student’s life.
At the end, I go back to what one of my teachers told me: that “everything is difficult before it is easy,” not only in math, but in life too. I understand that I am where I am today because I was lucky to have him as a teacher. I am happy today because I see my students happy, and I know that I did a good job and taught my students to be achievers. And this is what both of us will have learned from math and from our teachers.
I am Cristina K. When I was a student, my favorite teacher told me one day: “everything is difficult before it is easy.” I didn’t get it right away, but in time it became more and more clear for me that difficult materials are easy to learn or memorize when I understand them or when I make a correlation between them. I try to be logical, and any
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