Can you try to name any industry that is not related to numbers? As long as there is a buying or selling transaction, calculation, finance tabulation, graph reading, data interpretation or even measurement, you cannot take Mathematics out of the picture.
This is why Mathematics is made a core subject to be taught globally, beginning from a young age.
It is clear that the chief end of mathematical study must be to make the students think. —John Wesley Young
What are some misconceptions about becoming a Maths teacher?
Schooling children are not the only ones who have Maths anxiety. Even young adults who are good and interested in Maths are afraid of pursuing a career in Mathematics. This is especially true for the teaching profession.
Continue to read below to debunk some misconceptions about teaching Mathematics.
a) You must have a specific degree in Mathematics to teach the subject
While it is common for most Mathematics teachers to have a degree or diploma in Education, this is not necessarily a compulsory education pathway to follow if you intend to start tutoring Maths. There are few things that you need to take into account before making any decision. Firstly, you need to decide the place or platform that you plan to teach Mathematics.
If you are looking for a short term or flexible teaching venture, you can start as a private Maths home tutor to younger students without a degree in Mathematics. You can start teaching Mathematics online as a student! Even if you did not major in Mathematics during your undergraduate degree, you can still tutor Mathematics if you are passionate and proficient in Mathematics.
An important thing to take note of here is that qualifications to teach Mathematics are important if you are committed to teaching Mathematics full-time in an educational institution (school, college or university).
b) You earn too little/too high per month
As someone who is interested to teach Maths or already teaching Maths, money is something you should certainly take into consideration. You might wonder if there is a fixed salary as an educator in Maths.
In general, if you are a Mathematics teacher at a government school, your salary is determined by your entry-level and also your educational level. The more years you teach, the higher salary you will receive due to the yearly increment that government teachers enjoy. If you prefer a global and diverse teaching environment with attractive benefits and remuneration, you can also consider teaching in an international school.
A Maths tutor has a different set of considerations. As a Maths tutor, you can either work at a tuition centre or start your own tutoring business (be it home tutoring or online tutoring). This gives you the ultimate autonomy to set the rate of your Maths private tutoring services according to your experience, location, and materials you are preparing for your classes. Furthermore, you can also decide which level of education you want to teach, from primary school level, secondary school level, additional mathematics, or undergraduate level!
c) It is a challenging subject to teach
We have all heard students complaining about Maths being a boring and super difficult subject to learn in school. This certainly shifts the conversation back to Maths teachers and tutors. What does it take to be a good Maths tutor?
Apart from academic qualifications, teaching experience and effective teaching methodology are also other elements that parents and students take into account when they are looking for a Maths tutor. The most important part of teaching Mathematics is not showcasing the right and wrong way of applying core concepts or calculations, but making your teaching fun, simple, relatable, clear and accurate at the same time.
Teaching Mathematics will become less challenging when you can identify the common mistakes that are made by students. This will also allow students to develop the exploring mindset to solve Mathematical questions on their own.
Why you should consider being a Mathematics teacher/tutor?
Now that you know some new facts on how to start teaching Mathematics, here are some good reasons why you should choose to teach Mathematics:
a) You can teach a diverse range of students
Given that Mathematics is a compulsory subject in Malaysia from primary school level up till secondary school level, you can teach Mathematics to students of various age groups and backgrounds. This means you will also meet students with different levels in Mathematics.
b) You can crack your head (in a good way) to solve interesting problems
If you are a Math whiz and you love to find the solution for complex calculus or arithmetic questions with students, this will be a dream job for you! This will certainly give you great satisfaction as you are not only helping young learners to be good at Mathematics, you also get to exercise your brain actively at the same time!
c) There is a great demand for good Mathematics teachers everywhere
You do not have to worry about not having a place to teach Mathematics. If you are looking for full-time positions, you can always look for vacancies at primary and secondary schools for both government and international schools. There is also a high demand for Mathematics lecturers at the undergraduate and even postgraduate levels.
d) You can teach different types of Mathematics or only specialise in teaching one
General Mathematics is taught at the primary school level, then for the secondary school level, students will be given the option to take Additional Mathematics according to their streams (Science and Commerce stream) for the upper secondary level.
If you are working in a school, you may be assigned to teach both Mathematics and Additional Mathematics for different age levels and classes. But if you are an online Maths tutor you are free to select which Mathematics you prefer to specialise.
How to be an Additional Mathematics tutor for SPM students?
Mathematics is one of the most emphasized subjects to be mastered among secondary school students, regardless of whether they are studying in public or international schools in Malaysia.
Apart from taking Modern Mathematics for the upper secondary school level, Additional Mathematics is another Maths subject that is taught in school. It is taken together with Biology, Chemistry, Physics for the Science stream package whereas certain Commerce stream students also take Additional Mathematics with Accounting and Business subjects.
It has become increasingly a popular subject because many local and international corporations are looking for individuals who are competent in higher-order mathematical skills, especially in the health, biotechnology and information technology industries.
If you are thinking of teaching Additional Mathematics, here is some information that you can look into while preparing for your lessons.
a) Review the KSSM syllabus from the Ministry of Education website
Additional Mathematics Form 4 syllabus
- Quadratic Functions
- Systems of Equation
- Indices, Surds & Logarithm
- Linear Law
- Coordinate Geometry
- Solution of Triangles
- Index Number
Additional Mathematics Form 5 syllabus
- Circular Measure
- Permutation & Combination Probability Distribution
- Trigonometric Functions
- Linear Programming
- Kinematics of Linear Motion
b) Clearly identify the latest examination format
For SPM Additional Mathematics, you have to remember that both papers only have subjective questions.
|Additional Mathematics Paper||Paper 1||Paper 2|
|Question format and number of questions||Section A [64 marks]|
Answer ALL 12 questions
Section B [ 16 questions]
Answer 2 out of 3 questions
|Section A [50 marks] |
Answer ALL 7 questions
Section B [30 marks]
Answer 3 out of 4 questions
Section C [20 marks]
Answer 2 out of 4 questions
|Total duration||2 hours||2 hours and 30 minutes|
Finding effective ways to become a Maths tutor
As a Maths tutor, there are several ways to attract students who are interested to learn Mathematics.
a) Record a Mathematics tutorial class and upload it on Youtube
This is a creative manner to showcase your teaching skills! Many students often look up short videos on Youtube to learn more about specific topics in Mathematics such as Algebra, Calculus or Geometry.
Pick a topic or a Mathematical question and record yourself teaching about a concept or showing the steps to arrive at a solution to a question. For instance, certain questions for Additional Mathematics require students to sketch a graph.
A video would be a good way for students to learn how to answer similar questions as they can pause and play back according to their speed. This method is a good way to showcase your explaining skills as well as how you interact with your students online.
b) Create a Mathematics themed blog
Blogs are also another way to connect with your potential students and also to improve your skills as a Maths tutor. You can start by explaining Mathematics core concepts and giving relevant examples, followed by writing, step by step, ways to answer a question. For instance, you can write a blog post about the past year Additional Mathematics questions in SPM and also point out the common mistakes that are made by students.
You can also include your contact details on your blog and answer the students' questions in the comments. From there, you will be able to build a good rapport with them.
b) Set up a tutoring profile at Superprof
As a tutor, the best way to stand out is to commit to an effective tutoring community platform. Superprof is an amazing platform that connects tutors and students. It is absolutely free to start. All you need to do is create a tutor profile with relevant and updated information.
Be sure to include the below details:
- Academic qualifications
- Teaching experience
- Teaching methodology
- Hourly rate or extra rate for teaching plus transportation
- Type of subjects/specialisation/age levels that you plan to cover
When you create a Mathematics tutor profile with Superprof, it shows that you are COMMITTED to teach and it helps to build credibility in the most effective and fastest way. Your tutor services can be viewed by worldwide learners and not just Malaysian students. Superprof also offers you the flexibility to educate students through face to face teaching, online teaching and even both!
Unleash your teaching passion for Mathematics when you sign up as a Maths tutor at Superprof today!
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