In order to better understand what makes a private tutor effective, special, and worthwhile, it can be helpful to ask some questions! We developed this questionnaire in order to show why JB Tutoring is the best tutoring service in Austin. These questions provide insight into our tutor's unique personalities and teaching approaches, why our tutors enjoys tutoring, along with the skills and habits that have helped our them succeed in the classroom. In this blog post, we will hear from the founder of JB Tutoring, Jaclyn.
Jaclyn has worked as a professional tutor for 10 years. She has experience in elementary school tutoring, middle school tutoring, high school tutoring, and college level tutoring. Jaclyn has assisted students with Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, all levels of English, Writing, Spanish, SAT Prep, ACT Prep, and College Admissions Essays. In this blog post, you will learn more about Jaclyn, why she loves tutoring, and what study skills and organizational habits have helped her succeed.
1. What is the best part of being a tutor? Why do your tutor?
For me, the best part of being a tutor is cultivating relationships with students.
I tutor because I value education, but more importantly, because I value being a mentor. I strive to teach students the importance of big picture thinking, determination, organization, and self-discipline. These skills have helped me become the person I am, and I am pretty proud of who I am! I want all young people to feel capable, confident, and proud of who they are, both as a student and as person out in the world.
2. What do you think is the most challenging part of being a student today?
I think the most challenging part of being a student today is finding meaning and relevance in education. The #1 complaint I get from students is “I’m never going to use this” or “I don’t understand why I have to learn this.” And frankly, I often empathize with them. What I try to tell students to keep in mind is that school teaches us other important skills beyond course content. School pushes us to practice time management, organization, planning, group projects and teamwork, communication, problem solving, and meeting deadlines. All of these are skills that have value long after they leave the classroom.
3. What study skills, strategies, or organizational habits have helped you succeed as a student?
One of the organizational habits and study skills that helped me succeed as a student was the use of a calendar or planner. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am that I fostered the habit of using a calendar to keep track of appointments, extracurricular activities, and deadlines. I firmly believe that without this skill, I would not be as successful as I am at my age. So many students tell me when I encourage them to write down assignments and test dates that “I don’t need to write them down. I’ll remember.” Sometimes that’s true…sometimes it’s not. The quality of human memory declines over time, and if you cultivate that habit of writing things down, I genuinely believe you will be a more productive, less stressed human being.
4. So many students struggle with personal motivation. What keeps you motivated?
Personal motivation is tricky. What motivates one person will not motivate another, and for that reason, I sometimes struggle to help students identify that thing that will help them keep their gaze on the future, on the big picture. For me, what keeps me motivated is a fierce desire to make the world a better place. There is so much suffering and cruelty that takes place in the world, internally and externally, socially and economically, financially and spiritually. I first experienced how cruel my peers could be during middle school and high school, and I remember that I just couldn't help but wonder: why? What makes other people behave this way, to treat others with such a clear lack of empathy? These experiences changed me; they set me on a path centered on youth. I want to do what I can to help other younger people become more self-confident, more self-assured, and more at peace with themselves and the people around them, so that they too can go make the world a better place.
5. What information or advice do you wish someone would have given you in a) elementary school, b) middle school, c) high school, d) college?
a) Keep reading. Find joy, wonder, and adventure in reading. You may have to hunt for the right books, but they are out there. Reading is so important.
b) Friendships are hard. Middle school can be tough, and social dynamics can get a bit nasty. Don’t lose faith in others. Be true to yourself, beware of social pressures, and be kind.
c) Love will find you; don’t rush it. When I was in high school, all I wanted was a boyfriend. It may not feel this way, but you are so young, and you have so much time. Don’t rush romance. Focus on figuring out who YOU are and what you want. Work on cultivating habits and skills that will set you up well for college and life beyond the classroom.
d) SAVOR EVERY MOMENT! Seriously. College is an exceptional and awesome experience, and believe me, these years will zoom by! Pour yourself into your courses, take a wide variety of classes, and make the time to truly get to know your professors. There’s a wealth of knowledge and discovery waiting for you in college. Observe, listen, explore, reflect, grow.
6. What is your favorite subject (or two) to tutor? Why?
My favorite subjects to tutor are Algebra 1 and Writing. I enjoy tutoring Algebra 1 because I genuinely just think it’s a lot of fun. Algebra 1 involves a lot of basic problem solving and I find it to be one of the most practically useful math subjects. I also enjoy tutoring Writing because I believe writing to be one of the most valuable and timeless skills taught in school. Cultivating the ability to communicate effectively with others, especially through written communication, can help people thrive both inside the classroom and beyond.
7. Is there any additional advice, comments about education/learning, or background about yourself that you would like to share with parents or students?
YOU determine your life. You are the designer. You are limited only by the limits you set for yourself. What you get out of life is proportionate to your effort. Take ownership that, and have fun! There is opportunity in every failure, every challenge, and every discomfort. Don’t run away; stay. Shift, and move forward when times get rough. Life is what you make it. It’s a crazy rollercoaster, with lots of drops, climbs, twists, and turns, but you have what it takes. NEVER forget that!