Shortly after my first child was born, I decided to go back to school for a Masters in Mathematics. I needed a part-time job to help pay for my classes so I started tutoring on the side. First, I helped high school and college students because that is where most of the help was needed. Then, I began to see more and more parents needing help with their younger children due to the changes in math topics and the introduction of the Common Core State Standards. THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON I TOOK FROM TUTORING: Every student is UNIQUE! I had to constantly change the way I looked at numbers, math, ideas, teaching, learning, etc. During my study at UNLV, I was asked to teach a few math classes as a graduate student. Teaching a large group of students who only take the class because they HAVE to, and not because they WANT to, can be a little difficult. Here, I learned that being flexible, patient, and engaging are important traits to have. The course that I taught was considered a "remedial" class, where teachers review material that has already been taught to the students in high school. The main goal for classes like these are to fill in any gaps for the student so that they can continue onto more advanced college courses. From this experience, I have learned that we can avoid these remedial courses in college, and save the students money and time, by changing the way we prepare them in high school. THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON I TOOK FROM COLLEGE TEACHING: Larger groups mean A LOT of learning styles ... thus I needed to cater to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Here I learned to teach one topic quickly, but hitting as many learning styles as possible ... (taking notes, drawing pictures, reading aloud, physical objects)!
I believe everybody is different! We all learn at differently. We all learn at different paces. So I rarely expect my students to use the SAME materials and get something out of it. Instead, I make many materials, and constantly update them to help everybody (or at least as many as I can). I also understand that one student may need two more hours a day than the next student. So I have resources ready for the one that takes the longest just in case. Anyone can learn anything ... it is just a matter of how much time you are willing to put in.
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Starting young, I always taught myself. So raising students that can teach themselves is something that I strive for. I didn't attend a prestigious school that offered AP courses. My school was contemplating whether or not to keep the music program! But, for some reason, I decided to teach myself AP Calculus and signed myself up for the exam. Getting a 4 on the exam is nothing to rave about ... IF you actually take an AP Calculus course. BUT ... I was a 16 year old girl with nothing but a text book. Years later, this experience helped me many of times.
Mother of three amazingly energetic toddlers! I absolutely adore them! They are my motivation to make a better life for myself! I'm excited to share my experiences with you!