1. Teach the tutor: I like to have students tell me what they know. This helps to build their confidence up. If there is a fallacy in their knowledge, we work to correct that in a positive manner.
2. Checking-in: How is the student feeling? Did they have a bad day at school? Did they rock their exam? Showing that a tutor cares helps to put the student at ease. Just taking a couple of minutes to check-in can make all the difference when a student is embracing material that is difficult to him/her.
3. Real World Homework: Why should I care about this? I hear this a lot. If you can connect the lesson to something that impacts the student on a regular basis, then it makes the concept more tangible to the student.
4. Smile, be Happy! The students don't need you to be in a bad mood. Many subjects are difficult as they exist already, and a tutor being in a bad mood can turn...
Rather than droning on about each subject in math at this point, I'm going to make a shift. I'm currently engaged in a conversation with a friend, and my most recent reply to him expresses my opinion on how math is being taught today:
...The beauty of math is something that I have seen most of my life, and it stands in my mind as one of my fundamental motivations for studying math.
As a person with that emotional tie to math, I realize that many students would find it difficult to identify with my assertion that math is beautiful. As a result, I often take a stance that might be a little self-protective, and offer an answer that seems to be weaker but more universal.
In short, some aspects of math are of universal benefit, such as the skill of basic calculation, or the benefits of mental exercise. There are some benefits that apply only to a portion of the population, such as the ability to factor polynomials, or to find missing sides of triangles...
Hi prospective student! It's important to be well-prepared for your first session.
First, let's talk on the phone to address your needs and then:
Make sure you bring your writing with you! I know that may sound silly, but sometimes we walk out of the house and forget the keys.
Make sure your writing is printed on a clean copy with 1 - 1.5 inch margins, double-spaced so I can make annotations. (If it's not, don't worry, but that's ideal.)
Use a serif font (i.e. Times New Roman, Georgia). If you don't know what this means, no worries; I'll explain it to you during the first lesson.
If you don't have any writing yet prepared and want me to help you get started, then bring a notebook. We can brainstorm.
If you do have a writing sample, bring a notebook anyway, so we can take notes. Depending on your needs, I may give you a little assignment that you can do on your own.
Be prepared to turn off your phone or at the very least put it...
I remember the moment clearly even now: Mrs S., brandishing the loose-leaf pages in front of my fourth-grade classroom, her wild-eyed look at odds with her precise hair and immaculate apple-printed skirt. I remember how I had quietly slipped the papers into tray of finished homework, how I had felt somehow embarrassed by the inked words. I remember her words: "Julie is going to be a famous writer someday!" And I remember the feeling: elation, pride, and a stark wonder that someone believed in me this much.
Now, years later--after a college degree in Creative Writing and a few published pieces in literary journals--I think back on the powerful impact that Mrs. S. had on my writing. I was an extraordinarily shy student. English had been my second language, and I had been shuffled through ESL classes all throughout my early elementary school years. But for me, English was not a hardship—it was a refuge. I lost myself in books, and found myself in paper and pen...
I always felt that when you are tutoring, you have to inspire the person you are helping. If you can, they will then put out so much more effort to learn. Some students are hard to inspire because they have had bad learning experiences that made them dislike school or a particular subject. I understand how easy it is to lose interest in a subject as I have through sciences but when I met the right teacher, I was suddenly hooked and more focused than ever before.
I try to do this whenever I tutor someone. So ask yourself. Can I inspire someone today? I am sure you can. We can be inspirations for education.
When I was taking business courses online with American Military University, the first course requirement was to read Learn More Now: Ten Simple Steps to Learning Better, Smarter, and Faster by Marcia Conner. The book breaks down the process of learning in an easy to understand way. This is more than a reading assignment, it is a journey of discovery. Discover your personal motivation for learning, what type of learner you are, study strategies, and how to think like a teacher.
Conner includes tips for learning, details on how nutrition, exercise, senses, and scents affect focus. For example, the scent of peppermint could enhance focus during your next study session!
You can pick up a copy at Amazon or search your local library.