Each month our team of mentors nominates a “Tutor of the Month.” This month’s tutor is Kimberly S. from California. Kimberly tutors Career Help, algebra, calculus, and physics. We are happy to share this interview, so you can “meet” her. Check out our additional tutor profiles to learn more about the people who help serve thousands of sessions, every day.
What brought you to Tutor.com? How long have you been here?
I joined Tutor.com nearly two years ago, pretty soon after my daughter was born. In my case, I was less motivated by earning money than by keeping my physics and math skills sharp. Within the next year or so, I expect to return to school–grad school for physics–full-time. Tutoring keeps my brain sharp, something that’s ESSENTIAL when you’re trying to finish graduate-level coursework in a field like physics, and something that’s incredibly difficult to do when you’re a stay-at-home parent of a little kid.
What is the most rewarding part of tutoring?
The most rewarding part? I’d have to say those moments when you find yourself explaining something so well and with such clarity that both you and your student share an aha! moment. It sounds silly, but I swear I’m a better physicist now than I was two years ago, and tutoring is a big part of that. In these instances, it’s like we’re both learning together; it’s not a one-way, tutor-blabs-and-student-tries-his-hardest-to-understand sort of session, but a joint venture in education.
Do you have any funny or touching Tutor.com stories?
I have so many of both. Funny moments? Countless, both unintentional (e.g. the result of some clumsiness on my part) and intentional. I try to incorporate humor into my sessions whenever possible; so many students, especially AP Physics students, are so stressed out with their coursework that a little bit of humor goes a long way to help them relax, which improves learning. Plus, it can lift the mood of an otherwise heavy session where a lot of tough physics or math takes place.
Touching moments? Every time a student says, “I’m so glad I got you as a tutor tonight…I’ve had you before,” or “OMG! I finally get it!” I just tear up a little bit…
What interests do you have outside of Tutor.com?
I’m such a nerd. Very little interests me outside of physics. I do love linguistics, though, especially how languages evolve over time. I’m always looking up etymologies in the dictionary, or finding cognates between languages. But physics is what I prefer to think about. There’s just so much to understand!
Any big events or activities coming up?
My daughter’s imminent potty training, which I’m certainly going to need help with. Does Tutor.com offer tutoring help in potty training?
Anything else you would like to share?
Since joining Tutor.com, I’ve had the honor of working under two wonderful mentors, Edna and Rhianna. They’ve both been so warm, supportive, and helpful. You would think that a solitary gig like at-home, online tutoring would make you feel “apart” from the company, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. I actually feel like I have co-workers and colleagues, as if I worked in an office. Thanks so much!