*RECOMMENDATION: CHESTER MARTIN - Math Tutor*

Chester Martin is a great example. We have nothing but positive things to say about him and are fully committed to him as a Math tutor for our son.

After several frustrating months of searching for a math tutor able to teach Algebra I and Geometry through local contacts and schools in Austin, we finally decided to try the Internet.

Our specific challenge was to find someone not only academically qualified to teach these subjects, but also someone who had a knack for communicating complex math concepts in easy-to-learn and novel ways that would appeal to a young 7th grade boy.

One of our first hits on Google was a link to Chester’s very well-organized website "The Austin Math Tutor." After perusing the website, we decided to give it a try. It was really a "shot in the dark," as we knew nothing about Chester. In addition, the website emphasized college-level and high school math, so we actually had some doubts as to whether Chester would be interested in tutoring our son.

Within a day after we submitted our inquiry to Chester through his website form, he called us. This was the first positive experience. Many earlier phone-based inquiries had gone unanswered. After a very pleasant and lengthy conversation with Chester, we learned that our son was actually studying high-school level math, and that Chester not only had experience teaching this level, he enjoyed it too. That was positive experience number two.

Positive experience number three was that Chester was very flexible in his schedule and was able to come to our house in North West Austin for the tutoring sessions (for a slightly higher fee) versus us having to travel to his residence (at that time) in South Austin. Given the time of day that our son was available for tutoring (between 3:00 and 7:00), this saved us about an hour in rush hour commute time.

Positive experience number four was that he arrived about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled (and he consistently arrives about 10 minutes earlier than scheduled.) After a brief introduction to our son, they got straight to work, and continued to work for a very intense hour and a half without interruption. Once they got started, it was all "business."

Positive experience number five was when our son, who tends to be very sensitive and picky about his teachers, said he really enjoyed working with Chester, and that he felt that he got a lot out of the first session. He said that Chester was able to communicate the math concepts to him in ways that were different than those that his regular math teacher used, and that this helped him understand the concepts much more easily. In addition, he said that Chester was able to apply many of the concepts to the real world through his prior experience in architecture, and that this made it even more interesting to learn.

That was enough for us to decide that Chester was a "keeper," and to continue working with him as a Math tutor for our son.

Positive experience number six came in the form of an almost immediate improvement in our son's Algebra grades. He moved from being a B student to being an A student. This was a remarkable change in our eyes.

Positive experience number seven is that Chester is extremely flexible in adapting to and applying "customized" learning plans. To wit, we worked out a special math tutoring strategy with Chester for our son for the summer months. This consisted of a 1x weekly review of the algebra concepts that our son had learned during the prior 6-month period to ensure that he fully grasped the fundamentals. Once this was finished, Chester started the 8th grade Geometry material with him, so that when our son gets started with the new year, he will already be several chapters into the new Geometry book. Once the new year starts, our son will re-review the current chapter with Chester and then continue to read one to two chapters further into the Geometry book. By the time the new school year starts, our son will already be six to seven chapters into his book, so he will have a significant learning advantage over the other kids in his class.

With the positive momentum that our son has gained in working with Chester, there is no question in our minds that this will be a long-term working relationship. The results say it all.

In a nutshell, Chester's personal style and ability to relate to and communicate effectively with our son, his experience in teaching more advanced levels of math, and his ability to apply math concepts to real world situations, and his flexibility in working around our schedule, are all reasons for which we enjoy working with him.

It's funny how these things just sort of happen...

Eric S.

Austin, Texas

More Letters:

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