Effective E-Mail Math Tutoring

Joe Pagano

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When people think of additional school help for their child who is struggling in math, they usually think of one-on-one private tutoring. Private tutoring is a great way to get help for your struggling child. As mentioned in my article on effective math tutoring, the knowledge that a tutor brings to the table is not so important as his ability to relate well to your child and to identify with their source of difficulty. Even though private tutoring is the way parents think they need to go, there are alternatives such as email tutoring that can be a welcome help to your child.

With the omnipresence of the computer and with online internet service as ubiquitous as the telephone, email tutoring is something that has come of age. Combine email tutoring with the telephone, and you can now become a virtual tutor capable of working with anyone across the country. Effective email tutoring is the result of clearly defined questions responded to with easy-to-understand answers. Critical to effective email tutoring is a tutor with very strong written communication skills. This is one area which I have worked hard on throughout the years, and I attribute a lot of my success in tutoring students—whether in person, on the telephone, or via email—to my strong written and verbal communication skills. Knowing one’s field is one thing; being able to communicate that knowledge to a struggling student is another.

Some might think that math tutoring has to be done one-on-one, teacher sitting beside student ready to respond to his every need. Admittedly, the one-on-one scenario does have advantages; however, a competent tutor with strong communication skills can effectively remediate most problems as though he were sitting next to the student. A student who is struggling with quadratic equations, for example, can get his problem fixed via email, provided the tutor is competent at communicating this topic. With several problems worked out methodically, showing step-by-step procedures, a tutor can get the student back on the road to health in a short time.

Because I have worked on the various modalities of tutoring—in-person, telephone, email, and combinations of these—and have proven successful with each one of them, I wanted to make my tutoring techniques available to the student who might not live in central New Jersey, and thus be geographically “untutorable. " For this reason, I created my website where you can go here http://www.mathbyjoe.com/email_tutoring.html for more information. Remember good tutoring does not have to be only in-person.

Joe is a prolific writer of self-help and educational material and an award-winning former teacher of both college and high school mathematics. Under the penname, JC Page, Joe authored Arithmetic Magic, the little classic on the ABC’s of arithmetic. Joe is also author of the charming self-help ebook, Making a Good Impression Every Time: The Secret to Instant Popularity; the original collection of poetry, Poems for the Mathematically Insecure, and the short but highly effective fraction troubleshooter Fractions for the Faint of Heart. The diverse genre of his writings (novel, short story, essay, script, and poetry)—particularly in regard to its educational flavor— continues to captivate readers and to earn him recognition.

Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries. Toward this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. For more information go to http://www.mathbyjoe.com


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