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I specialize in teaching essay structure and style. When I began tutoring, I had a vague idea that I'd work with college students like the friends for whom I'd proofread during university: young Americans who've grown up in a public school system which emphasized group work over individual learning, and who therefore never got a chance to develop their writing skills. I've certainly worked with students from a background very much like this. However, I've also had the pleasure of building a strong ESL clientele. At this point, I've spent enough time with ESL students to have made some observations about the nature of ESL learning and the way it is discussed. I'm certainly no expert, but by now I am a reliable dilettante. I speak with the authority of firsthand experience. From that vantage, I'd like to address one mistake which is frequently made in conversations about ESL learning. It is a very serious mistake and I have to believe that it muddles teachers' thinking considerably... read more

I want to know if 1 hour of tutoring is more effective than 2 hours of tutoring at 1 tutoring session? In my opinion, I believe that 2 hours of tutoring in 1 tutoring session because I can focus on more teaching and instruction without looking at the clock. The parents said that 2 hours is overwhelming for 1 student. Break it up to 1 hour of tutoring at a time. Also, the commute. I don't believe in traveling for 2 hours for 1 hour of tutoring and weather climate.

The subject of Chemistry need not be complicated. My experience is teaching chemistry to nursing and engineering students some of which never had a chemistry course. The basic skills with units of measurement, conversion factors, as well as math background, are extremely important. The issue with conversion math is the area where most students have difficulty, since the math issue carries through to more advanced problem solving. I approach chemistry conversions with specific rules for each problem type. The units must be used with each step. The use of WEB resources and other books other than the student's text can also reinforce my approach to solving chemical problems, which can be used in between sessions with students.

I've seen many ads recently in which parents were looking for some tutors for the 4th, the 3rd, and the 2nd grades. As you may have heard, there are curriculum books available from the Barnes and Noble for each grade. Those book show and tell how to solve one problem or another. In my experience as a tutor, those books are liked by kids as they are common core compatible. There goes my buck; however, connecting parents with appropriate resources is a part of this tutor's job.

Meta-cognition is thinking about thinking, and higher levels tend to be associated with intelligence and - in the parlance of the times - high income and job satisfaction. So, to keep things simple: if you think that you might struggle with learning concepts in statistics or research methods, then get in touch with a tutor early. It's important to establish some type of relationship so you can evaluate their style, methods, and how likely it is that you'll be successful within their approach. If you wait too long, or right before an assignment is upon you, you may be stuck with a limited number of tutors that you are forced to work with.    Prevention through establishing early contact will help you iron out details, assess a match in learning and tutoring styles, and prepare for mastering any difficult concept.   Don't wait - contact tutors before it's too late!

Welcome, 2016!   As the New Year rolls around, it's always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2016 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here's a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead. Individuals For 2016, more than 50 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion. For 2016, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2015, but tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, "Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2016," below. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Exemption amounts for the AMT, which was made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA)... read more

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, in concert with the enactment of the Health Care and Education Tax Credits Reconciliation Act of 2010, resulted in a number of changes to the US tax code. As such there are a number of tax implications for individuals and businesses. Individuals Healthcare Exchanges   Healthcare Exchanges, which are also referred to as Health Insurance Marketplaces, officially opened for enrollment on October 1, 2013. Some of these exchanges are run by the state in which you reside. Others are run by the federal government. Individuals (including self-employed) who do not currently have insurance or buy insurance on their own can use these marketplaces to buy insurance, which becomes effective January 1 of each year. When you get health insurance through the Marketplace, you may be able to get the new advance Premium Tax Credit that will immediately help lower your monthly premium. Individual Mandate Starting... read more

Have you ever received a graded essay handed back with the phrase, "Needs more structure," or "structure needs work?"   Creating a structure for any written word, whether it is poem, essay, news brief, or novel, is an integral part of the message you intend to convey. Using long, convoluted sentences as means to convince the reader that your argument is very simple will usually only give the opposite impression; simple arguments are best conveyed with short, simple sentences. (For example, the opposite is true in Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," in which he uses didactic and complex language in an effort to "convince" the people of England that the solution to their hunger and poverty problem is to eat their starving infant children; his complex sentences reflect the sarcastic and satiric nature of his essay, reflecting that he does not see cannibalism as a real solution.)   Structure also helps you keep... read more

Some of us come with a knack to program computers and with little effort we can get the computer to work for us. On the other hand, some of us don't have a clue how to even get started. We may dread the errors that computer programs give such as "Compile error: undefined variable used," or we may be indifferent to anything computer programming related.   I will attempt to unpack the knowledge that has intrigued some of you into simpler and more understandable concepts. Let me start by stating that this series of blog posts is by no means a complete course on how to program a computer. However, I will give you the basics that you need to create simple computer programs. I will also give it to you in easy digestible pieces so it will not be too overwhelming. This way you can impress yourself and others with your newfound knowledge.   So you may ask yourself the question: "How do we bridge the knowledge gap?" I agree. Computers are getting... read more

An article on math education in the NY Times (July 23, 2014) wrote this about our teacher quality and resulting education: " In addition to misunderstanding math, American students also, on average, write weakly, read poorly, think unscientifically and grasp history only superficially." I would like to focus on my area of English: writing and reading. The article discussed teacher training and techniques to improve teaching results. I would like to add that for us tutors also, techniques to present our subjects are critical to help students. Some tutors are former or current professional teachers; others may be retired people from business, housewives earning extra money, college students, or even working professionals in various fields. It's fine to teach business skills to graduate students if you are an executive, swimming to children if you are a swimming coach, or history to high schoolers if your major is history. Yet, simply tutoring in your major field may not be... read more

In remembering some suggestions from my teachers and professors, I thought I might submit the following, as it is my desire that my students get the most out of their tutoring experience. I believe that teachers and tutors provide a service that is beyond price, and I believe that it is a worthwhile investment on the part of the student, I think there is also a way to maximize what is obtained. Here are my suggestions for getting the most from your tutoring experience: 1. If you find yourself completely overwhelmed by work and other commitments, think of reducing some of your load before seeking a tutor. Make sure you have time to spend with family, doing work things, working out, enjoying entertainment, and all, so that studies don’t take over your life. Plus, if stress is only going to serve to cloud your focus on your studies, you’ll just be wasting your money to hire a tutor. 2. If you find the subject to be especially difficult, often, you can audit... read more

  For those of you who may have purchased Apple's spiffy $79 external CD/DVD burner (or Superdrive as they call it), it may not have worked when you plugged it into your older Mac. A lot of times a person's built-in optical drive fails, and they see the new external at the Apple Store. They naturally grab one assuming it'll work because they'll be using it with a Mac. Hopefully there's a "Genius" selling it to them who's going to ask which Mac they plan on using it with. I'd think probably not. It turns out it's only the fairly newer Macs that support it. When you plug it in, your older Mac might very well inform you that "This Apple External CD/DVD drive is not compatible with this Mac. Please go to Apple Support to read more." What they show you is a compatibility matrix that seems to makes no sense. I haven't compared every spec of every Mac they list, but 2009 seems to be the general cutoff.   Perhaps Apple requires USB 3, and... read more

When designing your manufactured product, you never forget to work on the process selection. The same applies when designing your app or your computer programming project. The designers of applications such as Twitter, Angry birds, Uber or the Wyzant application you are currently accessing engaged in their process selection work in order to give us these fine products.   As a major in computer science and a professional who develops anything from Android applications, websites, and client server applications, I have learned that a good software product is not good because it works but it has to meet the requirements too.    Process selection refers to the strategic decisions involved in choosing the production process to have in your production environment. Sometimes, this is already chosen for you when working on a school project. However, when working in real industry and creating your own Android apps or iPhone apps, you need to choose your own... read more

If you're going in for a tech interview here are some things tech interviewers are watching out for -. 1. Your interest in tech 2. How well you innovate a solution to a problem 3. Creative thinking 4. Analytical thinking 5. Your willingness to learn. 5. Your communication skills - think out loud. Don't jump into the solution Discuss your design. Come up with your own tests to break your code.. 6. Don't be a jerk, and Don't get defensive! 7. Your response to curve balls. 8. Your attitude - Have fun. if you're not having fun with code, the computer is probably not going to make an extra effort to cheer you up! 9. Your ability to work within a team.

There is no such thing as someone who doesn't get math. Instead, it is the teacher who "does not get how to teach math".   I have come across many very good teachers, and the thing that differentiates them from the less amazing ones is this: they do not have a single "tried and true" method. The teachers who do have this type of "tried and true" method always find problem students, and those students get discouraged. However, those students need to know it is not their fault.   When teaching Multivariable Calculus this past semester, which is infamous for failing engineering students at Cornell, my fellow teachers came from different backgrounds. The less experienced ones would always complain about their students "not getting it" and it was because the teachers themselves did not understand the material to a depth that they could explain the math in multiple ways to students.   In my experience, I have... read more

1-4-2015 Happy New Year! As I begin this New Year, I am pondering what this year will bring. So I asked myself several questions: 1) How can I maximize my efficiency so my students get the maximum benefit? 2) How can I streamline the process of learning so the learning curve is greatly reduced? 3) How can I increase my communication efficiency so that my students not only grasp a concept, but retain the knowledge and put it into practice immediately. These are questions that demand answers. As anyone who examines my profile can attest, my main focus is on teaching the ASVAB test. A majority of my students have successfully passed my course and successfully passed the ASVAB test and are now in the military. Getting these students to pass the ASVAB is a daunting task. Why? well to begin with much of the prior learning that they (should) have attained has been forgotten by the time they come to the test. The most common... read more

Many students encounter test anxiety during the course of their studies in school. I once had a middle school student ask me to sign a contract that I would not put long division on an upcoming test. He brought me the contract and supplied a witness to our contract. When I asked his mother about why tests stressed him out she said he had always been like that. The family never put pressure on him; he did it to himself. There are many causes of test anxiety including the fear of failure, lack of preparation and a history of doing poorly on tests. Sometimes parents put pressure on students and sometimes, as I noted, students put pressure on themselves. Symptoms of test anxiety may be physical, such as headaches and shortness of breath, emotional, such as feelings of anger and helplessness, or behavioral such as trouble concentrating and negative thoughts. There are many techniques to overcome test anxiety. My favorite is deep breathing exercises taken from yoga... read more

This is what I know about online sessions that work.    1) The student should have a webcam and microphone (of course many of them are the same 'device').   2) WyzAnts online platform is great but has some limitations.      A) The platform seems to work best with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.      B) There is no Apple (Mac) support      C) I can only have a session with one student at a time. This doesn't work with my ASVAB classes.   3) I use Skype. It has support for all the browsers people have asked for so far. Many students already have accounts. A potential deal breaker would be that Skype doesn't include a blackboard facility.   4) I, and my students, have installed the free version of Idroo. This is an add on to Skype that provides the blackboard we use.   This is what works for me. If a student has another request I usually honor it but we find... read more

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