The Light Bulb Moment (1:42)

“Light bulb moments” are the best part of my job as a tutor.

Imagine how a light bulb illuminates a dark room once you switch it on. A personal revelation of a new concept suddenly illuminates one’s understanding in the same way.

The most satisfying light bulb moments usually happen after many previous attempts to do or understand something complicated. Right when you were about to throw in the towel and give up, something “clicks” and you get it!

Listen to the conversation in following video clip (taken from one of my online tutoring sessions this week) to witness a perfect example of a light bulb moment:

We were about 45 minutes into an hour-long session. I had already demonstrated several examples of writing expressions using exponents. The student recognizes this type of math problem but still doesn’t understand why or how to get the right answers.

Next, I demonstrate another example on the whiteboard. This time, I don’t mention “repeated multiplication” or offer any definitions. Instead, I show why exponents are useful: they allow you to rewrite things more simply. Suddenly, he gets it!

Not only does he say, “Oh! Okay, I get it now,” but he also explains in his own words how to find the exponent: “you just count how many there are.” Yes, well said!

Finally, the student continues with a couple of example problems on his own and successfully provides the correct answers.

He concludes by saying, “I get this way more now.” Hallelujah!

From my 430+ hours of tutoring experience, I know that you can learn anything.

Could your son or daughter benefit from partnering with a professional tutor?