Students have many responsibilities when it comes to their tutoring sessions. They have to email their tutors when problems arise, communicate with their tutors on a daily basis about the academic struggles they face, and remain focused on their studies and perform well on their standardized tests and exams. Teachers have responsibilities in tutoring as well. Teachers responsible for math tutoring must see to it that students learn the technique or concept rather than the answer only, that they understand the information provided in order to solve the problem, and they remain excited about math.
The first responsibility in math tutoring involves helping students learn the technique or concept rather than the answer only. Mathematics is a mass subject concerned with numbers. The answer will always involve a number, whether an equation, inequality, square root solution, and so on. The numerical nature of mathematics makes the subject one that many students take for granted. Students think that learning the solution-“the answer is 25”-will solve all their problems. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Learning the numerical answer without knowledge of the concept or technique will only hurt the student in the end. If the student does not learn that 5 x 5 = 25, he or she will cringe the next time a problem comes up that involves more than this.
The next responsibility in math tutoring involves helping students understand the information provided in order to solve the problem. Aside from technique, students must understand the mathematical information that is supplied to them. If, for example, a student does not know what a “square root” symbol is, he or she cannot find the square root of 25. In fact, the student will look at the mathematical equation and have no idea what he or she is required to find. It is the same thing as an individual who walks up to a traffic light, sees the red light flashing, and has no idea what the color indicates.
Another responsibility in math tutoring involves helping students remain excited about math and its fun potential. Students who struggle with math can easily become discouraged, deem math a “foreign language,” and give up. The job of the math tutor is to help the student see the potential within himself or herself to succeed. This can be done by the use of Internet math games, video conferences that involve the use of candy, snacks, or food, and real-time cases that the teacher provides for the student or allows the student to provide. Students need to see that math is fun, not only because it involves the use of numbers, symbols, and shapes, but also that it is useful for everyday life. The “negative I” that stands for the imaginary square root may seem like nothing more than just a fictional element; however, it has an existence in the scientific community as pointing to scientific discoveries that are not unveiled yet.
Making sure that the math tutors your child uses will be able to help your student is important. An online math tutor must be able to teach your child the mechanics of math and make it seem exciting to be successful. When you are sure you have found the right tutor, you can be sure that your child will stand a better chance of success.