Tag Archives: teachers

3 Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Teachers

3 Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Teachers

The inherent challenges in an evolving education system have made teachers the prime target of criticism, particularly when students struggle. Classes are jam packed, and the workload is greater in order to meet the demands of college admission. It’s similar to a restaurant – you complain the waiter because the chef overcooked your food. Of course, the teacher is the most important component of a good educational experience, and some teachers are better than others, but I would like to offer a few ideas you may not have considered regarding the value of the good teachers.


Below are three reasons why your teachers are probably really cool, and you should make the most of your time with them:

1. Extra Instruction

I’ve worked with TutorNerds for a while, and I’ve seen the value of private instruction. However, your first source of assistance, or at least one of them, should be your teachers. I have yet to meet a teacher who would not allow time for extra instruction during lunch, before school, or after school. In fact, many schools mandate such opportunities, in a similar fashion to professors’ “office hours” at the university level. And just like in college, students rarely take advantage of these opportunities for extra help.

Your teachers create the class curriculum, set expectations, and write exams (and grade them). If you need help in a particular class, why not go right to the source? If you show initiative and a genuine interest in learning the content better, teachers will almost always make time for you (READ: “Tips From a Private San Diego Tutor: Sleep, a Healthy Lifestyle, and Academic Success”).

(And actually, the heading above is a bit disingenuous – you’re already paying for their time, either through tuition or taxes, so why not get your money’s worth?)

2. They have made it their professional mission to educate students

I don’t think many teachers choose to pursue their careers for financial reasons. Many teachers simply love to teach. I have interviewed many teachers for TutorNerds, and consistently these individuals can’t help but be enthused by their profession. Not only do teachers love teaching math, history, or English, many like to teach in a more global sense–they present the material from the class into a larger context and teach students about life in general. Great teachers know that quality learning neither starts with a textbook and nor ends with an exam. To paraphrase Mark Twain, “school should not get in the way of your education.”

3. Teachers learn from their students

Few people understand the value of consistently learning like teachers. Like nearly all professionals, they attend conferences and otherwise further their education to hone their craft. Their goal is to produce better results with their students. On one hand, these results are reflected by class performance (i.e. grades). However, feedback from students helps put grades in context, giving a full picture of teachers’ effectiveness (READ: “5 Ways to (Unintentionally) Sabotage Summer Test Prep”).

Any improvement in the instruction of a course is a direct benefit to you as a student. Just letting your teacher know what you do and do not understand can prompt him or her to devote more teaching time to the topics that challenge students the most, or format the course in a way that is more conducive to sensible study. Reciprocally, your teacher can help you improve your performance in the course as it currently exists.  Win-win!

In Conclusion

Both as a student and as an academic director at TutorNerds, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with some phenomenal teachers. And while not every teacher you have will have a profound, life-changing impact (and some may be downright bad) most can at least help you improve your grade. Even if you find your teachers lacking, and especially if you have fallen out of their favor for whatever reason, it is advisable you make the best of your situation. And now you have three solid reasons to do so.

Written by: John Sawicki is a former tutor and current vice president of TutorNerds LLC, an in-home tutoring company in Orange County, California.

The school year is creeping up on us! Get the rust off with the help of a private San Diego academic tutor. Call us today and we’ll pair you with the perfect tutor.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at pr@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write.

7 Things Parents Should Ask New Teachers | TutorNerds

A Little Homework for Orange County Parents

Issues with assignments or tests may not be linked to problems at home. In this case, it’s helpful to know what’s going on in the classroom; and this is where an involved parent is indispensable.  Whether it’s how the student is progressing in class or what resources may be available for extra help, having a good relationship with teachers is important for any caregiver. Ensure you build and maintain the best relationships by asking these important questions early on. With an informed parent, students have a much better chance of successfully completing a class. Finally, refer to this list for summer schooling as well.

Teacher-questions You may find some of these questions unnecessary and some very useful, so use at your discretion to ensure you have the best understanding of your child’s academic environment.

1. How do you measure academic progress in your class?

This questions attempts to discover if the teacher is focused on testing students regularly. If he is, it’s helpful to know how the tests are administered and what is generally tested. All this information can be used to prepare your child in the future.

2. If my student is struggling in class, how will you respond?

This is a question that, unfortunately, doesn’t get asked enough. For many parents, a string of bad grades on a progress report is the only evidence their student is struggling. To catch issues early, caregivers should find out what a teacher does when a student’s grades start slipping. This could be anything from a note home to the parents to a conference including the child.

3. What aspects of the class usually give students difficulty?

Again, anything you can find out ahead of time is valuable. Knowing what tends to confuse students gives caregivers an opportunity to work on those issues ahead of time. Take advance of these hints and work with your child early on to tackle the hard stuff.

4. On a daily basis, what should I be asking my child about your class?

Some classes require a lot of homework and others build upon concepts throughout the semester. Since a teacher constructs the class, she may know what would be helpful to review on a weekly basis. She may not suggest any check-ins, but it never hurts to ask.

5. Are there any resources you suggest we use at home?

Teachers tend to be the best resources when it comes to extra studying materials. Even if your child hasn’t struggled in the past or tends to perform well on tests, having these resources handy may be helpful in the future.

6. By the end of the year, what are the big concepts my child needs to understand?

Understand the big picture of your child’s class. Not only does this give you a better idea of what they’re learning, but it also allows you to keep them focused when they get bogged down in details. Sometimes, just realizing what the end goal is can be helpful to relieve stress and raise confidence in students.

7. Is there anything else I should know about this class?

You may not have heard about the optional study groups or the textbook’s online companion. It’s always worth asking this question since every class is different from the last.

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tutor logo Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5 9) | TutorNerds | tutornerds.com All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

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Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9) | TutorNerds

Teachers: America’s Most Undervalued Resource

“A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.” – Ruth Beechick

Take a moment this week to stop and ask yourself, “where would I be without the amazing teachers in my life?” Can you answer it? Probably not.


It seems almost silly to label one week of the year “teacher appreciation week” when they continue to inspire year round. From the grade school teacher who wouldn’t let you give up on math, to the private tutor who helped you get a higher score on the ACT than all your friends, educators are a big part of your life.

Here at TutorNerds, we see first hand what an amazing job Orange County teachers do. Many of the students who come to us for help aren’t doing so because their teachers did a poor job, they just need a little extra help. Further, we understand that students learn at different paces, which is hard to accommodate for when course material must meet a tight schedule. In fact, most teachers will go out of their way to suggest a private tutor when they notice a student is falling behind.

The Pride of Orange County, CA

Orange County students achieve great things. Just recently, Kevin Lee, a student at University High School in Irvine, won the top science fair prize with his entry, “Strongly Coupling the Electrical and Mechanical Dynamics of the Heartbeat in a Diffuse Interface Model.” Kevin was awarded $1,000 and the distinction, State Science Fair Student of the Year.  There’s no denying Kevin Lee is one smart kid, but these events are also a reflection of California’s superb educators. For example, Rialto High School was well represented by Guadalupe Valero, who won the top choice for California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year.


The success of our students is a result of educators who inspire. We at TutorNerds know this because our college educated private tutors have all had many excellent teachers along the way. That being said, how can we show our gratitude? The best teachers are simply content to see their students succeed, but they deserve something special this week. Below are 5 Simple Ideas to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week from Karen Bantuveris of cozi.com.

“1. Start Simple– A Teacher’s Gift from You” – Sometimes a hand-written note is the most sincere thank you.

“2. Involve your Kids” –  Include a drawing or note from your kid in with your own letter.

“3. Involve the Classroom” – Collaborate with the entire class on a week long pampering session.

“4. Involve your School” – Coordinate a pot luck breakfast for the teachers at your school.

“5. Extra Love” – Make sure every teacher feels appreciated by giving a small gift to every educator at the school.

Now that you have some tips, go out there and appreciate some teachers. One more thing, Happy Cinco De Mayo, Orange County!

tutor logo ACT Tips From a Private Irvine Tutor | TutorNerds | tutornerds.com All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest educational news, Irvine? Follow us on Facebook! Have a quick question in regards to our Orange County, CA, private tutoring services? Tweet us @TutorNerds

Attention all Orange County, CA, high school students grades 9-12: Enter our essay contest for a chance to win $500!