Can you name any country that does not teach Mathematics as a subject in schools? The flat answer is none. In fact, at some point Mathematics has been referred as a universal language.

I like the fact that wherever you go in the whole world, two plus two equals will still be four. - Dakota Blue Richards

If Mathematics is the world's universal language, then this also means that Mathematics teachers are universally needed for all age levels at various educational institutions to ensure the continuity of the mastery of this subject.

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Full-time Maths teacher vs Maths tutor (home or online)

If you are still deliberating on whether you should enter the teaching workforce as a full-time Maths teacher or pursue a side hustle or begin a teaching business as a Maths tutor, here are some guidelines that you can read to know them better before you make any decision.

a) Profession vs Career

When you enrol yourself in a teaching education diploma or degree, you are trained specifically and professionally to be a teacher at the end of your degree. That makes teaching your profession. This means you will not only learn about the subject that you have majored in, but you will also study various teaching methodologies, ways to manage the expectations and feedback of students in the classroom. Mathematics Teacher is your profession.

On the other hand, your career is not necessarily bound to what you have studied over the years. It can be driven by your passion, ambition and desire to grow in any industry. For instance, you love Mathematics and you have an idea to change the way how students think of Mathematics through your own teaching method. Hence, you are thinking of starting a Maths tutoring online class and slowly expand it to a more solid business venture in the future.

b) Fixed salary vs Flexible salary 

If you are a Mathematics teacher (regardless of whether you teach in a government or private educational institution), you are most likely to be given a fixed salary every month, and depending on your educational qualifications, seniority or bonus scheme, you might experience a gradual rise in your pay every year.

If you intend to apply to teach (any subject) in a government school:

  • Your starting pay is estimated to begin from RM2,222.94 if you have a honours degree in any field of study.
  • Your starting pay is estimated to begin from RM2,733.98 if you have a Masters degree in any field of study.
  • Your starting pay is estimated to begin from RM3,040.60 if you have a PhD degree in any field of study.

If you intend to teach in a private or international school, the amount may vary according to the institution but an average starting salary should begin from RM3,000 for any subject.

Things will be quite different when you choose to be a Maths tutor. You will be your own boss! Having said that, you do not need to have a teaching degree to be a Maths tutor.

Besides, your salary can suddenly spike up if you manage to increase your student intake consistently. Furthermore, you can be both a Mathematics teacher and a Mathematics tutor at the same time, as long as it does not interfere with your schedule and working commitment. In fact, many Maths teachers who are teaching in schools are also offering private tutoring services during their free time.

Maths tutor pay
Your starting salary as an educator in Maths can differ depending on where you teach.
Source: Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

c) Physical classroom environment vs Flexible working location and time

Granted that if you choose to accept a permanent, full-time teaching position in a teaching institution, you have to be prepared to teach a larger number of students in a classroom setting. You will also need to follow a pre-planned teaching schedule and teaching materials that are fully decided by the school management and the Ministry of Education. Moreover, you might teach your students on a daily basis.

Should you choose to become a Maths tutor, your working time is entirely up to you to manage. You can opt for online classes or even teach at a tuition centre. It is relatively more flexible and you can have more autonomy to choose the materials or method that you want to apply in your Maths teaching process.

What should I consider before deciding to teach Mathematics?

Apart from understanding the differences between a full-time Maths teacher and a Maths tutor, you should also take note of the below factors while planning your job scope or future career to teach Mathematics.

Even if you are still studying, this would be a good guideline for you to set the direction of your Maths teaching and tutoring path. For instance, you can have a degree in Mathematical Science and still become a Maths tutor upon graduation. Read further to know more.

a) Determine the educational level that you want to teach

It is good to give some thought on whether you prefer to teach Mathematics in the primary level, secondary level or even tertiary level. Why is this important? For instance, you might need to have certain qualifications if you choose to teach Mathematics in a university. Your working hours and locations might be different as well. If you are still a student in university and you want to start tutoring, you might want to begin with teaching students in the lower or upper secondary level. 

b) Familiarize yourself with both the Malaysian and international Maths syllabus

The majority of students in Malaysia usually follow the KSSM Maths syllabus set by the Malaysian government. For students in international schools or home schools, their learning of Mathematics will follow the IGCSE syllabus. You will have a great advantage if you master both syllabus and the examination format so that you can effectively teach your students regardless of their educational background.

Maths tutor lessons Malaysia
Your Maths tutoring journey will become smooth if you are well prepared for the lessons.
Source: Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels

What to expect when you are teaching Mathematics for STPM?

Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) is one of the most widely recognized Pre-University programme in Malaysia. Mathematics is taught for both Science and Art streams and many Form Six students are turning to private Maths tutoring classes to perform well throughout the three semesters of their studies.

Take note that Mathematics (T) is taken by Science stream students while Mathematics (M) is taken by Art stream students.

Discover the differences between syllabus for both Mathematics (T) and Mathematics (M).

Overview of the syllabus for STPM Maths T

Term of StudyTopic covered
Semester 1 (Algebra & Geometry)1. Functions
2. Sequences and Series
3. Matrices
4. Complex Numbers
5. Analytic Geometry
6. Vectors
Semester 2 (Calculus)7. Limits and Continuity
8. Differentiation
9. Integration
10. Differential Equations
11. Maclaurin Series
12. Numerical Methods
Semester 3 (Statistics) 13. Data Description
14. Probability
15. Probability Distributions
16. Sampling and Estimation
17. Hypothesis Testing
18. Chi-Squared Tests

 

Overview of the syllabus for STPM Maths M

Terms of StudyTopic Covered
Semester 1 (Algebra and Calculus)1. Functions
2. Sequences and Series
3. Matrices
4. Differentiation
5. Integration
6. Differential Equations
Semester 2 (Statistics)7. Data Description
8. Probability
9. Probability Distribution
10. Correlation and Repression
11. Index Numbers
12. Times Series
Semester 3 (Financial and Decision Mathematics)13. Interest, Annuity and Depreciation
14. Cost, Revenue and Profit
15. Linear Programming
16. Critical Path Analysis
17. Inventory Models
18. Game Theory

 

From the two tables above, you should be able to identify how the chapters are taught differently according to the semesters and also the emphasis on certain topics according to the stream of study. For instance, students who are taking Mathematics M do not need to study geometry but they have to study topics that are related to financial and decision mathematics. This is because they might be taking subjects such as Business Studies or Accounting (more directly associated with the theme of economy or finance).

Likewise, students who are taking Mathematics T will have to study 6 calculus chapters (for one semester) as well as certain geometry topics. This is because some of them may choose an undergraduate degree that is more inclined towards physical sciences or information technology (which requires more focus on calculation and formulas).

As a Maths tutor who is interested to teach STPM Maths, you should also remember that even though the STPM assessment follows the semester system, students can still opt to resit for their earlier semester again if they are not satisfied with their results.

This means you could be teaching students who are taking Maths lessons based on two semesters (Semester 1 and Semester 2 or Semester 2 and 3 and even Semester 1 and Semester 3) together or separately within the same timeline. Hence, it is good to be prepared to teach across the topics regardless of the semesters. At the end of the day, do remember that your student's progress is your main priority.

Maths tutor syllabus
Be sure to check and verify the differences of the Mathematics syllabus that your future students are learning.
Source: Photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels

How to secure good pay as a Maths tutor with Superprof?

Regardless of whether you are seeking Maths tutoring as a full-time job or a side hustle, the main key elements remain on how to find potential and motivated students for your Maths lessons.

One practical way is to sign up as a Maths tutor with a reliable and tutor-friendly teaching and learning platform. Our number one pick? SUPERPROF!

Reasons why we recommend Superprof:

1. You get to set your tutoring ad for FREE at the Superprof tutoring website (signing up only takes 10 minutes!)
2. You do not have to be a Maths teacher (or have a teaching degree) beforehand to start tutoring.
3. You get to set your rate of tutoring Maths without any additional administration or registration fee.
4. You can easily settle the payment details with your students in private, outside of the Superprof website.
5. You can decide if you want to teach face to face, online or even both.

See, it is super easy and convenient to kickstart your journey as a Maths tutor and slowly build your profile and student reviews at Superprof!

What are you waiting for? Create a Maths tutoring ad at Superprof to embark on a promising Maths teaching journey now!

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.