I am active on other SE sites but not here, thus I am unfamiliar with the local norms & scope. There is a question which I would like to ask but I am not sure how to phrase it so it will work here. Here is my current draft:

Title: How can I help/tutor a friend who is taking the same course as me?

I am a STEM major and have a good friend who is a non-STEM major. We are both taking a CS minor, me because it is relevant to my field of study and he because he wants a backup plan in case his preferred career path doesn't work out. Thus, while I am a much stronger math student than he, we end up taking the same courses where the CS minor is concerned.

Part of the CS minor's requirements are a series of math courses. We took the penultimate one last year, together, and I struggled with helping him through it. These are not math classes or concepts which either of us have been formally exposed to before. However, I have self-studied some things, and am better at grasping the concepts the first time around (during the lecture), while he needs more reinforcement and multiple explanations for more complicated ideas.

Because we are friends we naturally did the homework together (doing homework in groups is encouraged by the professors in this series of classes). I felt awkward sometimes, as I had two goals the whole time: do the homework as quickly as I could do it well, and teach him the concepts. Our working relationship was not quite that of tutor and student, which I have more experience with - I tutored calculus on the side - but it was also not that of two equal friends struggling through the homework together. Besides homework, we also prepared for tests together, and I shared my notes with him.

With the coming of fall classes, I have been thinking about how I could improve the next time our classes overlap, which will be in the winter term. How could I better approach helping/tutoring a friend in the same course as me?

My goal in asking this question would be to find ways to adjust my mindset and/or tutoring style with him so that we could both succeed in the math courses together. Is there anything wrong with the current formulation of the question? Should I adjust the wording or scope of the question? I am aware it is somewhat opinion-based and broad; is it too much so? Is there any information I left out which would be helpful to answerers? Should I mention how I approached this the last time, and if so, where?



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