4 Mar 2017

10 CHARACTERISTICS TO LOOK FOR IN A MATH TUTOR

Math is one of the difficult subjects, one need to do the regular practice of math problems in order to become proficient. The majority of student do not like math, but a good tutor can change this perception. A good math tutor can build confidence in students who have struggled with mathematical concepts. 

There are some basic qualities that a good math tutor needs to have so that he can teach students efficiently; the same are as mentioned below:

1.      Passionate: In order to be able to teach math subject, one needs to be very passionate about the subject and sharing his/her knowledge with the students. Varied studies related to teaching style concluded that students learn more quickly when the tutor is passionate about teaching varied concepts and techniques, as well as sharing practical examples with students.

2.      A better understanding of varied mathematical concepts and rules: For a tutor, it is crucial to have detailed knowledge of every single mathematical concept such as algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus, etc. in order to teach the same to students. If a tutor is not able to solve the problem, then how will the student understand? Just solving the mathematical problems and exercises by applying the rules is not enough; a tutor should effectively teach all fundamental concepts behind that rules to students. For example, a linear equation can be directly by applying the rule, but that is not enough to make a student learn the rule. A tutor should teach concept and idea behind that particular rule in order to let student solve problems by themselves. However, it is also important for a tutor to be able to teach effectively. Not every person has the ability to teach and guide students. Ability to teach is defined by person’s ability to share his/her knowledge and information with other the way they can understand what tutor is trying to teach.

3.      Leadership skills: A math tutor needs to have leadership skills so that he/she can lead, guide and motivate students for math practice more and more. Students respect their teacher not only because of his/her knowledge but for overall behavior and attitude. In addition, a tutor needs to have control over students so that he/she can prevent them from misbehaving and thus can maintain discipline in class.

4.      Patience: Not every student is a genius in mathematics; a tutor needs to understand that. Adequate patience is required to teach students concepts and rules of math. This is one of the most important qualities that every teacher and tutor need to have. Being patient is essential not only because each student has a different level of learning capacity and grasping power, but it is most required when dealing with difficult students. A tutor should have enough patience to deal with such students, stick with them and bring them to the straight path.

5.      Effective teaching style: The teaching style of tutor needs to be adaptive i.e. they must be able to adapt their teaching style according to child’s learning capacity and grasping power. The tutor must be able to explain different concepts, rules, and techniques effectively to students. He/she needs to teach in style in which students comprehend and thus able to solve mathematical problems easily. The tutor should start with teaching basic concepts at the first stage and then move gradually to complex problems.

6.      Maturity: Tutor needs to be mature enough to handle students of different age group. Any parent would not trust a teacher who is irresponsible, impolite, don’t pay attention, tease students, laugh and act inappropriately with students. Therefore, it is essential to be mature, responsible towards his/her students’ studies and career. Furthermore, the students should feel comfortable around tutor. So, the ability to put students at ease is also one of the characteristics that a tutor needs to have.

7.      Determined: Being determined is a prerequisite for a good math tutor. Many times, students do not feel like studying or just cannot seem to understand what a tutor intends to teach. A majority of students find it difficult to comprehend math concepts and rules, while some students are a beginner when learning new concepts, so being determined and continuing tutoring despite student’s weakness and shortcomings is a key quality that one should look for in a tutor. However, there are some students who are very difficult to handle, in such case, a tutor needs to be pushy no matter how difficult things get.

8.      Effectively clear doubts of students: Every student has a different level of understanding, so the way of teaching should be different. Some children are more curious to understand the concept behind the rules while some are not. Some students have doubts and questions while some just don’t care. A tutor, therefore, should be able to manage each student and clear doubts of the student. A tutor should be proficient in mathematical concepts so that he/she can teach students effectively and make them understand varied concepts. He/she should also be aware of alternate strategies for teaching in order to help struggling students to understand.

9.      Good communicator: One of the keys to good teaching and learning is open and clear communication between tutor and student. A student should feel comfortable to ask any subject related question and doubts freely, while a tutor should be able to answer their questions and clear doubts effectively. As well, a tutor should be fluent in speaking, have proper pronunciation and eloquence, so that he/she can make students understand what is trying to teach.

10.  Good Hygiene: Many people tend to ignore this feature, but it’s something that should be considered when looking for a tutor. Suppose, a tutor comes in a class with bad breath, how would student stay in that class. Therefore, one should also give due concern to this characteristics when looking for a tutor.