2 employees

2 years in business

We offer a wide range of subjects, including all phases of English instruction (grammar, ESL, essay writing etc.) and all levels of mathematics from first grade to integral calculus. Our instruction does not follow a predetermined generic curriculum, but is adapted specifically and precisely to what the student finds difficult and needs help with.

Mathematics is beautiful, and I enjoy helping a student see this -- a student who may have found the subject merely frightening or a kind of drudgery.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I converse with the student until I have ascertained what is puzzling them. Typically there is an essential idea in the subject that they are studying that their classroom instructor has failed to make clear. Starting from there I work toward more challenging material, not moving on to the next topic until the student thoroughly understands the topic we are on.

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

I have both a bachelor's and a master's degree, and have studied several areas in math and science at the college level. I have been tutoring for many years, both in California and in Pennsylvania. My extensive work as an editor, including a position at the San Francisco Chronicle, well prepares me for any kind of English instruction.

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

We charge $50 an hour.

How did you get started teaching?

A friend expert in a certain field offered to trade lessons: I give him one algebra lesson and he gives me one lesson in his field.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with every type of student: ranging from third grade to the age of 70; I have taught students with learning disabilities; those whose first language was English and others.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I enjoyed submitting a play of mine to the New Yorker. This is fun to do whether one's piece is accepted or not.

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

Ask (at least in general terms) the prospective teacher right away about a point that the student is puzzled by : a good teacher should be able to say something helpful even in a couple sentences. If the teacher gives an evasive reply, saying, "that's complex, I can't explain it now," they probably do not grasp the subject as well as they ought to.

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

A student should ask him/herself: What confuses me and scares me most in this subject? We all want to avoid fear and confusion, so there is a tremendous tendency to stay with what feels familiar ; but it is precisely the scary stuff that we need help on. Students often imagine that they are the only ones who fail to understand a certain point, and they are therefore reluctant to show their confusion; whereas my experience teaching in the classroom tells me that if one student is puzzled by something, there is always someone else with the same issue.

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