I hold a master’s in secondary mathematics education from Mississippi State University and a bachelor’s in applied mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Over the last twenty years, I have tutored at the college level and taught at a local public high school and in my own private home school. I’ve been working at Learner Education for the last four months, since retiring from the formal classroom, and it has been a most enjoyable experience. The tutor-student matching has been virtually flawless, and Learner’s reliable support has allowed me to do almost exclusively what I love to do—help students succeed.
Sessions Created For Students
Each online tutoring session is built with the student in mind. I approach each session holistically, wherein the parent, student, and I create a collaborative experience. Punctuality, professionalism, and supportiveness are the foundations of our relationship. We reciprocate those three principles throughout our series of sessions. This foundation enables me to individualize each session to address our students' specific needs.
As I provide our students with instruction and practice, I give honest feedback to motivate them. Our collaborative experience continues as the student is held accountable for their performance during each session. Together, we aim to make each online tutoring session better than the last.
Helping Each Other Reach Our Goals
My first objective is to be punctual, professional, and supportive. I know your time is valuable, so each moment is dedicated to balancing the scales of creating a productive and welcoming learning environment. Punctuality is critical for each session. It provides us with a substantial platform on which we will continuously build.
At the same time, I am keenly aware that certain circumstances require special accommodations. I encourage my clients to keep me abreast of any needs that might arise. Each session is precisely planned to give our student the best learning experience in the time allotted. Our general format during the session is to begin with a brief greeting, a review of our previous session, proper tutoring, and a conclusion to the current session.
You can always expect excellence in each session. My professional degrees have enabled me to work in the public and private sectors of high school and college education and the world of research. My twenty-plus years of using and teaching mathematics have taught me to convey my respect for every student regardless of their belief in their mathematical skills. I have never given up on a student, and they have always risen to the challenge.
I am accustomed to creating warm and friendly environments yet structured enough that we are always directing the momentum toward learning and building confidence.
As most of my clients are not mathematicians, I am committed to supporting them by helping our students to the best of my ability. A key component to achieving that goal is acknowledging that the parent is usually more knowledgeable about their own student’s behavioral patterns and inclinations. Combining my subject matter expertise with the parents' understanding of our students, I structure an optimal learning environment for each student. You can expect your general input to be an integral part of each session. These qualities—punctuality, professionalism, and supportiveness—are foundational to each Learner session.
Not only do I create the sessions with the client’s general input in mind, but I make sure each student receives individualized tutoring based on their personal history and learning styles. If I can attain this information, I reinforce the rules and steps that the student’s teacher recommends.
Provided the student is responding positively to the teacher’s methods, I continue in that fashion. I have a reserve of different approaches to achieving learning goals if one approach is not assimilated by the student. To determine which techniques yield the best student response, I watch and listen very closely throughout each session. Any consistent errors I observe give me a clear indication of which principle to readdress or spend more time practicing.
Because our sessions are so fluidly individualized, I prefer not to rush my students toward a deadline but to encourage them toward a deeper understanding of concepts. I also weave the student’s hobbies and interests into our sessions to make them more interesting and relevant. As we spend time practicing, I incorporate the client’s general input about the student, the familiar techniques of their teacher, the learning style of the student, and the non-math related interests of the student to create a “classroom” to which our student will look forward to returning.
I prefer to allow the student’s natural inclination to direct our learning methods. I ask questions and encourage detailed responses about the student’s experience with the subject matter. Following their natural inclinations or methods learned in class is usually more comfortable and profitable for the student. It encourages them to know they are not completely lost.
Knowing the student’s learning styles helps me choose the best way to present “tricks and tips” to help them forge ahead. I attempt to familiarize the student with their own learning styles as a confidence-building effort. I strive to make each of my students feel heard and respected for their ideas and preferences. Building a student’s confidence is as important to me as helping them pass the next examination or improve their grades.
In each session, our students will have time to practice, practice, and practice! This is the time when we will develop the most rapport. I will observe the student executing the principles I have explained and demonstrated, looking out for any weaknesses and providing honest, supportive feedback without intimidation or condemnation.
During this time, the student will learn to trust me enough to try to work on problems even when they are not sure of every step in the process. This newly developed rapport will allow the student to feel more comfortable making mistakes and welcoming constructive feedback. The student will develop more of a hunger for understanding.
As a result of all the directed and stand-alone practices that I provide our students, I can readily find areas of concern. Because I am an experienced mathematician and educator, I have access to and knowledge of more learning resources than our student would probably want to exhaust. I use textbooks, worksheets, interactive assignments, standardized exams, etc to teach. Practice using these unlimited resources provides the raw materials for us to properly restructure their comprehension of the subject areas of concern.
I hold our students accountable for preparing for the session, participating during the session, and practicing outside the session. They should strive to capitalize on every scheduled minute of each session by having all necessary materials already at their workstation before the session begins.
Just as some students are shy and prefer not to speak much, I am aware that some students can be chatty. I find the balance during our sessions to make either student comfortable without stifling their personality. It is necessary that our students engage appropriately during the session. This engagement allows me to continue to fine-tune the individualization of each session. This is where I learn whether learning deficiencies have been overcome or discover deeper deficiencies that will also be addressed.
In addition to our in-session practice, our students may be assigned homework from my personal collection of resources or the budding library of Learner resources, especially during summer sessions. It is vital that our student completes these assignments.
Lastly, because some students are not mature enough to handle this kind of accountability, you, as the client, may be asked to encourage or assist them. These online tutoring sessions are a joint effort between the student, the client, and the tutor.
Working together, we all reach our goals: the student gains an understanding of the subject matter, the client gains peace of mind because of our student's progress, and I gain another confident and capable student!
My Learner Experience
Learner is one of the most authentic and supportive work environments I have experienced in over twenty years. The CEO impressed that upon me when I was introduced to the company, and the Success Team was just as supportive once I accepted his offer. I could not fathom those qualities running deeper in the company, but it does.
My Learner mentor went beyond the call of duty to make sure I was prepared to give my students the best experience during our sessions. Learner tutors are even given the opportunity to share and encourage each other as we grow in our profession here. Learner strikes a lovely balance of tutor support and tutor autonomy. I love that no one hovers, and I am allowed to create my own tutoring approach. That balanced support of Learner enables me to support my students more effortlessly and effectively
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to work with Learner?
Almost nothing. I already had the internet, a computer with a mic and speakers, and learning resources. The only item I purchased was an inexpensive pen tablet, which has made writing on whiteboards seamless.
What is your process when working with a new student?
I try to get to know the student, find out their hobbies and interests, how they feel about math, and why they feel that way. As I ask them these questions, I share things about myself with which they may identify. My main objective with a new student is to help them feel like our lessons are a place where they can feel comfortable, learn, and be inspired at the same time.
What kind of pain points do many students have?
The most pervasive pain points are adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing positive and negative integers. Students either do not know rules exist, or they get them confused. Sometimes operations on fractions and decimals are also problematic.
What are your subject specialties?
My subject specialties are middle school math, pre-algebra, algebra 1 & 2, geometry, SAT/ACT prep, and college algebra.
How can we connect?
All Learner tutors can be reached at Learner.com through our Success Team.
Why are you so excited to share math with your students?
In my younger years, I was a below-average math student. My high school math teacher was able to explain in a way that not only helped me excel the rest of my high school career, but she motivated me to help other struggling students do the same. I know how it feels to just “not get it.” It really is my pleasure to help those students experience how it feels to actually “get it.”