Nehal Patel Tutoring
I have been involved in private education since 2002. I first worked in an after-school tutoring academy that specialized in teaching small groups at a time. When the place decided to close its doors, multiple students had their parents reach out to me because they preferred my teaching style over others'. Thus, I was able to privately tutor for many years. All of my new clients came through word-of-mouth alone, which is a good indicator that I was able to provide them with quality help.
For the past 8 years, I have been instructing math classes at a test prep academy. Aside from SAT and ACT classes, I have taught all math classes from Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus. Here, I have been able to implement the training I received in the credential program at CSULB and have enjoyed developing my own teaching material and coursework.
The thing I hear most from students is that I am able to explain math topics in ways that make it easy. I also don't stick to one single approach: I give a variety of explanations and adjust depending on each student's specific needs.
I know the math curricula inside and out, so I'm comfortable "teaching ahead" once a student has grasped the current lesson. This way, time does not get wasted on "busy work" or extra practice except when it is needed.
Although all classes are online at the moment, I have a personal whiteboard with multi-colored markers, so lessons with me feel just like being in a classroom. Of course, if a student prefers screensharing or using the virtual whiteboard, we can do that as well.
I love the moment when a concept "clicks" for a student. I remember the feeling of understanding HOW to do a math problem without really knowing what was going on or WHY we were doing what we were doing. Whenever possible, I like to let students discover for themselves where certain formulas/strategies come from, as this is the best way for them to retain the knowledge long-term.
I am also motivated by "being on the student's side" of things. My years of experience helping students at all levels has given me a good idea of the kinds of "tricks" that teachers pull to make tests and quizzes extra challenging (especially in honors-level classes). Therefore, I am often able to predict certain unexpected types of questions that may appear on exams and will do my part to make the student understand them beforehand.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I'll often start by asking students about the math classes they've taken during the last two years to get an idea about what material they've been exposed to. Some students are very open about which classes they've learned from and which ones they found unhelpful.
Still, there's nothing like working through math problems to show me how a student best learns and thinks. By the end of the first or second session, I'll be able to come up with the educational plan best suited for the student.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
After completing my degree in mathematics from CSULB, I entered the teaching credential program. The education courses I took there provided me with a wealth of information about how students develop, different learning styles, and adapting lesson plans to accommodate individual students.
Over the years since then, I've developed professionally while teaching private students one-on-one as well as instructing group classes at the two learning centers for which I have worked.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have experience with the following:
- middle school, high school, and college students
- students who had always felt like math was a struggle
- students who had always excelled in math but were facing their first difficult class
- students who were comfortable with their current math class but wanted to stay ahead
- students who were preparing for a standardized test (SAT, AP, ACT, etc.)