What do Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Gene Technology, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Hybrid Cars have in common? They are all linked to the Industrial Revolution 4.0. The force behind this revolution? The emphasis and constant improvement of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in one's country.
The Malaysia Ministry of Education realises the relationship between emerging science and technology and future careers. Hence, the ministry has taken various initiatives to upskill many teachers to teach Science effectively to instil the interest of learning STEM subjects among students.
This has also led to a greater demand for parents and students to look for private Science tuitions near them to reinforce their knowledge in Science after school hours.
What does it take to be a good Science teacher?
The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. – Mark Van Doren
Continue to read further to have an overview of some of the important characteristics of a good Science teacher.
a) Passion to explore Science together with the student
Most of the time, students lose interest in Science subjects because they have the preconceptions that they are very tough and learning Science is all about facts and figures. Hence, it is important for the tutor (which is YOU!) to set the right tone when you start to tutor your students. Keep reinforcing the notion that learning Science is fun and useful because the knowledge and application of the subjects can make our lives better.
During classes, you have to instil interest among your students and show your enthusiasm while teaching. Try to relate real-life examples to the chapters that you are teaching or make the sessions interactive by allowing your students to explain a chemical reaction, for instance from his/her experience.
b) Ability to explain concepts and calculations in an interesting and concise manner
Nobody likes to listen to a boring and long-winded lecture. As a tutor, always remember that you are teaching students with various learning levels and comprehension. When you are teaching Science subjects, it is always good to build a good foundation by breaking down fundamental concepts before going deep into the formulas and equations.
Also, be sure to organize your teaching and elaboration systematically according to the topic or theme that you plan to teach during the session to avoid confusion. For example, if you are teaching Physics and your students ask about the famous Einstein's theory of relativity (which is E= mc 2 ), you have to explain what E, m and c stand for, so that your students will know when and how to apply the equation. Hence, you have to first break down the equation:
E is energy
m is mass
c is the speed of light
By explaining what are the elements in the equation, you can let your students know that the equation is used to calculate energy and this equation can be applied when you are calculating the energy from the fuel in your car, when you are using a battery to operate a clock and even the energy of an atomic bomb.
c) Connecting the dots between the branches of Science
If you have taken the Science stream during your Form 4 or Form 6 studies, you should know that there are some areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics subjects that overlap with each other.
For example, in the context of teaching Biology, you will teach the role of glucose as the main source of energy in the cells. On the other hand, when teaching Chemistry , the focus on glucose will be on the breaking down of elements such as Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, and the combination of C₆H₁₂O₆ forms glucose.
So, whenever you teach about glucose during Biology or Chemistry lessons, you can link these two pieces of information together so that your students can study glucose from both macro and micro levels.
Teaching Science subjects for SPM & STPM
Science is a compulsory subject for SPM for students in the Science stream and Art stream. For students who are taking the Science stream, the majority of them will usually take Biology, Chemistry and Physics together (certain schools have different packages). For Art stream, students will take a General Science paper.
A similar principle applies to students who are taking STPM. For Science stream students, students will need to take 2 Science subjects instead of 3 subjects. As it is equivalent to a Pre-University programme, students are most likely to know whether they are more inclined towards life sciences or physical sciences.
For instance, students who are interested to study matters of health, such as nutrition and medicine, will take the Biology and Chemistry subjects. Students who prefer to study mechanics and electronics will take the Physics and Chemistry subjects.
Bear in mind that there are certain distinctions between SPM and STPM Science subjects. You can refer to the following guidelines to prepare your lessons while equipping your students to do well in their respective examinations:
a) Subject syllabus
Be sure to access the updated syllabus of the Science subject that you plan to teach. For the SPM level, remember to refer to the KSSM syllabus instead of the KBSM syllabus. You can visit the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website for the complete Science syllabus. Digital Form 4 and Form 5 Science textbooks are also available for download at many educational websites.
For the STPM level, you can easily get the latest subject syllabus from the Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia website. A thorough review of the subject syllabus will equip you with the right direction while preparing your lessons.
b) Examination format
After reviewing the subject syllabus, you should get familiar with the number of papers per subject, marks allocation, internal vs external assessment, and coursework projects. You should be able to provide your students practical tips to prepare for each section (multiple-choice questions, short structured questions and questions involving calculations and slight illustrations).
c) Marking scheme
At the end of the day, your students want to score the best possible results for their examination. From knowing and teaching what to study and what will be tested, you will also need to guide your students in the most accurate manner to answer the questions. For instance, the keywords to explain a scientific phenomenon or reaction, the right equations to solve the problem, and so forth.
Benefits of becoming a home/online Science tutor as a side hustle
There are many ways you can benefit as a Science tutor, even if you are just starting on a small scale.
a) No limits to the various Science subject specialisation or age group
Depending on your time, availability and confidence in the various Science subjects, you can choose to position yourself as a tutor who teaches the three Science subjects or just one branch of Science. Looking for students as a Science tutor will not be an issue if you think of the educational level that you want to teach and also the number of subjects you can teach confidently.
If you prefer to focus on general Science, you can even teach students from primary school level (Science Standard 1 to Standard 6), lower secondary school level (Science Form 1, Form 2 and Form 3) and upper secondary school level (Science Form 4 and Form 5).
b) Enhance your confidence and experience
Teaching is an active and immersive role when you get to directly apply theory into practice and putting your written and spoken communication skills to test. Before tutoring your student, you have to prepare your lessons.
With online learning, you have to familiarize yourself with various teaching tools online through platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet and Youtube on a regular basis. Furthermore, this Science tutoring experience will serve as a great testimony and boost of confidence. You can include this in your resume during job applications and also improve and diversify your current teaching methodology if you are working as a teacher.
A new and fun beginning - Science tutoring with Superprof
Now, let us walk you through the simplest way to start your journey as a Science tutor! If you are wondering where is the best place to start advertising your service, look no further as Superprof is the answer!
Superprof is a global learning platform that connects tutors (YOU and also other passionate individuals), who aspire to share their knowledge in various subjects and fields, with students (YOUR FUTURE CLIENTS) from all across the world. Through online learning, the teaching and learning process is super flexible and effective.
All you need to do is create a tutor ad at Superprof!
Remember to list down the subject(s) that you plan to teach, your academic qualifications, relevant teaching experience, teaching methodology, time availability, your preferred mode of teaching (face to face, online or even both), hourly rate and other fees for transportation (when necessary), as well as a current photo to enhance the credibility of your profile.
As soon as your profile is verified by the Superprof team, your tutoring ad will be published on the Superprof website and students will be able to view your profile and contact you directly if they want to inquire further or learn from you right away. It is straightforward as well as both tutor and student-friendly!
Quickly head over to the Superprof homepage to register as a Science tutor!
The platform that connects tutors and students