Academic Tutoring: AP Physics (Mechanics and Electromagnetism+Waves), Lower and Upper Division Physics (Solid State Mechanics, Thermodynamics, etc), Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus.
What’s the most rewarding part of being an educator?
For me, by far the most rewarding aspect of being an educator is the relationship that is fostered with not just each student, but their families as a whole. You learn about the struggles each family goes through and get to experience a wide variety of cultures and ways of life. That is what makes it so meaningful: the process of gradually understanding their difficulties and being able to help them from the inside out, watching the students grow, and sharing in the relief and pride of each wonderful family. It’s something really special.
What are the most common areas you see your students struggling in? How do you help them in those areas?
I feel like a component of academic success that is oftentimes overlooked is the student’s confidence in their abilities. Obviously their aptitude is a major factor, but the goal should be to learn as much as possible. From that will come the ability to solve problems and get better grades. The thing to start with is getting students to really enjoy the process of learning and school in general, and that comes with confidence in their ability to figure things out.
That is where I feel many of the students I have worked with have had their motivation stalled. They may have had a bad string of tests or had someone in their academic life disapprove of their efforts. Regardless of the reason for it, that lack of self-assurance is a very common issue, and one that everyone faces at some point. It just takes time, and sometimes someone (like an HLM tutor) to help you along the way sometimes.
How do you help them improve in those areas?
The first steps toward achieving confidence and the sort of upward spiral of enjoyment and ability are not complicated. It is a combination of a lot of things, but fundamentally, hard work will do wonders to start students on that path. It is important that hard work is met with results though, to start that positive feedback loop. When first starting out with a student, it’s of paramount importance that they feel as though they have control of what they’re doing. I think that’s really what the value of tutors and teachers in general are: to provide guidance and tailor material so that the proper difficulty balance is struck to keep the student motivated as well as learning.
What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching students?
I graduated with my BS in physics last year and now spend a lot of my days pouring over math problems with students, so I’ve discovered some more artistic hobbies. I’ve recently gotten into making music (I have a synthesizer and everything, which is fun) and film production/editing. I love to read, mostly fantasy books at the moment, like The Kingkiller Chronicles. I also spend a lot of time either in the gym or playing pick-up basketball. It’s a nice balance.
What do you think makes Hodis Learning & Music a great service and company to work for?
I can honestly say that, over the course of my admittedly limited work experience, Hodis Learning & Music is the best company I’ve worked for thus far. Because it was founded and is based in the South Pasadena/Pasadena area, HLM is a very close-knit community of students, families, tutors, and school districts. It makes everything a bit more comfortable and easy. With this also comes an immense amount of experience with the California education curriculum.
I also have to give props to the president of the company, Drew Hodis, and the rest of management. They run a really tight ship and make every effort to make it an easy process for us tutors and for the students and families. I’m really happy to be working for HLM!
Rachel is the Director of Marketing at Hodis Learning & Music. She has years of experience in marketing and public relations. Rachel is also an experienced reading, writing, English, and Spanish tutor.