I'm a retired professional math tutor with 18 years of experience tutoring, teaching, administering and advising high school and university students. Many people use tutoring as a stepping stone to gain experience for a career in teaching. Others stumble into it later in life as an interesting endeavour on the side. Few choose to devote themselves to the art and craft of tutoring one-on-one. I did.
Although I did teach at a high school for a couple of years, most of my 18 years of experience is as a private tutor, owner of a tutoring centre and trainer of tutors. So, my teaching style reflects connecting to learners on a very personal, conversational level. As a tutor, I have worked one-on-one with hundreds of students from dozens of schools for tens of thousands of instructional hours. I would often see several students from the same class over a course of a week, covering the exact same material, but each individual tutoring session was completely different. So, it is with some hesitation that I attempt to publish generic instructional guides because I know everyone needs something a little different. But my hope is that my material is at least thorough and comprehensive enough to be a solid starting point for any student. At the same time, working with hundreds of students (who are taught by hundreds of different teachers) has allowed me to incorporate the best of what I've seen into my work. Unit circles or special triangles? Solve equations by "moving terms to the other side" or "doing the same thing to both sides"? There aren't too many methods I haven't seen, so I always take into account the variety of techniques that can lead to the same results. So if my methods are different from yours, I'd love to hear what you do. My choices of solutions are based on years of seeing which methods tend to be most commonly taught (so that my students don't get in trouble for doing it "the tutor's" way), or which methods seem to "click" best with students, or sometimes just my own preferences. At the very least, I try to be as detailed as possible so any teacher can easily follow what my students are doing and then explain to them precisely how they'd prefer their students show their work. These aren't creative lesson plans. These are detailed, annotated "how-to" pages, usually with blank worksheets and then the same worksheet fully solved. I use consistent colour and phrases so that patterns and repeated steps are easily visible.
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