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This is advice that I always give to my students for the in-person classes that I teach. In order to excel in any subject that one is learning, it is important that you do the following: Go to class every day. Missing classes (whether they are in-person or online) is missing opportunities to learn! Do your homework. Complete the assignments that you are given. Instructors give assignments not to torture you, but to help reinforce what you learned in class. Remember, practice makes perfect. Practice what you've learned everywhere that you can. This is especially important for language learners. Read, write, and speak the language that you are learning at home and work. Take the extra time to make "self-assignments" and use what you know. Practice helps you progress faster. Keep a journal of what you learned. Learning journals are a wonderful tool as you can use them for both note-taking and motivation. Start by making a few short notes about what you... read more

There has been a lot of research on this in recent years, but I have also seen it personally.  I am a female engineering student and the unconscious biases are very evident.  Several girls I tutor have been told growing up that they do not need math, they are not good at math,  the careers for girls don't involve math.  Girls tend to then criticize their performance a lot more than the boys because they are looking for that reason why all the things they have been told are true.  Most of the time in these situations, girls realize to get into the career they want they have to take at least one upper level math course and this scares them.  They think they are incapable of completing the problem.  If you don't think you can you never will. These girls have been prepared just as much as their counterparts, yet with their lack of confidence they perform lower in upper level courses.  It has been a struggle for me as a tutor because I can teach material,... read more

Well, hello! My name is Sarah and I just joined the WyzAnt Community as a tutor in the Roanoke and surrounding areas. Teaching is my passion; whether it be in the pool, on the slopes, or in the classroom. I truly believe learning can be fun and enjoyable, if you have the right teacher!   When I was younger, I hated going out in the deep end of the ocean. As I grew up and learned to become a stronger swimmer, I realized how much I enjoyed the ocean (and, even swimming out far!). Believe it or not, one of my first jobs in high school, which carried me throughout college, was lifeguarding, teaching swimming lessons and water aerobics. Isn't it funny how learning a new skill can give you the confidence you need to succeed, and even flourish?!   The same thing happened to me on the slopes. I'll never forget the first time my family and I went on our first ski trip. I was so excited to learn how to ski. After taking lessons all day and, of course, enjoying the hot... read more

Lately I've realized just how stressful economics can be, particularly for students with English as a second or third language. Trying to explain utility and utils to someone a few days ago, all I could think about was my own AP Econ professor, with his southern drawl, and a look he reserved for confused students.  Someone would ask a question. There'd be a pause. Wearing his varsity football coach jacket, he'd sigh, and make eye contact with whoever had asked the question. Then, it was more like he was looking at you for something in particular - did you really not understand the concept, or were you confused by how the word was being used? Different questions would require very different answers.    As a student who was frequently confused with the use of terms in a different context than I was used to, I hated that look. For the first month of classes, I was convinced he hated me, and that I was going to fail miserably. Every time we got a test or quiz... read more

I used to be a quiet person who didn't like to talk in front of a group of people for fear of making a mistake and having them laugh at me.  Luckily, I learned from my high school basketball coach that making mistakes is a good thing, and nothing to be ashamed about.  "How can it be a good thing?" I wondered.     She told me that my fear of making mistakes was paralyzing me, so much so that I was not allowing myself to try new things and new approaches.     Many of my international students come to me with the same fears.  They are too ashamed of their limited spoken English, preferring to sit and listen, rather than try new situations and challenge themselves.  My goal with any new student is to help them understand, the same way my basketball coach helped me to understand, that they are free to make as many mistakes as they can when they are with me. Together, with my guidance, they will learn from their mistakes and... read more

Anxiety is naturally occurring and an inexhaustible part of being human. It's more or less like the hair on our heads, because just as with anxiety, it too has to be managed. The reason for this is essentially because any form of anxiety or stress produces subtle forms of paralysis. Not physical paralysis per say, but feeling overwhelmed can stop anyone from pursuing a dream right in its tracks. This undermines success and it also undermines one's ability to lead one's own life with confidence. Never was this more apparent in my life than when I started to have what is called the "yips." The "yips" occurs when a baseball player cannot throw the baseball accurately. I developed the "yips" in high school and carried it with me for many years. Although I did improve over time, I knew that my condition was not fully healed, because I was not throwing the baseball with the same confidence I had before the onset of this condition. However, I was able to... read more

At school there will always be pressure to conform, but the student who stands out as a leader is the one who not only knows him or herself completely and is comfortable in that knowing, but is also courageous enough to set a standard of behavior by good example.  My beautiful blonde niece goes to a snobby school, but instead of being in a clique, she gravitates toward the shy underdog.  Now she is seen as a leader, one who is compassionate and helpful.  Now the popular kids gravitate to her!  So take time to know and like yourself, and to see yourself as a leader, not a follower.

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