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Hi again, I thought I had secured students to tutor in Ormond Beach, Florida. I never did hear back after the initial contact. Maybe this blog post will clear things up a little. The first lesson is free of charge. Here is what to expect during the first lesson: I will meet the student and gather information from the student or the student's parent. I will need to know what textbooks the student is using etc. This first lesson is just a meeting so we can have a face-to-face first time meeting about the tutor/student relationship and agree whether or not to proceed. This first consultation visit is free. I am looking forward to meeting with you. Have a great day, Mark S.

I understand some parents are cagy or wary of online tutoring. After all - schools teach face-to-face, don't they? But, have you noticed how online services are exploding and brick/mortar schools are slowly but steadily disappearing? The internet is no longer the future - it is here - now! Online tutoring brings multiple advantages for everybody. 1. Very, very flexible. The student can be anywhere. At school on lunch break - Overseas - Broken leg in bed - sorry. 2. Nobody needs to drive in crazy traffic and risk an accident. 3. The student has immediate access to my Mac with thousands of topics - explanations and worked solutions.  4. You get copies of the work we did together for review / better understanding. Smart phone or PC! No lost paper notes. 5. Online we share screens and audio in real-time just as if we were sitting at the same table. 6. Can cancel and reschedule at the last minute. In-person carries a 24-hour minimum. 7. Class... read more

Tonight I met with one of my students, who is in 6th grade, and we are working together to tackle proper essay structure.    This can be a tough issue for students, especially the really creative ones. These are the students that are FULL of ideas, and all of them are equally good, so why can't they just put them all into one essay or story? Trust me, it's not easy to kill your darlings, but it must be done (until you get a blog, of course).    In general, all essays, or even stories should be structured in a similar fashion: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Or, a beginning, a middle, and an end.    The introduction will include the visuals, the details to get the reader completely hooked into the story. If this is an analytical essay, the introduction will include the argument, or the point you're trying to prove.    Next comes the body, or the middle of the essay/story. This will typically be the longest... read more

The complaints against WyzAnt’s 40% commission demands a response. Suppose a tutor with 15 hours of work time through WyzAnt charges $40 an hour. Of that amount, WyzAnt will automatically deduct $16. This deduction is based on WyzAnt’s commission rate, which is 40% for the first 20 hours of work time. So the tutor is not earning $40 an hour; rather, the tutor is earning $24 an hour. According to a number of individuals, WyzAnt’s 40% commission rate is too high, way above average. Some folks, oddly enough, have even posted complaints on other websites. Why? Here's some food for thought. 1. Twenty-four dollars an hour is higher than any state’s hourly minimum wage. 2. You can create your website for tutors and charge a lower commission. 3. If you tutor for an hour you will be paid $24. 4. If you don’t tutor for an hour you will not be paid $24. 5. Twenty-four dollars is more than zero dollars. 6. You don’t have to stay with WyzAnt, but before you leave... read more

I've been asking students the following question for years: "Why do you show so little work, and where are you completing the problem?" Most students I have worked with write less down than I do, and I have quite a bit of math under my belt. I still have not found the answer to this question. Some students say it’s because they don’t see the point, but they have been cheated if teachers have given them credit for answers without work. As math gets complicated there is more and more work that needs to be done, and if a student has bad habits of doing mental math, then this will be a hindrance to success. These are things that all students of higher mathematics should do: 1. Write the original problem down. When solving problems you want to make sure that you are staring at the actual problem. You don't want to look at your paper and then back to the book or sheet of paper that the problem is on. 2. Show your work just like your teacher does when they are introducing... read more

It's hard for students to understand that taking the SAT is not only about solving the problems at hand. It's about solving as many problems correctly as you can in a small window of time. To do well on the SAT you have to know some of the tricks of the trade. You only have an allotted amount of time and you should spend that time wisely. Here are some basic strategies I give to students: 1. Don't get stuck on any 1 problem. SAT penalizes for wrong answers. 2. Eliminate answers when you can. 3. For questions that involve equations of graphs, use your calculator. 4. Show all of your work so that you can check it over quickly and move on. 5. Decrease the amount of mental math you do and write your work down. 6. If you are working with questions, sometimes you can just plug in your multiple choice options to see which one works. 7. Label problems that you skip somehow, whether it is with the word SKIP or a big circle around the number so you can see it clearly... read more

Everyone has their own approach to writing. Some writers are very methodical throughout the entire writing process while others write freely and revise their way to the final draft. For proposals and admissions essays, a structured writing process draws from the strengths of both approaches. It starts with a creative focus and concludes with deliberate writing and revision. First, with the requirements and prompt in mind, the writer lets him or herself write and think freely. Second, the writer reviews his or her own notes and ideas to identify a cohesive focal point. Next, the writer distills the ideas into a concrete thesis and engages peers, friends, family, and instructors to develop and strengthen the arguments. Finally, the writer lays out the elements that support the thesis and backs it with specific examples or anecdotes. Creative Stage. In this stage, the writer thinks and writes freely but not chaotically. It starts with a careful review of the requirements laid... read more

If English is your second language and you would like another pair of eyes to review your final research paper prior to submission, please contact me. I'm available online, via email, and for those graduate students located in Central Florida, in person. I've assisted many nursing professionals, whose second language is English, to achieve an A on a final research project. My experience includes reviewing papers written for online graduate courses, papers written in group collaboration, rough drafts (minimum 5 pages with draft in-text citations and draft bibliography, plus copies of supporting research articles), and final research papers. I can consult with you at any stage during your research and writing process. I've even helped students breakthrough challenges such as writer's block and brainstormed ideas for research projects!   Sometimes writers feel overwhelmed and I can help by reviewing the professor's rubric, writing assignment criteria, and any email... read more

I am a new tutor so a few days ago when l received a response to one of my first applications, l was very excited. This "student" requested that we talk on phone to finalize the arrangements for date and time.   I told him since l was home on spring break, he could call me on my land line but he wrote back requesting my cell telling him that when l am at home reception is very poor on my cell phone.  He kept insisting on getting my cellphone instead, l was puzzled why.  I never heard back from him.   A day later l got an email from Wyzant that they had determined this not to be a true student inquiry.   I have not figured out yet what this fake student was after.   Can anyone tell me?   Just be aware. Christine M.

Well, okay, it's not incorrect, but it's flawed and by a mathematician's standards: morally wrong.   I'm sure at one point you boringly learned the order of operations. These are the set of rules that tell you whether you should do multiplication before division or addition before subtraction to get the correct answer on your math problem.  1) Parentheses (brackets) 2) Exponents x^x 3) Multiplication 2*2 4) Division 2/2 5) Addition 2+2 6) Subtraction 2-2 7) Get the right answer :)   Except, you don't always get the right answer.   For example: 8-2+1. Is it 5 because 8-3=5? Or is it 7 because 6+1=7?   Is 6/3/3 equal to 2/3 or 6/1?   The issue here is that focusing on the order of operations can lead to ambiguity and obscures the real beauty of mathematics.   A mathematician will tell you that 8-2+1 is actually 8+(-2)+1, which is unambiguously equal to... read more

I reserve the right to charge up to the full amount of a lesson or the amount of an hour-long session, whichever is the lesser, in the event of cancelled lessons less than 4 hours before the scheduled start time of the lesson.   Additionally, I reserve the right to charge this same cancellation fee for no shows. I consider no shows to be sessions where the student does not arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time without notice given 4 hours in advance.

A student needed to draw a circle with a 2" diameter, then draw the following angles: 100°, 120º, and 140º. She had her compass but didn't have her protractor.   First she drew the circle, then she drew 2 perpendicular diameters. Since a circle encompasses 360º, each quadrant comprising 90º. We drew the 120º angle first using an entire 90º quadrant plus 1/3 of the adjacent quadrant, erasing the unneeded line, which leaves 60º in that second quadrant.   Then we found the circumference of the circle (C=πD, or 3.14x2"=6.28"). Next we found 1/4 of the circumference (6.28"/4=1.57"). We wanted to be able find the arc length in 10º increments, so we divided the arc of one quadrant by 9 (1.57"/9=0.174"). We converted this into 1/16ths of an inch by multiplying by 16 (0.174"x16=2.79 sixteenths of an inch).   Getting back to our angles, we measured the 100º angle next by taking our remaining 60º and adding 40º of... read more

Online tutoring is definitely a great thing not only to take, but to teach. It allows you to be flexible with your schedule, you don't have to leave your home, and you save money on gas! However, there can be some downsides to online tutoring.  If you live with family, there can be distractions and background noise You may not be technologically savvy You may find some students would prefer tutoring in a face-to-face setting Even despite these setbacks, WyzAnt's online tutoring platform is an amazing way to interact with students. Here are some solutions to these issues: Make sure you have a designated "tutoring room" or quiet time during tutoring hours. Living with family, especially children, can be difficult. However, letting others know that you need silence, or having a designated room where there is little to no family traffic can help improve the quality of the session. Even if you are not technologically savvy, WyzAnt offers a... 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

You've purchased the latest and greatest of new digital cameras and have just come back from spending the day enjoying all those new features and taking great photos using Camera Raw. But when you insert the memory card and go to Import Dialog in Lightroom, all your thumbnails say, "Preview Unavailable For This File."   What's wrong?    Don't worry, it's not you. It's the Adobe Camera Raw Plug-In (ACR). Adobe updates the ACR plug-in on a regular basis, but never quite fast enough to keep up with every camera manufacturer's changes to their version of camera raw. So what happens is, Lightroom cannot yet read or see these new camera raw files.    What to do?   It's tricky, but not rocket science. Until Lightroom gets an updated version out that includes your new camera, you can download the Adobe DNG converter from the Adobe website that (hopefully!) includes your camera. The link is here - http://helpx.adobe... read more

As I have tutored over time via instant messaging, certain problems come up again and again among the students that I have taught English writing to.   As I have corrected student essays over the past few years online, I have developed this set of advice for writers with less experience.  Much of this advice is influenced by Strunk & White's and Payne, so I don't claim much originality here.   General organizational advice for essays: 1. Don’t take the reader’s attention for granted. In the introduction, use attention-getting devices, such as a set of leading questions, interesting statistics, a famous quote from a famous person, a striking assertion or claim, etc. The following sentences in the first paragraph should narrow down the topic to the more specific point made in the thesis. 2. Always put the thesis statement, or main point to be proven or explained, at the end of the first paragraph. Aim to write it as a single sentence, not two... read more

A Tutor should ideally have their own Series 7 Exam Prep materials for the exams that they teach. It is a little surprising to me when I hear that some series 7 tutors do not have their own Series 7 Exam Prep materials. I have spent the past several years developing materials for the series 7 exam and other licensing exams. It takes a lot of work but being a Series 7 Tutor and tutor for other licensing exams is my full time job. I am not even sure how you can do online meetings if you are using another prep provider’s materials. How would you show the students the content? When I conduct online meetings, I share a presentation with students via screen sharing. If the student and I are working on practice problems, the student sees my file containing practice problems. I have created close to 1000 questions for the series 7 exam and other licensing exams. If am teaching the content for the series 7 exam from a presentation, the student is looking at my presentation. I... read more

One question I just received on a different blog was how to handle the 4-star ratings that come up. No matter how good you are, someone will not be satisfied. I personally have received two 4-stars here on WyzAnt, one when I was just starting out, and one just today. For the 4-star early on, it was from a weekly student who only rated the very first meeting as a 4-star. When I learned it was him (either WyzAnt didn't let us see ratings back when I began or I just hadn't figured out how), I approached him about it at the end of our next meeting. One thing I've learned in life is to ask questions instead, so I simply inquired as to why the first lesson was a 4-star to him. He thought back and couldn't really remember why; the session had gone well to him, and he couldn't remember anything in particular that went wrong; he simply thought that 4-stars was still "good". When I explained to him that it wasn't really how things worked on WyzAnt, how only 5-stars is "good"... read more

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