Competition is on the rise between maths tutors in the private tuition marketplace.

This is favourable for those in the market of searching for private lessons, this gives the students a large pool to choose from in other to achieve their goal of learning mathematics. But this situation also poses the question of how sure are you in making the right choice for you?

Take for example, would you be okay getting maths tutoring from an undergraduate student studying for a mathematics degree?

The number of university and polytechnic students, engineers and others that are very passionate about certain subjects and offering their services for tutoring is increasing.

Though it is very beneficial to have a good understanding of the applications of mathematics, nevertheless, approach to teaching vary from tutor to tutor. Make sure to find out the advantage and disadvantages of each math tutor and find one that meets your requirements.

What is your preference? A certified teacher whose teaching style is probably alike to the accredited school math curriculum or would you rather have an unconventional approach, the choice is entirely yours!

Selecting a Private Math Teacher Based on Teaching Expertise

Have you observed your child is struggling this academic session or maybe their grades are unusually poor on their tests and assignments?

Irrespective of the level at which your child may be having difficulties, is it primary school maths, Junior secondary school maths, WAEC or JAMB maths? what you may need is a private math teacher that will give them one-on-one tutoring.

This cannot be taken for granted, as mathematics is such an essential subject in any person academic career.

one on one lessons
private lessons are beneficial if class is not cutting it | Source: iStockphoto

Maths is more than just trigonometry and maths equation, it is also a means to understand the world around us.

For JAMB or A level students, maths lessons are very much beneficial, because, at this stage, it could help forge their career path.

Maths could also be very interesting especially when considering a wide range of jobs that have mathematical backgrounds. Even if your career choice does not lean toward mathematics, Having an A in maths looks good on your cv.

Long story short, Be focused and serious about maths in school!

If you can't keep up in school and need some reassurance, you might want to get a private math teacher

Even despite the fact that maths tutoring prices may be expensive, you still get immense value for your money.

So before you commit to that tutor, make sure to do your due diligence!

We recommend you ask questions from the home teacher about their teaching experience to ensure you are certainly making the right decision. Do this before you book your first lesson. A certified teacher does not generally translate to a good private tutor, because teaching a group of students and giving supplemental lessons are not similar at all, you need different skill sets to function in both. So asking those questions gives you better assurance and is a precaution so you don't waste hard-earned money on a mathematics teacher that does not suit you.

Deciding on using a tutoring agency such as Superprof helps because you'll see plenty of tutors with documents giving detailed prior experiences and this will set you at ease.

Most online tutoring websites have ratings and feedback features that enable students to give their feedback on a tutor they have used, this helps you see other student's perspectives on the teacher and helps further inform your decision.

Feedbacks and ratings have been effective in helping both parents and students find their ideal tutor.

Self-Taught Mathematics Teachers

Are self-taught tutors trustworthy?

That decision is solely up to you.

In your search for mathematics tutors, you'll come across diverse levels of maths lessons being advertised, from kindergarten level maths to Senior secondary school level maths and even A-Level maths, which is quite common in Nigeria. Asides the varying mathematics class levels, you'll also come across tutors with experience in specific disciplines of the math subject matter including:

  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • PreCalculus
  • Algebra
  • Tractions
  • and other maths disciplines

So based on your requirements, you may get a smaller option of tutors to select from, but this should not be considered a disadvantage, it means you'll get tutored according to your unique needs.

However, this is not all you need to contemplate.

physics and maths
A Physicist could also help with maths! | Source: Pixabay

The probability of coming across self-taught tutors is not as low as you may think.

The part of private home tutoring that is appealing is that you are not constricted to the rigid nature of the national curriculum, rather you get a personalised approach to maths that works uniquely for you.

What we are saying is, you don't need to search for a university lecturer, certified teacher, or professor before you get a good mathematics teacher. There a lot of self-taught tutors out there who are very grounded in their knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, the list goes on and on and are ready to share their expertise.

Self-taught tutors could be undergraduates willing to share their knowledge by making extra bucks or lecturers in another field who know mathematics and are willing to share their expertise on a one-on-one basis.

But can you trust them to help prep you for important exams?

Really, it's left to you to decide, whether you are preparing for WAEC or JAMB, your interaction with the potential maths teachers during your search should help you decide.

Learning outside the strict structure dictated by the national curriculum can be interesting and give you a renewed zeal to learn maths.

Don't forget, learning things from alternative perspectives is good.

Certified Maths Teachers vs Private Maths Tutors

The search for academic tutoring will bring across both teachers with teaching qualifications and people who tutor in their spare time.

You may even find someone in your social circle, possibly a friend with a good knowledge of the subject and ask them to assist your child with their JAMB or WAEC examination preps.

Perhaps your choice is a full-time private tutor with several teaching qualifications.

Or your choice is someone who is a practising teacher in the formal education system.

All the options are ok but what are their pros and cons?

The Home Maths Tutor with A Flexible Program

The manner in which maths exercises are conveyed in schools implies that your child may be started on another topic before they even grasped the previous topic, thereby making it hard for them to keep up. With around 30 students more or less to care for, it's incomprehensible for the instructor to cater to the requirement of each person.

This inflexible method for instructing maths for children could perhaps put your child off education altogether.

dig=frent perspective of maths
A different outlook could inspire your love of mathematics  | Source: Pixabay

To revitalise their energy for maths and give them the inspiration to succeed, why not search for a private mathematics teacher?

University undergraduates are especially valuable since they know about the educational system and can, in this manner, help students comprehend what precisely they need to understand for their growth and to pass their exams.

The one-size-fits-all way to deal with tutoring definitely leaves a few students feeling hopeless. This is the place the private tutor steps in to show them their qualities and help build their confidence.

One favourable position of enlisting a full-time proficient or self-trained private tutor is the freedom in their instructing techniques.

This incorporates the opportunity to approach a subject uniquely in contrast to the educational framework as dictated by the student's individual learning style.

Such methods incorporate utilising various media including tablets and mobile phone to play intelligent maths games, for example, or visiting maths websites on a tablet.

Pupils additionally feel more calm with private teachers, as they are generally not dreaded the way school teachers are. This is on the grounds that they come down to the tutee's level and work their way up the learning ladder together with them and at the student's pace too.

Nevertheless, there is the possible danger that excessive freedom with such techniques, which could prompt straying away too much from the goal.

The Conservative Method of A Certified Mathematics Teacher

A few parents stress over their kids reaching particular school benchmarks and will subsequently contact tutors that have experience teaching the national maths curriculum.

All things considered, why not adopt this strategy? There are a lot of well-trained certified teachers offering private educational tutoring, so it would be a disgrace not to exploit their insight and involvement in maths papers.

This is the most ideal approach to keep in accordance with the school syllabus.

The thought behind this is adhering to the approach the student is familiar with when learning.

There are a lot of pros to this approach which includes focusing on maths questions specific to corresponding examination boards. For Instant, a teacher who is used to teaching for JAMB or WAEC will have better insights into JAMB/WAEC's maths questioning methods over one who just teaches general maths lessons and will also be better equipped to go through either JAMB or WAEC past questions with the student.

Dealing with troublesome math problems during lessons can get students used to the general examination format and make them feel secure and confident in regards to mock maths exams and the major exam itself.

Notwithstanding, the disadvantage is that it could bore the student, who already spends most of their hours every week with the same curriculum.

A few students may start to feel hopeless as the lines between school and home lessons are blurred, making maths a sore subject and demoralising them significantly more.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Mathematics Tutor?

When searching for additional maths help, you'll level your search to the best teachers you find.

Regardless of whether they center around academic support, maths schoolwork help, home mentoring, or Online tutoring, arrangements for a mini-interview should be made, during which you will get some information about their work as a math tutor and to check whether they're the appropriate choice for you.

think of your perfect maths tutor
visualise your ideal tutor and use it as a guide for questioning | Source: Pixabay

Just in case you were wondering where to start, stated here are sample questions to ask:

  • How many years experience do you have as a private maths teacher?
  • Would you be able to give any references?
  • What certifications or qualifications do you have?
  • How much do you charge hourly?
  • Are there any areas of maths you specialise in? (For example Calculus, Geometry, mechanics, Algebra and so on.)
  • Do you also teach some other subjects? (Chemistry and maths tutor, for instance)
  • Are you available to go to the student's home for lessons?
  • Have you at any point tutored a student with a similar background to our child/me?
  • Would you be able to help boost the student's grades?

These discussions will be valuable when it comes to settling on which maths tutor is best for you. Go and start your search!

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