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We often cringe at the idea of having to deal with math and the problems that learning mathematics presents. However, one of the only ways to learn math is through repetition. Math is unlike other subjects because it involves a great amount of detail and effort. Math works when you repeat the process of learning and application over and over again. It is not impossible to learn math but it is going to take discipline to learn. The best way is to get those hands dirty and grind it out. 

  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 I worked for Kaplan, they required all private tutoring lessons to be two hours. That surprised me because I thought of lessons as one-hour affairs. However, I soon discovered that we could get through a lot more in one two-hour lesson than we could in two one-hour lessons. Why? For starters, each lesson always starts with a few pleasantries and takes a couple of minutes to get going. Furthermore, it usually takes 15 minutes or so for students' minds to warm up and perform at their best. So by the time we are at our best flow, if the lesson is only one hour together, we have often used a quarter to a third of our lesson time. In my experience, I've found that 90 minutes works well for most students (exceptions: young students, and students who begin tutoring very close to their test date). With 90 minutes, we can go through the warm up period and spend more than an hour at our most productive level. And 90 minutes isn't so long that it strains students' attention... read more

A conjunction is one of those words that can be kind of elusive. First off what is it? Well, a conjunction is a word that provides context and lends emphasis to the parts of a sentence. Often they connect two sentence clauses with the help of punctuation, or "set up" the meaning of a particular kind of clause. Some conjunctions are coordinating meaning they link two closely related independent clauses. They add slightly different meaning to each clause and coordinate the reader's understanding. Examples of coordinating conjunctions include: and, but, yet, or, nor, for, so. Other conjunctions are subordinating which means they connect an independent clause to a dependent clause. These conjunctions imply a particular relationship between the two clauses. Examples of subordinating conjunctions are: because, since, so that, although, though, after, before, while, if, unless, as if, as though. By recognizing the purpose of these parts of speech, you... read more

As we get closer and closer to the end of the academic year, a lot of math students will be studying for exams.  Some of these tests are comprehensive exams that cover everything from day one to the day before the test.  I believe that as tutors, we need to help those we teach with ditching old, faulty study habits in favor of successful, incremental approaches.   What is the biggest bad study habit you might ask? Cramming...   Cramming, at best, will help students remember the material the day of the test and promptly forget it the next or, at worst, actually degrade their academic performance.     Researchers at UCLA have found that excessive "cramming" actually makes students perform worse on average than those who adopted daily study habits.  This was published in the Journal of Child Development in 2012.  In another study conducted by in 2011, the average student who crammed for the exam only passed... read more

WyzAnt allows you to use their custom-built tutoring platform for online lessons. I have found this far superior to Skype, and comparable to many commercial, expensive web meeting platforms, and it's specifically designed for tutoring. While there are many features, and WyzAnt's materials cover them extensively, I want to point out something I've used that has greatly benefited my own use and, I hope, the experience of my students.    I own a Wacom Intuos graphics tablet, which I bought to annotate screencasts for a statistics app that I'm developing. A use case I didn't intend was online tutoring. WyzAnt's platform has a whiteboard with the ability to create objects, drop in files, add text, even Wolfram|Alpha output, to a screen both parties can see. However, the freehand drawing function looks very ugly if used with a mouse: it resembles a child's chicken scratch. Not exactly the professional look you want as a tutor.    Using a graphics tablet... read more

My goal as a tutor is somewhat paradoxical: I want to lose my job. In the best possible way, of course: I help my students develop skills that make my services  unnecessary.  it doesn't matter how confused a student is when they come to me, I know that with some instruction, reinforcement and encouragement, any student can develop the study and self-advocacy skills necessary to do well in their classes, on their own. One of the most powerful study skills in their new arsenal is notes.   Notes have incredible power to not only help a student complete their homework, better understand the content, and remember their lessons.  Note taking skills can be built up in layers to address these goals.   Layer one: My notes help me do my homework because they are organized and thorough.   One thing my students struggle with is the misperception that their notes need to look exactly like their teachers' notes. This is particularly bewildering... read more

As a student, the one learning resource that you can always keep with you 24 hours a day is your textbook. And that makes the book your best friend, because it is always there to help you learn more. But some friends are hard to understand. Some don't speak English well, some whisper, and some are moody. So you might need an interpreter sometimes.   That's where your tutor comes in. The tutor gives you one-on-one attention, taking you step-by-step through the book to help you understand what the book is trying to tell you and what the book is asking you to do. Tutors slowly and patiently take you through the examples, even when your teacher can't.   Use your tutors to explain your lessons in ways that simplify the concepts and clarify ideas. Tutors can help break down problem-solving procedures for you in small, digestible steps. You'd be surprised how much easier things can be when someone skilled and patient gives you individual attention and shares their... 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

Making or designing a logo can be a difficult task for many-especially when you don't have the experience, or simply the patience to sit countless hours in front of the computer dealing with colors, layers, paths, etc. However, for all those who enjoy dedicating the proper time that goes into logo graphic design, it can be an absolutely rewarding experience. Actually, I just finished working on the logo that is going to be the face of my business for the next few years and I'm really happy with the results. It took a bit of research - watching tutorial videos, checking forums, and a whole lot of patience with myself and Photoshop. When designing a logo, artists/designers should consider a few things to accomplish this task in the least time possible and using the highest quality. The very first thing to consider is what the logo is going to represent for your company. Whether it is for a distant cousin's pig farm, or for a roller coaster company in Italy, the logo must be something... read more

General - All sessions are billed in 5-minute increments. - All sessions will be charged beginning at the scheduled start time, unless I am late, in which case, the session time will begin when I arrive and charges will be assessed accordingly. - If a session goes past the scheduled end time, you will be charged until the session is complete, in 5 minute increments. If you need a session to end “on time,” simply let me know. - If I choose to end a session early, for example, because we covered all the necessary material--or any similar event--then I will charge you for only the actual duration of the session, in 5-minute increments. - If you choose to end a session early, for any reason, you will be charged for the full scheduled session. - Unless otherwise agreed, all sessions will be schedule for 2 hours. For more explanation, see my TutorFAQs. - Sometimes, it is necessary for me to have my 6-year-old daughter with me when I tutor. She is very well-behaved... read more

I have been on WA now for several months (granted, through the summer months to start with), and although there were plenty of jobs that I would have accepted, I applied to several, and no one takes me up.  It is for any age Science, math, chemistry, physics, and I will also help with composition, English, etc  I get no one.  I double checked what makes a good job application, etc.  I double checked my profile. So is my price too high?  WA has not suggested nor given any guidance on any of these things, so I am asking you all. Thank you.

Story of one of my SAT student Wow! Student’s score bumped up by 90 points in 5 weeks tutoring only! I got very excited and thrilled when I saw one of my SAT students’ score got improved by 90 points only after 5 weeks of tutoring. That student’s score had been fluctuating between 1100 and 1130. Its parents requested me to tutor the student for the  SAT test. We had only 5 weeks  left for the test. I tutored the student three times a week.  I also assigned homework to the student for the days when we did not have sessions. In the final week of tutoring, we covered test taking strategies and how to handle test anxiety. All of the effort and hard work got paid off when the student’s score got improved by 90 points!

Translator: Google Translate is a great way to translate words and short phrases from your native language to English   Vocabulary Builder: Build your English vocabulary with fun worksheets               ****This is a "living" blog post that will be updated periodically.

From my experience, designing a lesson for one student could be challenging due to not being able to include group or pair-work, which is not only a great way for the students to apply what they have just learned with a fellow classmate allowing them to feel more comfortable to make mistakes but also gives the teacher the opportunity to walk around and listen in and find common errors that can be brought up to the class as a whole instead of singling out a single student's mistake possibly discouraging them, but also because after some time the student can easily get bored deterring them from fully learning the material the tutor is teaching. Here are five things I include in each lesson to ensure that the student is actively learning and having a fun time doing so as well.   1) Make your first lesson informal so they feel comfortable with you from the get-go. They will be hesitant until they feel it is okay to mistakes and the sooner you can get them to let their guard... read more

In anatomy there are often several long processes. The processes can often times be very difficult to remember. One way to remember the processes is to make funny sentences that use the first letter of each word of the process. For example blood flow through the renal would be renal artery, small artery, afferent artriole, Glomereulus, epherent artriole, peritubule capillaries, small veins, renal vein. This could be remembered by Ryan Should Ask Genys Elephant "Please Say Rymes". This one of the tools I enjoy using to help others learn.

Tutoring is fulfilling as you see and hear student say "I get it" with a laughter.  There are times when you ask is tutoring the answer for the individual as what emerges is an important question  "the challenge of a bright student". 

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