I always hold my students and myself to a very high standard, they must thoroughly understand the topics in a logical way before we move on to new material.
In other words, I do not permit my students to simply memorize solutions and follow patterns to solve problems without truly understanding them first.
When I assess a student's skill level, I check to see if they truly understand the material. If they are missing a piece of their math foundational-chain, I help them patch this area up by providing additional hand outs and supplementary materials.
I believe that this way my students gain confidence and actually begin to enjoy solving math problems because they surpass their own expectations. Success is like a chain reaction, I have witnesse that a confident student makes no careless mistakes, works faster with more accuracy and in turn receives higher grades, which again boosts their confidence.
I also believe that everybody has the capacity to learn and analyze mathematic problems, but the speed of mental processing differs from person to person, as do the learning styles.
There are many different types of learners, some of my students do not perform well on tests, although they are capable of solving the problems at home. They simply need more time. In this case, I help them to be aware of this challenge and together we practice to improve their speed of mental processing and focusing under pressure.
The Most Common Challenge that Students Face in Large Classrooms
Every student has particular learning methods and habits. In large classrooms, instructors can not focus on every student individually. Many of my students' questions remain unanswered in their class rooms because it is embarrassing for them to ask questions frequently, especially when it is regarding topics from prior years.
To overcome this problem, students tend to start memorizing solutions and formulas instead of understanding the material thoroughly and in depth. This becomes an obstacle since they do not learn the material properly and later have trouble succeeding in higher level courses.
The complexity of higher levels of mathematics overwhelms their ability and finally they give up.
During my free intake session, I discuss this important issue with the student thoroughly.
In a tutoring session, I allow my students to ask their questions as many times as they need to until they fully grasp a concept. I do not get frustrated or angry with them, as this is counter-productive. I encourage them to be persistent and to try to understand instead of memorizing.
I believe that this way of learning results in life long skills for my students, it strengthens their foundation not only for math and physics but for critical thinking and problem solving as a whole.