I have tutored Algebra, Calculus, and introductory physics at my college for the past two years. I have helped several students raise their grade, some by several letters. Students I have worked with tend to have one of three barriers to improvement: they (1) use inneficient study techniques (2) miss the underlying simplicity of a concept (3) have a gap in essential knowledge or (4) have developed anxiety around the subject.
As a tutor I share the study techniques that have led to my success in math and physics. Recognizing that not everybody learns best in the same way, I also try to encourage students to experiment with different techniques until they know what works for them. When teaching a particular concept I work hard to come up with an explanation that is elegant and intuitively simple. This practice has been essential to my success and makes learning/teaching it fun. Learning math and, less so, physics, is like building a long chain. You cannot skip a single link. The majority of students have built many isolated chains and often only recognize this when placed on the other side of a homework set or exam. As a tutor I seek to spot gaps in knowledge and aim to point them out and fill them as soon as possible. Finally, I am a very enthusiastic, lighthearted tutor and try to present material in a way that makes it look easy and conquerable for the student. When I was younger I actually had math anxiety until I learned the proper approach to learning the subject. Once I did, math became harmless and, while not always easy, very fun.
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