One of the reasons that I feel I am so successful is that I have put a large amount of thought into the best way to excel at mastery of mathematics in my own studies. I have been immensely successful myself, and am no doubt always the best student in my classes at school (I always have the best grades, and even have a few 100%'s, but always at least 98%). I even teach the TA's during class when they don't understand! I believe my learning and practicing methodology is so effective because it is based on my extensive experience as a musician (I am 3 time All-State Jazz Guitarist and am the most knowlegable and skilled musician I know - I have recorded albums with the grammy winning engineer who most recently recorded the last Paul McCartney, Beck, and Radiohead studio albums (Darrell Thorpe) and have until recently been under the employ of country great Glen Campell for years for the purposes of arranging music for his sons). I take the same philosphy that I have used to
create my skill as a musician and apply it to the study of mathematics. I believe this is why I am a much quicker and more thorough learner than any of my peers. My students then recieve the benefits of my methodology.
I try to take full responsibility for the student's comprehension of material that I present to him/her. To elaborate on what I mean by this, I would like to explain my experience as a student over the past years:
Every so often, I will have a learning experience during which, I feel like I cannot understand anything the teacher is saying. For a long time, I believed that it must have been my own ability to comprehend difficult subject matter which was at fault; I have subesequently realized however that in each of these cases, the teacher was making an assumption about my own knowledge that was incorrect. In each of these cases, the teacher was assuming that I had a piece of information that I actually did not have. So the problem was not in my own comprehension, but rather in the fact that I merely did not have enough information, which would have made it impossible to understand, even for the most intelligent person! Unfortunately, most teachers are still not aware that this is usually the reason for a lack of comprehension in their students. However, I now know that this is the root of EVERY student's inability to excel in their studies. I see that almost any healthy student is able to get an A in math as long as I keep this philosphy in mind. I therefore take it as a challenge to find this missing piece of information in the student's understanding (often the students are not aware that they are missing information and instead just feel they are unable to understand, or are lacking in intelligence, which is almost never the case!) and find much pride when the student finally says
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