Qualities to Look for in a Math Tutor

If you find your child struggling with mathematics, do not be alarmed. It’s perfectly normal for children to struggle in school, and math can be an especially difficult subject for many kids. Not everyone is appropriately equipped to deal with mathematical equations and formulae. However, math is an integral subject in most forms of education, and the least your child should be aiming for is at least a passing grade.

It’s not uncommon for children struggling with subjects like mathematics to look for some extra help. If as a parent you can give them the help they need, or if they can get sufficient guidance from friends and classmates, that’s great. However, if these sources of help are not enough, it may be time to look for a private tutor. Someone who can give your child all the one-on-one teaching time they need to get a good grade.

Questions to Ask

There are some things to consider when looking for a tutor. This person will be involved in your child’s education in a very big way, so it’s best to do your due diligence before making a decision. Ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:

  • Would you prefer an online tutor or an in-person tutor?
  • How often does your child need to meet with the tutor?
  • What’s your budget?

The answers to these will help you narrow down the options that are best for you. The most important qualities to consider when choosing a tutor, are as follows:

Knowledge of Mathematics

Every great math teacher must possess an extensive understanding of mathematics. From geometry, statistics, algebra, arithmetic, all the way to advanced calculus, your choice of tutor must be an expert in all of these.

The teachers should not need to consult a book in order to answer your child’s questions, but must instead have all the answers at their fingertips, to ensure the smoothest possible learning experience.

Teachers with the proper training and extensive teaching experience should be what you’re looking for, as they should meet all these requirements. Prior teaching experience, especially, will have prepared them for most of the queries your children will make.

Engaging

The tutor must be able to engage with the student on their level. They should not force the student to learn their way, but instead be able to figure out what method of teaching best suits the child, and is able to hold their attention for long enough for them to be able to fully grasp the concepts being taught.

They should be open to discussion, encouraging the students to share their ideas and thoughts about the subject being discussed.

Mathematics can be an incredibly dry subject, especially for younger students who find it too boring to be able to fully pay attention in class. A good tutor should be able to make their lessons enjoyable for the students, in order to ensure that the child both enjoys the class and is able to fully grasp the necessary concepts.

Caring

Mathematics is a unique subject, that can incredibly easy to some, and incredibly difficult to everyone else. Not everyone is naturally equipped in such a way that lets them grasp mathematical concepts easily.

Therefore, a good tutor is someone that understands this. Someone who does not push too hard, and is not disappointed or harsh when the student fails to grasp a concept that might be easy for them.

They should also be accommodating towards any health-related issues, as well. A tutor, especially an online tutor, must have the ability to adjust the teaching schedule in order to work around any illnesses or other unforeseen issues that may prevent students from attending class at the agreed-upon time.

The life of a student can be difficult, and stressful, and a good tutor must have enough compassion to recognize when their student is struggling with these issues.

Teaching Strategies

A good tutor must not be too rigid in their teaching approach, and the strategies they use, as this can serve to alienate students who are either unable to work with the chosen approach, or have had difficulties with similar strategies in the past. The tutor should be flexible, able to adapt to the needs of the student.

Each student is unique, requiring a different approach to get the best out of them. The tutor should be able to create different lesson and teaching plans to suit the needs of each specific student.

Specifically, in mathematics, many problems have different ways of solving them that can all lead to the right answer. The tutor should be able to lead their students to the method that best suits them, and that is easiest for them to learn.

Motivator

Struggling with mathematics can often lead to a lack of motivation to try on the part of the student. A good tutor is able to motivate the student to learn and inspire them to want to improve their own math skills.

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