Math is a difficult subject; this is one of the reasons, so many math tutors are sought out, even at the lower grade levels for students. So, how exactly should a tutor go about teaching and preparing for the materials they will work on with their students? What is the secret to being a good math tutor? These are a few things to consider, to hone in and improve your skill set, as a math tutor.
It is critical; you simply won’t get anywhere without it. The Pythagorean theory, acute or obtuse angles, geometry, algebra, and AP courses. There are so many different formulas to learn, figures to remember, and numbers to input. Guess what? Students get frustrated and get things wrong. If you are going to yell or jump down their throat when they don’t understand something, you aren’t going to get very far. You have to show patience, and teach them the basics from the very start.
Knowledge vs. Understanding
No, they aren’t the same thing. You can be knowledgeable about every theory or formula in math; however, if you don’t understand how to teach/convey that message to your student, you aren’t going to get far. You have to understand the questions students ask. You need to understand how to present different materials, and you have to understand how individual students think. This is the best and only way to teach and ensure each gets what you are teaching them.
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Look for Alternatives
The conclusion is the conclusion. If it is a right angle, it has to equal 90 degrees. Although this is a basic example, some formulas are far more complex. If one student takes one approach and gets the right answer, while another chooses an alternative approach (and actually shows their work to get there), if the answer is correct, it is ultimately correct. Keep in mind that every individual learns and deducts numbers differently. So listen to your student, walk them through, and go with the approach that works best for them.
When it comes to math, 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2 (it does, but again, the approach/method of getting there can differ). If you want to improve upon your skills and become an excellent tutor, these are a few of how you can modify your teaching approach, and truly improve your skills, so you can better help the students you are working with as a math tutor.