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An Inside Look at Eduboard tutoring – Neil McLeod

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Neil McLead

 

Neil McLeod, one of Eduabord tutors, gave an interview in which he told about his Eduboard experience and gave some nice suggestions to new tutors.

 
 

Subjects: Chemistry, Math, Physics

Eduboard tutoring experience: 3 months

Students: 14

Rating: 4.75/5

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with Minors in Mathematics and Music at Brigham Young University. Currently working toward a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kansas.

Work Experience: Research and QC Chemist in pharmaceutical, food, and oil and gas fields.

 

You registered with Eduboard in the month of October 2013. Can you tell a little more about your motivation and why you decided to join Eduboard?

I’m working on my master’s degree right now, and I was just looking for something that would be flexible to fit in with my schedule, with school and family stuff going on. I ran across Eduboard online; that was an ad for Сhemistry tutors. And I was like, “Hey! I know Сhemistry. Let’s see what this is all about.” I tutored Сhemistry before, and I taught some Сhemistry classes at a college level when I was doing my undergraduate work. I started looking at it and then applied, and there we go.

What would you consider to be the most difficult thing about tutoring?

With tutoring in general, sometimes students expect you to have all the answers right away. If you are trying to make yourself available to lots of different students, it might take a while for you to dig the subject up in your memory. In some cases you relearn things. You might be familiar with the concepts, but the student may be covering it with their teacher in a different way. So I try to reinforce what they’re already doing. You are trying to quickly teach yourself things that you didn’t know before, or do things you didn’t know how to do before, and also be able to teach it at the same time. So you have to be quick on your feet.

Specifically for online tutoring, the tutor is not just sitting across you, so you don’t have that pressure waiting for you. But if it’s online, your communication is usually just through text. So you might have more time to figure stuff out, have a little more resources at the computer, as you can just google stuff really quick. On the other side, it’s hard to communicate effectively with someone who’s not very familiar with subject matter, they can get confused as to their vocabulary or they can get confused in regard to what they expect you to do and what you expect from them.

What would be the most rewarding thing about tutoring?

It makes me feel good when people understand the concept and can explain it back to me.

What would be your strongest areas?

My strongest area is definitely Сhemistry as I have my degree in Chemistry. I also minored in Math and I’m working on a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, so I feel confident in Math, Physics and related areas.

What would you recommend to new tutors?

The biggest thing on Eduboard to get orders is just to try to be logged on as much as you can, and be refreshing as often as you can. I found that a lot of times if student puts a request, it’s important to get your application in quickly and make it sound like a person. I try to call the student by name like “Hey, Tom! I can definitely help you with this problem and the subject. If you respond right away, I can start right away.” And then if you have any questions about the order, you can mention that so that the person who has the order out, has an idea that you’re a real person and that you actually looked at it and not just spamming clients with all of these different orders.

For most of your orders, did the student agree with the price that you bid or you had to negotiate it? 

Students usually agree with my price. There was just this one case when the student I used to work with, placed a private order for me and noted his budget, so that I could adjust my price for the order accordingly.

Can you comment on your avatar?

It’s just me smiling. Just tried to make it with good lighting and nothing distracting on the background, and tried not to make a funny face when I did it.

I’m not brilliant, I obviously need help with subjects too when I get stuck. It helps me learn and interact better with the subject matter, if I feel like the person who is teaching isn’t a robot.  If I feel that I have a relationship with the person, it makes me feel more comfortable. That’s why I try to make my avatar look like “Oh! He’s just a guy that happens to know something and is willing to help”.
 

 

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