Most students today do not like math. But a good math tutor can be the power of change needed.
A good math tutor can work with students who have traditionally struggled with maths in the past and help them build their confidence once again.
For students who are usually bored with numbers, a good math tutor can breathe new life into the subject.
Students will like to attend sessions with the good tutor because he can make maths interesting.
Math is a core subject in most education systems in the world.
If a student has college aspirations, they must meet a certain standard in mathematics and also be able to perform well in various texts, each of which has got its own math sections.
For some students, grasping a thorough understanding of math comes easily whiles for others; math is never a subject to mention at home.
In any case, every student has the potential to perform well in math and thus prevent mathematics from being a barrier between them and their goals.
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The reason for the struggle in math for one student might be different as compared to another.
So if you’re struggling today, know that you are not alone.
Your struggle might be due to either anxiety or a disability.
Math anxiety is a very common phenomenon that affects most students worldwide.
These students may grasp mathematical concepts but perhaps cannot apply them well due to the feelings of anxiety which are evoked when they encounter a maths problem.
In the most extreme cases, the student will be so unsettled by the subject that they will struggle to complete even the simplest calculations as the symptoms of panic set in.
Learning disabilities such as dyscalculia are also among the reasons many parents seek one to one maths help.
Dyscalculia affects a person’s ability to understand the way in which numbers work and grasp concepts such as addition and why counting is important.
In the same way that dyslexia affects a person’s ability to master language, dyscalculia can make learning number sense much more difficult.
For this reason, learners who have trouble reasoning and counting, who cannot grasp concepts such as ranging numbers from biggest to smallest might need your patience more than your maths expertise.
Whether a student needs a tutor’s help because of a condition such as anxiety, or they simply need a confidence boost, a good tutor would not only be around to teach, but also to mentor.
Even though anyone endowed with math competence could give math help, there are certain qualities that distinguish a good educator of math from an average one, or even a bad one.
Finding a good tutor can also be difficult.
But if you know what you’re looking for, then it can be an experience well worth the time.
So what qualities should you be looking for in a math tutor?
Nobody learns well from a complainer.
Your child may already have mixed feelings about getting extra help in math, especially if they suffer from math anxiety.
So make sure the time spent doing extra math is enjoyable.
2. Educational Background
An effective math tutor must have the ability to master concepts they are teaching to others.
Having a strong understanding of mathematical concepts will help the tutor and your child.
When teaching elementary and middle school students a high school diploma is the minimal expectation.
Math concepts on the high school and collegiate level may require a tutor with an undergraduate degree, preferably an individual with a major emphasizing mathematics engineering or science.
3. Previous Experience
Communication skills are key component needed when helping others learn.
Delivering materials to meet the individual`s needs is another important characteristic of an effective tutor.
Previous teaching or tutoring is a highly recommended quality when searching for an ideal tutor.
Experience at the grade level of your student is also something to look for when selecting an individual.
The education field is always changing therefore good tutors will work for companies that provide on-going professional development or seek continual training themselves.
4. An ability to teach
A good math tutor will tailor the instruction to the pace of the student.
If the tutor fails to check for mastery of a concept before progressing, or uses confusing explanations, then the student will get more frustrated and confused.
5. Assessment For Strengths And Weaknesses
Spending time on previously mastered material is boring.
On the other hand, skipping foundational skills leaves critical learning gaps unaddressed.
That leads to problems down the road.
A curriculum outlines the progression of skills, gives examples, practice and follow-up.
It also refers the tutor back to previous skills if a learning gap is discovered.
Trying to tutor without a curriculum is like trying to build a house without a blueprint.
This doesn’t mean that the tutor ignores the textbook material, but that they recognize and take advantage of opportunities that a one-on-one tutoring setting makes possible.
Math tutoring allows the tutor to teach the material in the right way and at the right pace for the student.
A good math tutor will identify their students’ learning styles and adjust their lessons accordingly.
You can read more about How to identify your student learning style from here.
More and more case studies have proven that students always learn best when instruction is delivered to meet their individual needs.
Also one-to-one interaction is important to ensure that you get the maximum assistance from math tutoring.
8. Sense of Empathy
The best math tutors empathise with their students.
They put themselves in their pupil’s shoes in order to understand the difficulties they are experiencing, and tailor teaching methods to suit the learner’s strengths whilst working on their weaknesses.
A popular method which is used by good math tutors to ease their students into math with minimal anxiety is to disguise learning as play;
By incorporating mathematical concepts into a game, you can get a student’s mathematical brain in gear without them even noticing!
Playing math games at the start of your lessons is a great way to help your student relax before they start learning about and using maths in a serious context.
9. Ability to ask questions
When you imagine a brilliant math tutor, you probably think of someone who’s able to answer any question.
But it’s also vital to get math help with a tutor who asks questions.
They should ask questions to understand which aspects of math are most challenging for the student and which are the easiest.
A good math tutor should also learn why the student is seeking extra help, and ultimately, to provide lessons that will best teach the student the material they need to learn.
Well-informed personalized guidance that contributes to thorough understanding is vital in math learning.
A great math tutor must be able to provide this type of learning experience.
10. Practice, practice, practice.
The best way to retain information that is taught is by practice.
Practicing is the best retention method, which results in a 75% retention rate.
One way to accomplish this is by completing homework assignments or in-class problem daily.
On-going practice will help to ensure that the concepts taught are being mastered.
Most tutoring companies often assist parents in preparation for standardized test.
Therefore having access to test in the same format as the standardized test can be beneficial.
A skilled math tutor is also seen as a mentor to her student.
Her student respects her, not only for her knowledge of mathematics, but also for her overall attitude and actions.
Students can tell she respects them as well.
She has control over her sessions.
She lays out clear rules and expectations for students to follow.
When students misbehave, discipline is consistent and fair.
Individuals that tutor need to be compensated for their time and services.
Therefore it is not practical to think that you will receive good math tutoring for free.
In order to receive a good student to tutor reaction, it will more than likely cost a little extra.
To determine if the money invested is worth it, you will have to look at the individual needs of the student and how much they want to succeed in the subject of math.
Also remember that there will be other administrative charges and overhead expenses on the part of the tutor or the tutoring company.
Always discuss tuition rates and prices far ahead of time.
Preferably before your first session.
Where to Find a good Math Tutor
Some individual tutors and teachers at school offer tutoring opportunities.
Several companies also offer in-home tutoring and online tutoring depending on the student needs.
If you’re looking for which math tutor is the best for your child, then you may want to look into these companies.
The tutoring services are offered outside the regular school hours and their tutors are monitored.
These companies do differ regarding your commitment of time and money, lesson-based instruction, and curriculum-based homework for students.
Here are other articles you might want to consider when picking the best tutor for your child:
With tutoring companies, you get to choose the days and times for lessons to meet our needs.
Another thing that disturbs many parents and students alike is the inconsistencies of tutors.
But you need not worry about that too.
Because most tutoring companies have supervisors or monitoring systems that ensure that lessons are conducted on days and times as scheduled.
Even in some instances, when you are not satisfied with a tutor, you can get a guaranteed replacement with no additional cost.
Math is a common subject in any educational setting.
That is why it is important for you to consider it with all seriousness.
Since not all math tutors will provide the same experience,
It’s best to figure out what you’re looking for and do your research on what will work best for you and your child.
You may use this lesson as a guide to help you interview math tutors and find the right tutor for your child.
You can also contact tutoring companies in your area to help you out.
Often a student will form a bond with one particular tutor.
Do your research, interview and commit.
At the end, you will be glad for taking the time to get a good math tutor.
What are some things you look for in a good math tutor?