Mathematics is admittedly a challenging subject because by nature, it has abstract concepts and various nuances to it. The interesting part is that this subject has various forms of real-life applications, meaning, we can see mathematics being manifested all around us in various ways.
Internalising 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 much slower than their peers and this will take a toll on their confidence.
When a student’s confidence is shattered, he would start to feel hatred towards the subject and this will lead to frustration and helplessness. This mentality is extremely unhealthy; it’s a downward spiral. In such a case, if there is no proper attention being given to students, if they do not get the necessary assistance, the specialised guidance, consequences can be detrimental.
Hence, students seek external help and this is precisely the reason why the tuition industry is booming in this day and age. Considering that Singapore’s math syllabus is known to be one of the most challenging among many other countries across the globe, Singapore math tutors take special care in honing the mathematical skills of their students in order to cope.
As such, let’s take a more detailed look at the 5 essential features of a successful math tutor!
#1: STRENGTH AND SUPPORT
It is absolutely crucial for tutors in general need to be supportive of their students; to be their motivational force and pillar of strength. A tutor’s specialised guidance gives a sense of companionship and happiness while learning and it rids the feeling of being lonely. In students’ academic journey, good tutors will support them at every step of the way no matter what happens. They are there to encourage their students to rise from failures with courage, and to celebrate their students’ every accomplishment (doesn’t matter how small or big!). A sense of trust and mutual respect and understanding keeps the students motivated. Friends and parents may criticise or express their disappointment but tutors never let their trust and hope on their students shatter.
#2: BUILDING THE FOUNDATION
Math tutors have to ensure that students have internalised the simple ideas and concepts first before delving into the abstract, more complicated ones which will take some extra time to understand and take it all in.
Tutors can conduct tests once in a while to estimate how well students have understood what has been taught thus far. From there, past that checkpoint, tutors can take further action to maintain students’ strengths and change their weaknesses into strengths as well. This requires careful analysis of students’ performances and some planning to a certain extent to strategically help students push their grades up.
#3: IMPARTING DISCIPLINE
Discipline is the key for students to perform well in math since excelling in it requires them to be extremely familiar with the concepts, to “ritualistically” practice every day and stay proactive in seeking help from tutors. This quality is something that is lacking in those who underperform in Math. Children are naïve and they often do not realise the importance of self-discipline. Thus, math tutors have to take that responsibility and teach their students to be self-disciplined. This goes beyond helping a student to excel in math; it helps him or her to succeed in life.
#4: CRITICAL THINKING
This is also known as higher order thinking skills, which extremely necessary students to have mastered in order to excel in Singapore Math. By cultivating this skill from the beginning, it becomes second nature to them when they are given a problem to solve. From analyzing to hypothesizing, testing and deriving the step-by-step solution to arrive at the final answer will all happen automatically. Math teachers can train their students by constantly giving them practice papers and by asking them to solve challenging questions during lessons. Practice will do it all!
In general, patience is an important trait that tutors should have. Amusingly enough, math tutors need lots and lots of patience as compared to other subject tutors. We have established that math is a challenging subject, so given that a student is weak in math, a tutor has to boost the confidence of the student, analyze and identify the strengths and weaknesses, teach in a customised manner, and give practice questions to various degrees of difficulty according to the level at which the student is in. There is much more to what Poa tuition have to do and hence though we know that students require patience and persistence to excel, so do tutors in order for achieving success.
Tutors have a huge responsibility and there are various aspects to it, apart from just teaching the subject and marking answer papers. A successful Poa tuition will never be forgotten by his or her students and students will remain grateful, remembering all the effort and patience that was put in to bring out the desired results.