Author Topic: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.  (Read 491 times)

jamesbond007

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
    • I'm raising $3500 for the Arthritis Foundation.
Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« on: August 17, 2020, 05:30:05 PM »
Any private tutors here? I need help. I am thinking about getting into private tutoring. Middle school/high school math. I have a Master's in CS and 15 years work experience in hi-tech. Thinking about getting into side hustle. I don't have any doubts over my ability to teach math but where I am clueless is the teaching material. I can check Khan Academy and k12.org for the curriculum but how do private tutors get material for students to practice like exercises, etc.? There is no concept of a "textbook" in the US. Corporations like Russian School of Math etc. have their own material which cannot be used in a private setting.


I am clueless here. Any pointers?

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2520
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2020, 06:25:02 PM »
Have you ever taught middle school math?

You would generally use whatever textbook/curriculum the student is using in school. You donít need to reinvent the wheel there.

tygertygertyger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 07:14:04 AM »
Yep. My partner tutors and he asks the student (or their parents) what the student is working on. When they meet, he asks to see the textbook chapter and they go from there. It's fairly flexible - he'll use sample problems from the textbook, or they'll work through the homework assignment that the teacher had assigned, or they'll review a recent test or quiz. He sometimes makes up math games to keep the student interested, or talks about related concepts. Sometimes it's about building up the student's foundational skills, as perhaps their current struggle is due to not learning something properly in the past. Good luck! My partner finds it both lucrative and seems to enjoy it.

AMandM

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 09:27:46 AM »
I've tutored math for many years, both as an employee of a tutoring center and independently.  What materials I use depends on the purpose of the tutoring.

Most often, you are hired because a student is not getting the grades in math that the parents want. So you work with the student on the materials the classroom teacher provided. I'm not sure what you mean by
Quote
There is no concept of a "textbook" in the US."
On the contrary, it is almost unheard-of in the US for math to be taught without a textbook. Furthermore, the teacher never assigns all the problems in the textbook, so you have plenty of extra practice material.

It often turns out that the student is doing poorly because of some gap in prerequisites--doesn't know the times tables, doesn't understand fractions, etc. Then I use workbooks that I own, that I bought online. Some I like are the Key To... series from Key Curriculum Press; there are sets for fractions, decimals, percentages, geometry, etc. Their layout is informal, which helps the student not feel threatened. (Sometime the job is not about teaching math, but about giving the student confidence to overcome math anxiety.) I also have an "algebra bootcamp" workbook.

If I'm hired to tutor specifically to prepare for an exam like the SAT or AP, I have the student buy a test-prep book from Princeton or Barrons and we use that. For the APs, there are also lots of free-response questions on the College Board site with grading rubrics.

On the rare occasions when I have been hired to enrich the mathematical universe of a bright and interested student, I've used competition math books from the Mandelbrot contest and Art of Problem Solving.

jamesbond007

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
    • I'm raising $3500 for the Arthritis Foundation.
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 10:15:39 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I will check these resources. I used to teach high school math in India and obviously I have work to do here to get myself familiarized to the curriculum and method of teaching here. I think I will spend some time getting myself familiarized with the process first.

AMandM

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 07:33:06 AM »
If you're unfamiliar with the US educational system, it might be a good move to start by working for a tutoring company. It won't pay as well as private tutoring, but you don't have to hustle for clients and you'd get to see some of the school textbooks in common use in your area. Then when you go private you can legitimately advertise as having experience.
Good luck!

jamesbond007

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 566
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
    • I'm raising $3500 for the Arthritis Foundation.
Re: Tutor mustachians, I need your help.
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 11:33:39 AM »
If you're unfamiliar with the US educational system, it might be a good move to start by working for a tutoring company. It won't pay as well as private tutoring, but you don't have to hustle for clients and you'd get to see some of the school textbooks in common use in your area. Then when you go private you can legitimately advertise as having experience.
Good luck!
This is a brilliant idea. Thank you.