tagline
WETA

Search LD OnLine

Get our free newsletter

advertisement

Forums
Adults with LD or ADHD

tutoring.


Author Message
Joined: Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119
Other Topics
Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 9:34:22 AM
Subject: tutoring.

I'm currently being tutored by my grandmother, things are going well except for mathmatics. I am grasping the concepts but I find it hard to concentrate and stay focused because she can get really impatient with me. I'm not sure if her impatients is a teaching technique that she uses in order to get me to think about what I'm doing, or if it's because of old age, or she's disgusted with me. Is it normal for a tutor to act offended or disgusted with their students when they either arn't thinking or grasping the concepts which you are trying to teach them?

Back to top Profile Email
Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
Posts: 621

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 10:16:53 AM

She is a family member not a professional tutor. Professionals are better at hiding their reactions plus they don't have as much invested into the person.

If she is helping you and you feel good about it, keep it up. If it is making you feel bad about yourself, I wouldn't do it.

Beth

Back to top Profile Email
victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 1:30:01 PM

Sometimes students have mis-learned so badly that they need to be completely redirected. This is particularly common in math.

I have math students who are utterly, absolutely convinced that they know how to do math and this is the one and only one way to do the work.
All those wrong answers and F grades? The teacher hates them. The book is stupid. Nobody can be expected to learn this stuff. They just misread the question. The calculator slipped. Well, that isn't the answer they actually meant.
But they could never, ever be not doing what they are supposed to be doing in math.

Sometimes I am trying to guide a student through a reasoning process and we get into the stupidest arguments imaginable. Just had another one of these on Tuesday night. "What is this question asking" "Don't bother me with that, I know how to do it." "No, that isn't the answer. Look at the question. What are you supposed to find?" "You just have to divide by 4. See, the calculator shows 57.5, I was right." "No, look at the question again and see what it is about." And so on and so on and so on, for ten minutes on one question. And then the next, and the next. Sigh.

On occasion I have to confront a student. Nothing else will work. The Doctor Phil question: "And how is that working out for you?"
In social situations, if your spouse threw you out of the house, well, maybe you have to look at what you were doing and see how your attitude worked out for you. In math, if you are constantly failing, well, maybe you have to look at your math methodologies and see how they are working out for you. Constant F's, not being accepted in the schools you want, not getting or keeping jobs -- these are strong messages that something you are doing isn't working, so please *try something different*. Don't be afraid of change -- can it get much worse?

Partly because of the ineffective way basic math is taught, people get very personally invested in their own ways of doing things. Often those ways are flat-out wrong. Other methods get correct answers but are dead ends that prevent you from going farther. Others are so terribly inefficient that you simply cannot do them in a normal human lifetime. But "This is the way I always do it!!" is the cry.

Your grandmother is trying to show you something new and diffferent. You have to move out of your comfort zone and do something new. You do not have to be afraid; grandma isn't going to do anything bad to you. One of the problems we have with math teaching is that people are taught by fear of failure and embarrassment, and this bad attitude clouds math for the rest of their lives. Take a deep breath, try something new, and remember you are doing this for yourself.

You can ask her to slow down, to show you something again, to re-explain. I'm sure as an experienced teacher she will be more than happy to do that.
But you have to *actively listen* to the explanations (not, as many of my students try, stare at the ceiling until the noise goes away), *ask* pertinent questions, and try to make a change in how you approach things.

Back to top Profile Email
Joe Tag
Joined Aug 28, 2014
Posts: 102

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 3:40:20 PM

Beth and Victoria have given you good advice.
On your own, also try to find a supplemental text book. What level of math (what year of math; High School or Freshman Level College) Math is it? If it is Pulbic School (Jr. High or High School ) do a google search of Math Texts and YOUR GRADE/LEVEL ). Go to the publishers web-site to get more information on an an additional supplemental (extra) textbook.
I.E. ABLonman, A-W (Addison-Wesley), Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Prentice Hall, and see what they have. Ask other schools what text they are using for your grade. You might want to find another tutor ( a few years older than you) for Math only. Good luck.
Signed, Joe Tag (Kean University, Union, New Jersey, USA ) .

--- end ---

Back to top Profile Email
A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 6:31:30 PM

I will certainly not get a new tutor! I'm actually getting it for the first time in my life, so I will stick with her even though she makes me tense. Thanks for the advice Victoria. By the way, I finished all of the phonics books.

Back to top Profile Email
A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 6:35:48 PM

Oh and by the way, to even for a moment entertain the thought of arguing with my grandmother, will automatically land a slap across the face! Scotch Irish women mean buisness.

Back to top Profile Email
victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 28, 2006 9:05:43 PM

Hey, guess what my background is? Canadian Scottish with a dash of Irish and a quarter Dutch. Pig-headed is far too mild a word for my family.

Good work on those phonics books, Now I hope you are *applying* what you saw there -- reading more, figuring out new words, working on spelling . . . .

I would recommend *against* getting modern math texts. They tend to be presented in a very confusing manner. If you want supplementary math texts, look at Schaum's or the old texts I recommended above.

Back to top Profile Email
Joe Tag
Joined Aug 28, 2014
Posts: 102

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 29, 2006 11:19:43 AM

I suggest asking others at other schools / colleges what texts are being used. For instance, to supplement a text at Kean University, you can check with Montclair State University, and William Paterson University
(all in New Jersey, USA).

Quote "victoria":


I would recommend *against* getting modern math texts. They tend to be presented in a very confusing manner. If you want supplementary math texts, look at Schaum's or the old texts I recommended above.

Back to top Profile Email
Joe Tag
Joined Aug 28, 2014
Posts: 102

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 29, 2006 11:20:24 AM

IF you don't ask questions, you won't get an answer.

Back to top Profile Email
socialworker
Joined Aug 14, 2006
Posts: 9

Other Topics
Posted:Aug 14, 2006 3:31:00 AM

Yes, it is normal for tutors to lose patience with their students. Some tutors may have a difficult time explaining other ways for their students to understand a mathematical problem. It's a learning experience for the tutor to figure out your learning style, in order to find the best way to explain or help you solve a math problem. It's always helpful if you know ways that you understand how to solve the math problem. May I ask what kind of math are you dealing with? There's different ways to explain how to solve a problem based on the type of math it is.

Back to top Profile Email