I believe that it is essential for students to learn and understand something in two different ways. They must have a "Relational understanding" and an "Instrumental understanding".
The Relational understanding always comes first. This is essentially the logical understanding of a topic in mathematics. This logical understand is something they can always rely on. They won't suffer from information overload because they have a much deeper, natural understanding for the topic.
The Instrumental understanding comes afterwards, the Instrumental method is really just a quick method on how to do it and get it right. Essentially having the student follow a few rules or steps to get the answer, this is important because the student will be pressured for time when they take their exams.
Many maths teachers will only teach this 'Instrumental" method. With a class of 20-30 students it is very challenging for them to go deep into the logical understanding a topic, they are pressured for time so they usually just explain the quick "follow these steps" method. This is why a good one to one maths tutor can be so helpful for a student, a tutor can make sure their the student has much stronger and genuine understanding of a topic before teaching them the "Instrumental" methods. This is what I aim to do for all of my students and this is why I believe that every student deserves as much one to one attention that they can get.
So considering this, how do I ensure every student has that "Relational" logical understanding, followed by the quick method "Instrumental" understanding. Before I start any new topic with a student, I begin with teaching them this relational and logical method. I do this until I know they fully understand the logic of what I am teaching them. It's easy to tell because every student shows some excitement as they feel like they are really learning and understanding something better than ever before. I then give them some questions and step back, allowing them the time and space to figure it out for themselves. After a little while I will stop them and teach them the Instrumental method, now that they have a logical understanding of the topic, they are ready for a quick method to use. If they ever forget this quick method, then no problem because they can still rely on their logical understanding.
My student will then practice this instrumental method until the end of the lesson. I will give them 15-30 minutes of extra questions to do in there own time if they want that. At the start of each lesson, I will recap them on a few more questions from the last lesson so that nothing is forgotten. I usually structure my lessons by covering 1 topic / sub-topic each lesson.
In all of my lessons I probably spend about 20-25% of the time demonstrating and showing them how to do something, the rest of the time they are practicing what they've learnt. It's essential that they practice as much as possible, this is the best way for them to retain the information and develop their skills. I also don't want to give them an information overload by talking and demonstrating too much, doing this simply doesn't work for most students. They need to have that sense of discovery, which means I cannot be showing them and telling them the answer all the time, I must allow some good time for them to figure it out by themselves.
My Dad is a professor at Bristol University and a tutor at Wycliffe College. He introduced me to maths tutoring 7 years ago during my A-levels. He runs group sessions during the holidays of 2-5 students, at first I just wanted to make some extra cash and it sounded much better than working in bars! So I helped him with tutoring his GCSE students and I fell in love with teaching and grew an even stronger passion to mathematics. For over 7 years now I have been helping him with these group sessions and we have become a great team. With the two of us, we can have larger groups and give each student more attention. My main role in these sessions is to focus on 1 or 2 students at a time who are struggling in certain areas.
This experience enabled me to become a one to one tutor as I grew such a strong passion for tutoring. I had the skills, the resources and my Dad provided me with a few clients to get started. I then found my own clients online. Every one of my students so far have achieved the grades they where hoping for, or better. I have learnt from the best! My Dad is a true expert at this, even now 7 years later I frequently come to him for his expertise and we both discuss and share knowledge and resources.
I believe I am very good at providing a calm and focused lesson for my students. I want my students to enjoy the lessons rather than feel pressured and stressed. I have also proven to be very good with students that have learning difficulties such as dyslexia. I have dyslexia myself so I understand the struggles they may go through.
I only teach online lessons, however it may be possible to do the first lesson face to face if preferred.
If you are still unsure after the free lesson, I'd be happy to do a few lessons at a reduced rate.
- I specialise in teaching students with learning disabilities
- I have over 7 years of experience
- Mentored by an expert with over 50 years of experience
Tom is a very supportive and hardworking individual, who has a very good understanding of Maths at GCSE and A-level as well as a range of different specifications, showing a great breadth and depth of knowledge required to be a competent Maths tutor. Since I've known him he has worked with a variety of different tutees who possess a vast array of needs which Tom has addressed by differentiating his approach to each tutee’s academic needs. Further, Tom aims to build a good working relationship with his tutees as he understands the importance of this when building the confidence and improving the work ethic of his tutees, giving them the belief that they can achieve. It is down to these factors amongst other that I would recommend Tom as a tutor.
I've known Tom since his early days of tutoring. He's always been very passionate about tutoring and committed to his students' success. I believe this gives him a lot of fulfillment and motivates him to try to be even better every time.
maths lessons closeby? Here's a selection of tutor listings that you can check out.
|at his home||at your home||By webcam|
|1 hour||Not available||Not available||£25|
|5 hours||Not available||Not available||£125|
|10 hours||Not available||Not available||£250|