The laws of mathematics govern everything around us and it is precisely the reason why it is an important subject and plays a significant role in almost everything. Mathematics is admittedly a challenging subject because, by nature, it has abstract concepts and various nuances to it. Internalizing mathematical concepts can be easy for some students while others may, unfortunately, lag behind. When weaker students see themselves performing poorly in a few tests consecutively, they will start to realize that they are much slower than their peers and this will take a toll on their confidence. When confidence takes a beating, everything goes downhill from that point onwards and this can be dangerous.
It does not help that school teachers (not all) have a strict and religious method of teaching mathematics these days, which includes giving students practice papers and just simply flashing answer key in the visualizer without dedicating enough time for challenging questions or complex concepts. This is highly ineffective and the general reason why school teachers do this is because they are unavoidably compelled to keep up with the stipulated time frame and hence teachers are always in a rush to finish what they have to do so. The fast pace does not allow students to understand and internalize what they have learned as well and this causes them to fall towards the nether ends of the grading system. Specialized guidance is essential and hence many feel that math tuition is the ultimate solution to this predicament.
Parents often unsure as to how to go about selecting the perfect tutor for their child. Every child is unique and a tutor has to be able to adjust and adapt to tutor any type of child and be able to accommodate his or her learning needs.
So, let’s look at the 6 things that one should clarify before hiring a math tutor!
#1: TUITION FEES
This is probably one of the first few questions that a parent would ask, and this is indeed a practical concern. A household is like a mini country; the parents are the governors and the policymakers who would have to decide how the resources they have will be efficiently allocated. Parents have to take a look at the tuition fee rate and check if it is affordable.
Tuition rates may vary between different centres it is usually dependent on several factors like where the tuition centre is established (rental rates are concerned), the expertise of the tutors, the resources supplied to students, the activities arranged by the tuition centre, etc. Top tuition centres in Singapore usually have rates which are pretty high because of the combined effect of the above-mentioned factors. Expensive tuition rates do not necessarily mean that the quality and standard. In fact, the fee rates of a tuition teacher or a tuition centre do not matter as much, so it is perfectly fine to work within your means. That way, this will not become a financial stress factor in your family.
#2: THE HISTORY OF THE TUTOR
You don’t need to hunt down and find out every small detail, but knowing a fair bit about a tutor will be beneficial. Some tuition teachers are quite well-experienced, while others have just started out. It is important to find out what they have done and achieved since the start of their career as a tutor. Usually, tuition teachers would have written a small description of themselves and that is a good way to gauge the quality of the tutor and you can make a decision based on that. If you would want further clarification, you could contact the tutor and have a small conversation about your child’s learning needs and the tutor’s teaching methods and the expectations he has for his students. Knowing about the history is beneficial as it will build trust in you, and you can confidently allow your child to be tutored by the tutor you have chosen.
#3: TUITION TIMINGS
Children are always on a busy schedule and there is hardly any time to breathe. Though it is true that they need extra help, allocating time for that can be a challenge. You could ask about the available tuition timings and discuss with your child as to what is the best option. It is crucial to ensure that your child is comfortable with the lesson timing because one cannot be tired and exhausted during lessons.
#4: THEIR PATIENCE
As a parent, you will know your child the best. You may feel that your child is one who is always restless, or is a slow learner, etc. Not all tutors practice patience with their students and if a tutor is impatient in general, it may result in an unhealthy student-tutor relationship and this will add on to the stress that children are already going through with their school work and activities. So, it is important to clarify and understand a tutor’s expectations of their students and this will give you a better idea as to how much tolerance a tutor has.
It’s good to know about the kind of resources that the tuition teachers would provide the students with. The practice papers and assessments act as great practice tools for students to sharpen their skills in handling questions and to also force themselves to work efficiently under time-restrained conditions. There is a general emphasis on providing students with enough extra resources to practice because it is a well-known fact that practice makes perfect. You might want to ask the tutor about what kind of resources are being provided and how else you can support to provide the best for your child.
#6: THEIR LEVEL OF EXPERTISE
Not all tutors will be able to teach math all the way from primary school level up till junior college. There will be limitations and you need to discuss this with the tutor before hiring them. This way, when it’s time for the tutor to leave, it will be easier for you to make alternate arrangements for the next tutor immediately.
It’s a matter of your child’s education and such decisions have to be informed ones which have already gone through careful cost-benefit analysis. Look out for the important elements and think about what will be the best for your child!
Author Bio: Steffen Carter is a home tutor cum writer associated with ChampionTutor among the Singapore math tutors . He has a strong hand in-home tutoring and always look for exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience.