A friend recently asked me how I get my students to enjoy learning math. My answer was “The 3 E’s: Enthusiasm, Engagement, Encouragement.” These are the keys to the math tutoring kingdom, and here’s why.

Enthusiasm. If I come to a session looking bored, it’s pretty much guaranteed that my student will respond in kind. Can you blame him?

Engagement. If I give a lecture on the best way to solve a system of equations, my student’s brain is going to come up with a more interesting subject, whether it is what’s for dinner, what’s on TV, or who she is going to call when she gets home. It definitely won’t be about math. But if I engage her in a conversation about the problem, ask her how she would approach it, give her clues to help her on her way to discovering the answer … her brain will be stimulated by math!

Encouragement. This one is a no-brainer, so to speak. Who doesn’t do better and try harder when they are being encouraged?

They may seem obvious, but in today’s structured classroom environment, they can be difficult to achieve. That’s why I love tutoring. I get the opportunity to use these techniques in working with students one on one, and to watch them make real progress in their math education.

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