My Mission: SUCCESS
My mission, simply put, is to help you achieve success in math. However, success can mean different things to different people. To one person, success may be raising a grade from a C to a B. Another may be interested in improving his/her SAT score from a 500 to a 600. Still another may wish to learn how to put together an Excel spreadsheet. Depending on the goal, my methods will vary. They will, nonetheless, always be based on, what I refer to as the CUES of Math.
Confidence breeds success. Those who have faith in their abilities will attain higher levels of achievement. Frequently, when feeling overwhelmed, people fail to do even that which is within their grasp. I often cite the first time I took my dad's five-speed for a ride. (I was 32 years old.) Not only did I have trouble with the gears, but I also went through red lights, cut off cars, and missed exits. When you lose confidence, you lose focus. As a tutor, it is my responsibility not only to teach, but also to provide positive reinforcement and to create a comforting atmosphere.
Math is a talent. It is a skill. It is a way of thinking. Success in math is not just about memorizing formulas and procedures. It is also about understanding the meaning behind them. Every rule has a reason. Every method follows a logical structure. Just as with music or art, the skill of math can be taught, developed, and internalized. I don't just teach math. I explain it and, using questioning techniques, allow my student to develop the mathematical thought process. With math, it isn't sufficient to know the answer to a question. One must be able to arrive at that answer independently.
Tutoring alone, is not enough. I stress the necessity of homework, study, and attentiveness in class. I encourage my students to put in that effort and I express my faith in their ability to do so. I can teach you how to pedal a bike and you can understand it. But you must continue to board that bike if you wish to become an adept rider.
It would be wonderful if we were graded simply on mastery of subject matter. But we know this isn't true. We are also graded on our ability to take a test, on our participation in class, and on our efforts. I stress this when I tutor. I emphasize test taking strategies. I encourage my students not only to answer questions but also to ask questions in class. I teach them and persuade them to squeeze out every point they can. Often, this is the difference between a C and a B, or a B and an A.
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