In general, I have no regrets. Regrets don't help unless you do something about them. But I do have some advice I'd give my younger self if I could.
When I was in my 20s, I went back to (and, eventually graduated with a BA in TV/Radio from another college) college, taking classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NY. I was working full time in Brooklyn and and living in Lower Manhattan at the time. I would go to work and, after work, I'd take the subway to 34th Street and 6th Avenue, go to eat at a really cool Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant (I was ovo-lacto vegetarian at the time -- I'm vegan now), which, as far as I know, is no longer there. It was called "Kosher World" because it had food from all over the world. I discovered Mexican food there (which is still my favorite). But I digress.
Because of my previous college experience (19 credits right after High School), I was a bit obsessed with the number of credits I would get per class. This proved to be...
When I was in school, there were no calculators. Adding machines still had rows of numbers and my brother and I (when we were very young) used to love playing with the machine in the office at the Matza company my grandfather was the Rabbi for. When we went to the World's Fair, we were fascinated with the "new" IBM font balls that typed in script. There were no computers (well, there were some huge ones that took up rooms and ran on punch cards, but I never saw one until college), no spell checks, no word processors.
When I was in school, we learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide all with our own "computers" -- the ones in our brains. In first grade, I learned how to make change (you count from the price of the item, adding coins and paper money as you go along, until you reach the amount given to you), in third grade I learned multiplication, in fifth grade I learning fractions. I learned to write script (what they call "cursive" today),...
WyzAnt has been having an essay contest for students. The prize is money toward college. And I started reading the essays. Now, I know math is my best subject, but I do have an eye (and ear) for grammar, and I have also edited writing.
But I digress.... The essays had me thinking of who were my teaching inspirations. As one of the essay writers stated, it's hard to choose just one. (And, to be honest, I've never been able to choose just one of anything.)
I can start with my first grade teacher, Mrs. Seymour. She seemed so caring, so loving. Then there was Mrs. Beerman (in later years, as an adult, she became a friend, even though she was closer to my mother's age). Though she gave us way too many reports and booklets to do in 2nd grade (she was also my teacher in 3rd and 7th grades) she was my introduction into some lifelong interests – dinosaurs and meteorology, for example.
My 7th and 8th grade Math teacher, Mrs. Redshaw, who was nuts, but a good teacher. She taught me...
Over the years, I have had very good experiences as a tutor and, for the most part, my students (the long term students) and I have very good relationships (one of the problems with working through an organization like WyzAnt after double digit years experience as a tutor with dozens of students is that the previous students you worked with can't tell your WyzAnt students how well you worked together, particularly the students who you no longer know how to contact).
But I have had some students who really don't know how to get the most out of working with a tutor. I have tutored many different subjects like Math (this is my best and, also, the subject I'm most experienced in), Jewish Studies/Hebrew language, History, Science, and Language Arts. I have worked with students on term papers and studied for finals.
For the most part, I try to instill in my students good study and learning habits. For example, despite the modern day slant toward using calculators, I try...
One of the problems of starting up new with a company like WyzAnt is that all the hours I have put into tutoring, all the hours that I continue to put into tutoring (through channels other than WyzAnt) don't help me recruit other students here at WyzAnt. Wyz-that? It's pretty simple. My private students can't tell everyone here at WyzAnt what they think of me.
As I mentioned before, I started tutoring High School. I discovered that, not only was I really good at math (my school gave report card grades in numbers and my high school math average was 97) but I was also very good at helping other people understand math. I started tutoring when I was 14 (in 10th grade). At the time, I had finished 9th grade Algebra, passing the NY State regent exam in the 99th percentile. So, I began tutoring 9th graders in math.
I tutored so many young women (I went to an all-girl school for high school) during the last 3 years I was in high school that I don't even remember most of them...
I began tutoring in High School. I discovered that I have a talent for explaining difficult concepts to my classmates and other schoolmates. My students did better once I began working with them.
When I was in college, I signed up for a program called "Upward Bound". Tutors met with students at three locations -- New Brunswick, Plainfield and Perth Amboy. (One year, my sister joined me, but she never really had the same interest in tutoring that I did). I worked for the "Upward Bound" program for several years and, in the process, worked with many bright, motivated students.
While most of my early tutoring (High School and College years) were as a math tutor, in the past 7 years, I've been tutoring many subjects including math (of course), English, Hebrew and religious studies, history (world and American) and many other subjects. I have worked with students on their book reports and term papers, studied with them for biology and chemistry tests, helped...