How can a tutor help you get better Physics results?
We talk to our tutor Steve about how a Physics tutor can make a big difference in grades and speed up your understanding of difficult subjects. Whether it is at middle school level, IGCSE, or the final IB Physics exams, this is how a tutor helps to improve academic results.
Steve is a teacher with over 20 years of experience and has been an assistant principal. He now teaches with TutorsPlus and helps students prepare for their IGCSE and IB Physics exams.
For more information on our IB Physics HL and SL tutors click here.
Alex: Hi Steve. Thank you so much for joining us. We are going to talk a little bit today about why a student may need a Physics tutor. You, yourself, have been a Physics teacher for over two decades and also assistant principal so I hand it over to you to give us some insight into how a physics tutor might help.
Steve: thanks, Alex. Yes, like you said, I have been teaching for ever. So why would anybody want a tutor – they’ve got a Physics teacher in the classroom, why do they need someone to give individual help?
I think that the key is that in the classroom the teacher is teaching a whole team of people that go through the material. They might be going through that very well.
Often a student thinks “I don’t really get what happened there. I’m not going to ask. I’ve been a bit intimidated by the others, I’m a bit embarrassed. Maybe I can work it out later.” But with a tutor you’ve got one to one access.
Now, what I will do in a tutorial is that I will make sure that you understand everything. There’s a lot of question and answer so that I can check your understanding of each point because Physics is a very logical subject. You can work through the steps, but if you don’t understand the steps there is no point in going further. So, let’s go back, make sure we understand that and then when we are clear – we’ll check that we are clear on that, we’ll have a discussion about it – and then we can move on to the next part: one piece at a time.
I have had students that have had tutorials and they’ve said at the end of them “Oh my goodness, I think I’ve learnt more in that hour than I have in half a term at school.”
That is no discredit to the school, but we spent an entire hour working on just the things that they don’t understand. Maybe that has just flown past in the school. It’s like if you are learning to drive, what’s the expression?
You learn by your mistakes, but I didn’t learn to drive by crashing cars.
I learnt to drive by having an expert next to me, correcting me as soon as I made a mistake, so that I learnt to do it correctly. I am not watching somebody else do this. You have got to first show me how to do it and then I would get a go at it with the instructor’s direct supervision and, as I become more confident, he will relax the supervision until I can do it on my own. That is the principle of being with a tutor. Maybe I am stretching the analogy a bit too far, but maybe in the classroom you are going on a bus journey and there’s lots of you and there is one person driving and if you miss whatever is out of the window he will not stop. He’s still going. But as a tutor I can make sure that we have pulled in all of the stops that we’ve understood entirely.
I think in an hour’s tutorial we can certainly learn things at, between, 4 maybe 5 times the pace.
Because we can quickly assess what it is that we think you know, and no point spending time on that, and what it is that you don’t know, and find that out very sharply and focus on that so that we can build those skills.
Alex: Physics can be such a tough subject, whether it is at IB level, IGCSE or those early years of middle school, one of the questions I have for you is how do you see the impact of tuition on student confidence and what difference does that make in the classroom to their results?
Steve: That is huge – confidence is huge, because without the confidence you give your answer and you think “No, I don’t know if that’s right”. I think that when you give an answer and you don’t know if it is right you don’t remember it, you don’t work the understanding into your cognition, but when you know you have got the right answer you put that in a place in your mind “I can do that again. I can do that technique again. I have learnt that piece of information. I can recall it again.” And you need that piece of information and you need something there like the instructor saying, “well done you didn’t spin the wheels this time, you didn’t stall pulling away.” All those different things. It was good. That’s great. You are doing the right thing.
When someone is encouraging you, telling you but at first making sure you are doing the right thing and encouraging you for it, you learn to do the right thing again and again and again.
So, when you sit in the exam that is what you have practiced doing. You do the right thing.
Alex: Steve, thanks so much for your time. We are so happy that you are one of the TutorsPlus tutors
To book IGCSE, or HL or SL IB Physics lessons with Steve, get in touch with one of our team, or call us on 022 731 81 48.
You can also email us at email@example.com. He is happy to do IB Physics revision lessons of an hour a week in the run up to those final HL or SL exams.
Steve is also available for general Physics tutoring.
We’d love to hear from you.