Have you come across people who are afraid of Mathematics or confessed to you that they hate Mathematics? Mathematics is certainly not perceived as an easy subject to be mastered by many people. Thankfully, there are many passionate and dedicated individuals who are not only good at solving Mathematical problems but also at teaching the subject. They can be our Mathematics teacher in schools or our Maths tuition teacher/tutor.
What does it take to be a Maths tutor and why is this career becoming increasingly more popular these days?
Maths Teacher vs Maths Tutor, what is the difference?
Sometimes you often hear people introducing themselves as a Maths teacher or Maths tutor and wonder whether it is interchangeable. Let us enlighten you by telling you that they are actually different in terms of definition, academic qualification requirements, teaching flexibility, as well as average salary respectively.
Number of students
Teacher: A Maths teacher will teach a large number of students (more than 20 students) in a physical class.
Tutor: A Maths tutor will teach a smaller group of students or just focus on one-to-one teaching.
Teacher: A Maths teacher will need to have a degree/postgraduate degree that is related to education or Mathematics. For instance, an Education degree in Mathematics Studies.
Tutor: A Maths tutor does not need to have an academic qualification in teaching. Even a university student can be a Maths tutor.
Teacher: A Maths teacher will receive a fixed salary from the institution in which he/she is working at, regardless of the hours he/she spends teaching every month.
Tutor: A Maths tutor will obtain his/her salary according to the number of students he/she has every month (direct payments from their students). Furthermore, they are the ones who decide on their Maths tutoring rates.
Teacher: The teaching hours, main teaching materials and lesson locations are subjected to the educational institutions.
Tutor: The tutors are free to choose the time, duration of lessons, as well as the mode of teaching (be it home tutoring/online tutoring).
Why is the role of a Math tutor so important?
At times, some people might think there is no need to enrol for private Maths tutoring given that there are many Mathematics teachers who are professionally trained at various educational institutions. However, there are also various things to be considered.
Given that there can be a large number of students in a classroom as mentioned in the earlier paragraph, some students might feel left out and fall behind due to the rigorous way of teaching the syllabus. One Mathematics teacher may not be able to give equal attention to every student in his/her class, where some of them may have different levels of learning the topics.
This is where Mathematics tutors can come in to bridge the gap through the below initiatives:
a) Help students to improve and strengthen their Mathematical ability
Many students turn to Maths tuition or one-to-one tutoring because they feel the need to do better at the subject. At times, they also find it difficult to do the Maths homeworks that are given by the school teachers. They might also want to have more time for direct questioning and answering sessions with their Maths tutor on a regular basis.
This continuous cycle will lead them to feel demotivated and pressured whenever they have to learn Mathematics. Hence, your job as a Maths tutor is crucial because you have to help the student to build a fundamental understanding of the core concepts that they are supposed to master and also help them in the topics that they are weak at.
b) Expose students to various Mathematical related job opportunities
You may have come across students (or maybe yourself) who question the reason for learning Mathematics. Will you ever use the Pythagoras Theorem or actually use the principles of functions and differentiation after you have graduated from high school?
Well, one way to educate your students about the importance of Mathematics is by letting them know about how Mathematics is relevant in industries such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Banking and many more.
There is a reason why so many chapters are included in the syllabus of the Mathematics subject that they are learning for each level. It is to build their foundation and equip them to apply Mathematics in the future workforce. You will never know who your students will turn to be if they pursue a field that is related to Maths. They might be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates!
What do you need to prepare to teach Maths in the long run?
If you are thinking of switching to Maths tutoring as a new career pathway or start tutoring Maths as a side hustle, do not feel overwhelmed by the uncertainties and questions that lie ahead. Remember, every master was once a beginner.
Here are some tips that you can take heed to be a successful Maths tutor:
a) Continue to read and study extensively on the various Maths syllabus
Versatility is a trait that a good Maths tutor should possess. This is because the teaching of Mathematics encompasses a wide range of age groups (from kindergarten, primary, secondary up till tertiary), as well as the inclusion of different syllabus according to the various education systems in the country.
Apart from the usual General Mathematics subject, it is also important to be familiar with the updated Mathematics syllabus by Malaysia's Ministry of Education (KSSM) and also dive deep into subjects such as Additional Mathematics [for SPM level], Mathematics M, Mathematics T [for STPM level], as well as Further Mathematics [for A-Levels]. The more you know, the more students you can teach.
b) Upskill yourself in various teaching/Maths online courses
Be a lifelong student. The more you learn, the more you earn and the more self-confidence you will have. – Brian Tracy
Even if you have no experience in teaching, it does not mean that you cannot be good at teaching. Currently, there are many Mathematical Education teaching related courses that you can enrol in. From there, you can learn how to be a good Maths tutor. Your learning outcomes would include the ways to prepare your lessons systematically, how to explain your points in a simpler manner, how to engage with your students effectively during lessons, the strategies to conduct successful assessments, methods to monitor your students' progress and many more.
Likewise, even if you are an experienced Maths tutor, you can also discover and explore various teaching methodologies that have been applied by other tutors overseas and improve your teaching skills.
c) Master various online teaching tools (hybrid learning)
Online maths tutoring is certainly something that you should pay attention to if you are a newbie to private Maths tutoring. It is one of the most cost-effective and flexible ways to find students who want to learn Mathematics seriously. Invest in a good mobile device (laptop, notebook, tablet) or recording device to have smooth online Maths learning sessions with your students.
That being said, a stable Internet connection is a must too! Whether it is through Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, you can use various collaboration tools to make your online teaching as interactive and engaging as possible! You can also include animations and Youtube videos during your lessons to diversify your teaching methodology apart from your regular explanations on the topics.
Finding the perfect match as a Maths tutor at Superprof
Perhaps you have tried to advertise your Maths tutoring service through various methods but the results are not up to your expectations. Don't give up! There is a solution to your worries!
While "hunting" for students, why not let students "hunt" you too? The best place for them to meet you? SUPERPROF!
Superprof is an engaging and diverse learning platform website that links students and tutors to share knowledge regardless of their locations and subjects. When students find you through Superprof, they have already gone through an effective filtering system according to subjects, locations, mode of learning, maximum budget, educational level and even preferred teaching methodology.
They can also contact you directly to discuss the frequency of lessons, duration of lessons, payment methods as soon as possible without having to go through a third party. Everything can be settled systematically as long as you have a verified tutor ad at Superprof!
Your tutor profile at Superprof consists of various sections to help you create a credible and professional-looking tutoring ad. Do not be shy to write about your relevant information on the Teaching and Experience sections and include your most current certification (SPM, STPM, diploma, undergraduate degree, Masters degree, or even PhD) to be verified too! You are also advised to upload your most recent and clear portrait photo (a good way to establish trust), so that your potential students can see who you are before contacting you directly.
If you have any further questions on how to start tutoring at Superprof or additional technical inquiries about the website, you can always contact the ever supportive and efficient Superprof team!
What are you waiting for? Quickly grab this opportunity to become a Maths tutor at Superprof today!
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