Frequently Asked Questions
Who - What - When - Where - Why - How
I'm not even sure I need a tutor.
If this is the case, no worries. I encourage you to visit my Is Tutoring Right For Me? page first. You'll get a better understanding of my perspective and philosophy on tutoring in general to help you make your decision.
Who are you?
My name is Alex. I grew up in Jacksonville, FL. I got my BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Florida, and upon graduating I started teaching algebra and physics at a local high school. After teaching I joined the US Navy and became a junior officer on a nuclear submarine. After the Navy I became a project manager at a manufacturing plant that supplies the US Military with power supplies, transformers, and control cabinets.
Ever since college I have been tutoring. It's a fun and rewarding way to stay engaged with the subject and be a part of a student's success.
If you'd like to know more details about my professional life please visit my LinkedIn page.
What is it you do exactly?
Plain and simply I will meet with you and/or your student and provide one or more of the following:
- Homework help
- Test reviews (using previously taken tests)
- Lessons on new material
- Common mistake assessment (i.e., multiplying by negatives incorrectly, misinterpreting math vocabulary, misreading their own handwriting, etc.)
- On the spot example problems
- Connections to real world applications
- Test taking tips (tips/tricks for tests like the SAT or ACT)
What subjects do you tutor?
- Basic Arithmetic
- Algebra 1
- Algebra 2
- Physics 1 (both algebra and calculus based)
- Physics 2 (both algebra and calculus based)
- SAT Math
- ACT Math
- ASVAB Math
What do you expect of ME as the student and/or parent?
Parents (and you, if you are also the student)
- Once we start meeting for tutoring, please engage your student about how I'm doing as his or her tutor. Many students do not have the courage to tell tutors to slow down and explain more, or to conduct the session in a different way. They're much more likely to say to YOU something like "yeah I like Alex but I wish he would [fill in the blank]". I need this type of feedback so that I can be better at my job for your student.
- Please encourage your student to do some preparation for the session. If there is a homework assignment due soon or a test/quiz coming up, they should have at least tried to complete as much as possible, or done some studying, prior to meeting. I certainly won't turn you away if this doesn't happen, but I assure you our time spent together will be MUCH more productive and helpful if it is done. Our session should NOT normally be "watch me do this homework assignment and help me when I get stuck." It should as much as possible be "I got through most/some of my homework but I keep getting stuck here, here, and here. Please help."
- If we're meeting in public, please arrive a few minutes early so your student can take a minute to get books, paper, pencils, etc., out and ready.
- Please try to tell me a week ahead of time if you know you need to cancel a session or move to a different day. I understand many things happen and our scheduled time might not work out here and there. For last minute cancellations please try to tell me at least a day ahead of time. I hold myself to this expectation as well.
- Read the second bullet-point in the parent section above because it applies to you to! Come prepared :)
- I highly recommend writing in pencil. Ideally mechanical.
- Bring plenty of paper and spare pencils
- Bring graded tests and homework for review
- Bring your textbook if you have one, or your laptop if you have online material
When are you available?
General speaking I'm available in the evenings from Monday through Saturday, and most all of Sunday. Specific times should be established after our initial conversation and after we've both determined that we're a good fit for each other. I encourage you to visit my contact page or....
Where do you meet students?
Typically I meet students at public places. I am certainly open to going to your home, but more often than not I meet at a location that is roughly halfway between us. I prefer public places that have table space, are generally quiet or at least low conversational background noise, and ideally have free wifi access. Here are some examples:
- Public libraries
- College libraries
- Cafes (like Panera or Starbucks)
If you have a specific place in mind you'd like to meet all you have to do is ask and we'll chat. If you want me to come to your home, I do ask that we at least meet in public first. This is mainly for your benefit to give you a little bit more comfort in letting me in your home.
Why do you prefer meeting in public places?
There is no perfect solution.
Public settings have crowds and ambient noise, but they can give a sense of safety, there's usually plenty of table space, free wifi, food and beverages....
Private homes are certainly the most physically convenient for students and parents, plus they are familiar. But there's also siblings, parents listening from the other room, pets, all of the "shiny objects" in the house....
There are pros and cons to both settings. But what I like about meeting in public is that it becomes a more tangible event that must be planned for and gone to. It gets you out of the house and into a fresh environment. Having to spend the time away from home raises the sensitivity for both the student and parent into the mindset that you should "get the most out of the session as possible".
The location we meet in is a very important part of our relationship so the decision should not be taken lightly. But I will ultimately go wherever you feel is best for you.
How much do you charge?
The cost of tutoring services is based on market rates for this area and the specific needs of each student, which is why I provide individualized quotes. Additionally, the hourly rate for a 2-hour session will be less than a 1-hour.
Please contact me through my Contact Info page so we can discuss your needs.