I lovvvve tutoring adults. In some ways, this surprised me. I'd taught high school English for six years before beginning work on my Ph.D., and I absolutely adored my high school students. I'm still close with many of them and attend their college graduation parties, weddings, and baby showers (where I promptly feel very old). It's only natural, then, that I get really excited when a new high school student signs up for tutoring.
Since I began working at WyzAnt, though, I've had many adult students - and man, they are awesome. Adult students come to me with very clear goals. They've examined their lives and have decided to make a change. They make serious sacrifices to come to tutoring. They take notes, listen attentively, and do as much of the homework I assign as they possibly can. They bring awesome questions to our tutoring sessions. They learn as if they're sitting on a mine that will explode if they stop. There's nothing like the commitment of someone who has decided to improve...
I get it. We're all busy, and when we're not busy, we don't want to use our downtime to study. Over the years of my own learning, I've found that the hardest step is just getting myself to sit down and work sometimes - I'd rather do a thousand other things.
But studying doesn't have to be time-consuming. In fact, you can do it without taking time away from whatever else you have to do.
Although "real" learning isn't memorization, we do actually have to memorize sometimes: vocab words, formulas, measurement conversions, or special right triangles. But sitting down for a long study session of these sounds about as exciting as cleaning public toilets.
Fear not. I have three solutions that I share with all of my students.
First, find your downtime. When are you doing a menial task that doesn't use any brainpower? Driving, washing dishes, vacuuming, getting ready in the morning - during all of these activities, my hands are busy, but my brain isn't. (Don't worry...
Sundays are days to be lazy, to hang out with friends, to read books or swim in pools or play outside. Today is an exceptionally hot Sunday in early June. Since I got up, I've been holed up in my home office, working on tutoring. Even though I've spent the past nine or so hours (with breaks for shrimp tacos, diet Coke, and ice cream) working, I haven't actually had any students today. I realized that not many people are aware of the "behind the scenes" of tutoring (well, at least of good tutoring), and it's gotten me to think a bit about the concept of having an "hourly rate." Realizing that mine is one of the higher rates on WyzAnt, I thought I'd share a bit of the "secret life of a (good) tutor," so you might have a better idea of what you're getting for your money.
Although I work very hard during our tutoring sessions to make them as productive and educational as possible, it's everything I do when you aren't around that helps me do that. Before...