A. Kerschen Tutoring

A. Kerschen Tutoring

1 employee
3 years in business

About this tutor

As a professional Mechanical Engineer, I've had great success in real world problem-solving situations. Now I'm giving back the best way I know how: by passing on my knowledge and my passion to the next generation of learners.

I’ve worked for 3 major US auto manufacturers and suppliers, earning several awards for excellence in my field of discipline, and I've developed and submitted 6 US patents. In addition to my knowledge of mathematics and science related to my profession, I also strive to continuously expand my own knowledge in other diverse fields including literature, grammar, politics, and finance. It’s always a great day when you learn something new!

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Chicago, IL 60625
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First, if applicable, I'll introduce myself to the parents of the student, or whoever is seeking my guidance on the student's behalf. During this phase, I like to get a sense for what goals we will try to accomplish during my time with the student. Next, I’ll meet with the student to understand their unique learning style and make sure they feel they have a voice in the method of teaching (email, video chat, phone calls, example problems, diagrams and graphs, mnemonic memorization, etc.). This will help me to tailor my approach accordingly; I’ve found that a student who feels they have a voice in setting their goals and their path for how to get there are much more motivated to take the first step… and the second and the third

Once the goals are established and agreed upon, we will then discuss a schedule we all agree will facilitate these goals while accommodating any other restrictions. For example, if the goal is to get the student up from a C to a B in algebra, with special focus on their test-taking abilities as opposed to their base understanding of the materials, I might recommend two one-hours of guided tutoring sessions per week. However, if the student has other after school commitments like a job or a sport that would prevent tutoring at a regularly scheduled time, maybe we could set up one two-hour power session on the weekends. Or, similarly, if this student generally did not have any test anxieties, but had a hard time retaining the class material week to week, we could break up the sessions into smaller 30-minute recaps of each days lessons to really drive home the understanding of each topic discussed in the classroom the previous day.

Only after the specific goals, tutoring method, and schedule are agreed upon will we plan our first session and discuss methods of payment.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Spanish from Michigan Technological University, and I have 5 years experience in the automotive industry.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Standard pricing per hour of direct interaction with the students is generally $20. This does not account for any time spent on proof-reading student work or answering non-subject-related emails or phone calls.

For example: a student sends in a quiz they had done in class and wants to go through the questions they got wrong. It then takes me 5 minutes to read and download the email, and an additional 25 minutes to review the quiz and write out step-by-step explainiations of the correct answers for each of the questions the student missed, then the student and I review the quiz together for one hour. This session would be priced at $20 for the one-on-one contact with the student even though the total time spent was 1.5 hours.

How did you get started teaching?

Although I do not have a teaching degree, I am an aknowledged leader among my peers. I first discovered my aptitude for tutoring through a past coworker when I was unofficially hired to help his daughter through a tough AP calculus course. I'm proud to say that she not only passed her class, she recieved a high enough score on her AP exam at the end of the semester to earn college credit for the course.

What types of students have you worked with?

Most of the students I've worked with in the past have been remote learners, meeting with me via email or video chat. I've had a fairly even mixture of students when it comes to their abilites in the math, science, and engineering fields; some were struggling just to pass, but some were excelling on their own and simply looking for that extra edge to put them at the top of the class.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I always love being able to creatively apply my knowledge to real world problem-solving scenarios. For a recent client of my employer, I was tasked with figuring out if they would need to re-do a vehicle crash test, since they had changed the type of seat used in the vehicle, even though they passed the test by 120%. The new seat weighed more than the seat used in the original test, but since I was able to calculate the forces applied during the test with the new seat weight and center of gravity, I determined that they still would have passed the test with a 108% safety margin, therefore saving the company valuably time and money.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

My advice to the students out there: really take the time to make sure yout tutor is right for you. In the end, no matter what their credentials are, if their style of teaching does not mesh well with your style of learning, it will be an up-hill battle. You don't always get to choose your teachers, but you do get to choose your tutor.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Make sure that you have taken the time to fully immerse yourself in the material. Oftentimes I find even I have a hard time with the problem at hand simply because I get distracted by other worries, or because I haven't fully comprehended what the problem is asking me to solve for. Be sure to allow yourself the space to focus and attempt to approach the problem for a few different angles before seeking help. Once you determine that you need help though, don't hesitate to reach out! It's not silly or troublesome to ask for help when you truly need it, and the sooner you ask, the sooner we can work together to figure it out.

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