I'm currently studying as an undergraduate at Brown University. For the past two years, however, I've lived and studied in Costa Rica. For my final year, I served as a TA for my IB school, helping students overcome difficult material, disinterest, and language barriers. At the same time, I also designed and delivered foundational English lessons(in Spanish) to Nicaraguan Refugees. In the summer in between, I worked as an Au Pair/English teacher for a Spanish family in Madrid. I'm fluent in Spanish, but I know exactly how difficult learning in a classroom can be. I adore math and physics, and have spent the past few years studying beyond my curriculum in both, but at times I've felt absolutely disillusioned with the fields. Chances are, I have recent experience with the curriculum your middle-high schooler is struggling with. I know how difficult it can be at first. I also know how much easier it can get with help.
That moment, when you can see someone who has struggled with a concept for hours, or days, finally understand what is happening, is one of my favorite things to witness. A close second is seeing the slow and steady growth of a student, as they learn and become more confident in their abilities. A narrow third is watching someone fall in love with a subject they thought they hated.
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to accompany students as they experiencing these moments and transitions for themselves. Simply put, it makes my day.
He speaks Spanish really really well, so that when I didn't know something in English, he helped me out in Spanish. He also is a really good listener, he understands people and make them feel comfortable. His lessons were incredibly helpful on anthropology because is one of the hardest subjects for me.
My first step is gauging how a student feels towards a subject, as well as their current abilities in that subject. I also look for hopes and expectations in regards to the subject, and work with the student and parent to find a way to agree on how we are going to get there.
I have worked with all types of students, from very young Spanish Speakers to late teens from all over the world. My goal, regardless of the student, is to make a student feel capable and motivated to do well.
I recommend sending messages to several viable candidates describing in detail your - or your child's - situation, and your ideal tutor. Don't be afraid to ask for consultations, or quick video chats to see if your a good fit.
Once you meet with a tutor for your fist session, don't feel afraid to keep looking if it's not a good fit. There are many, many options when it comes to tutors, one of them is bound to be a good match.
First, try not to feel embarassed for needing help. I know that is difficult, but if you can realize that you are a unique person with unique needs trying to do well in an overly standardized system, you will be in a much better place to meet the expectations set forth by your curriculum.
If you recognize the point where your understanding breaks down, start there. Ask for an explanation of that concept specifically, and when you don't understand a part of that explanation, ask again.
If not, start from a point you do understand, and work forward. When you start scratching your head, drill down once again into that specific concept, and go ask for help. Teachers are far better at helping students with specific questions than students who just 'don't get it'. If you can show your teacher exactly what you don't get, they will be in a much better position to help you.