A regular part of this blog will be interviews with “Maths Insiders”; teachers, parents, students and administrators, in fact anyone who can add to the conversation about how parents can guide their child to maths success. Contact me if you’d like to share your tips.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
What made you decide to become a maths teacher?
My passion for mathematics and my desire to inspire young minds :). I feel Maths is one of those subjects that students often struggle with, simply because they have not been taught by a good teacher or in the right way. I wanted to do my part to make a subject, that is so logical and simple to me, just as accessible to others.
Tell us more about the tutoring? How many children, what are their ages?
Ideally, what should parents and students do before their tuition session in order to get the most out of it?
It would be ideal if parents charted out with students what areas they were confident in, and what topics they needed extra help in. Also, it’s useful to know and inform the tutor what you expect your child to achieve through tutoring and also any particular weaknesses he/she has, such as making careless mistakes, weak mental maths skills, or any special needs.
What kind of child or maths problems do you think tutoring works for?
Tutoring, I believe, is helpful for all maths problems because, at the end of the day, it is about individual attention. In a class of 20 or 30, it is naturally challenging for even the best of teachers to cater to each child’s individual needs. That is where tutoring, by a parent or a tutor, becomes the key to a child’s success.
Any teacher will tell you that children whose parents are actively involved in their education are often those who are able to thrive at school. Parents who lack the time or skills to help their child are the ones who naturally then look to tutors for extra help and support.
Can you share any other tips or advice on how parents can help their child succeed in maths?
Practice makes perfect! Cliched as it may be, in maths, nothing could be more useful than thorough practice to permanently fix concepts in a child’s mind.
Also, to parents, never ever rely on school alone to get the best out of your child. Get involved yourself in teaching them, challenging them – giving them tutoring, online programs, educational material at home and, most of all, your valuable time and attention. Try to include a bit of maths in your day, even if it is 15 minutes of going over mental maths on a car journey, or talking about fractions when cutting oranges or pizza slices!