- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
When a new student contacts me, I always begin by asking if we can set up a time to chat on the phone about the student's learning goals and learning style. This helps me get to know the student a little better and gives me an opportunity to learn about what they are currently working on in school so I can make sure my first lesson caters exactly to what they need to learn. If they know what they would like to work on, I also ask them to send me a copy of the homework or test they would like to go over in the first session so that I can choose what other materials (textbooks, etc.) to bring to the first session. In the initial phone call, we also find a good time to meet for the first session and discuss the student's schedule in general so I am able to set up regular sessions for them in my calendar.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have tutored for over ten years and absolutely love my job! I have helped my friends and fellow classmates with their homework and studying for tests throughout my entire education, and began tutoring professionally at the end of high school, continuing through college and after college. I have taught English as a second language to middle schoolers and high schoolers in Poitiers, France for an entire academic year, creating lesson plans, leading discussions, and handling classroom dynamics. I also worked with the other English teachers and discussed ways of engaging students and the expectations they as teachers had for their students. Additionally, I have learned a lot from my mom (a middle school and high school French and Spanish teacher), my French grandmother (a former French teacher at Willamette University), my grandfather (a high school teacher of various subjects), my grandmother (a high school teacher of various subjects), and my uncle (a history teacher). I love discussing education with them and with several friends of mine who are high school and college teachers, and I enjoy learning new ways to improve in my craft and become a more effective teacher.
- How did you get started doing this type of work?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always enjoyed explaining things to people. I enjoy the art of catering each explanation to that person's specific strengths while making sure that I am filling in any gaps in that person's knowledge we find along the way. When a concept finally clicks for someone, that is the best feeling ever! I especially like encouraging people who feel that math (or other subjects) are unattainable for them. Despite what some people tell you it is my belief (and it has been my experience tutoring for over a decade) that just about everyone is capable of doing math. Learning any new subject that doesn't come naturally takes hard work, practice, and patience, and perseverance in spite of challenges, and these are all invaluable life skills as well.