STEM Tutoring Company Warp Drive Tutors
Featured Professional Series: The second Monday of every month, we feature one of our favorite educational consultants, psychologists, or professionals in a related field. We ask everybody the same five questions, designed to show you why we like them and to help you decide whether they’re a good fit for your needs.T utoring companies with integrity that are stocked with tutors who have PhDs are rare, but tutoring companies that can help you with the most difficult college-level STEM courses are even rarer. Not only does Josh Rabinovich’s STEM tutoring company Warp Drive Tutors provide all of that, but they do it remotely, with superior technology, even if you’re on the other side of the world!
How did you get into this field?
Well, all of the tutors in our organization are full-time math and science teachers, and we can collectively say that we love teaching math and science! And teaching the material and explaining it in a way so that everyone understands it is a surprisingly intellectual process; you cannot just go in there with a memorized script and press “play”. The ability to shift on your feet if you perceive someone doesn’t get it requires some nimbleness in your thinking, but it is very rewarding when someone finally understands how to solve a complex problem.
What do you love about the work?
Probably when students discover their interest in science and math is at the top of our list. But just showing them that they have the ability to excel at science and math, when they never thought of themselves as strong in those areas, is right there as well.
Why do people hire you?
People hire us because we firmly believe in a student’s ability to master the material. This is our absolute firm belief, and it is not some starry-eyed hope: we have tutored literally thousands of students over the years and there were maybe two who just didn’t get it. A third was borderline; she graduated medical school a couple of years ago.
Our problem, and our job, is to figure out how explain the material to someone who has struggled with the lecture material and cannot figure it out from the textbook. Every student eventually catches on; they just need different examples or they are missing some basics.
How do you feel about study skills?
Let’s just say, they really help, and they are really underrated. Students don’t think enough about HOW they study and more often think of HOW MUCH they study. For example, let’s say you spend a ton of time reading the textbook and not that much reviewing the lecture notes. Do you ever consider the effort a teacher, or a professor, puts into organizing their lecture notes? The answer is a lot. And it is a safe bet that they will expect their students to know what they discussed in lecture, because they are telling them what they think is important for the class to know. So guess what’s an excellent preview of material that will appear on the exam? Yes, the lecture notes! So study tip #1 is know your lecture notes. Write everything down, be sure you understand it, and don’t forget to go to office hours with your questions.
What is your favorite piece of advice to give students?
Remember that math and science are creative pursuits, and becoming a scientist is a lot like becoming a jazz musician. In both, you start off with a series of seemingly arcane rules, which – once mastered – allow for endless creativity.