Blog Tutors Tutoring Tips 6 Unforgivable Mistakes Math Tutors Make – Teach Math the Right Way!

6 Unforgivable Mistakes Math Tutors Make – Teach Math the Right Way!

Many tutors giving private tuition in Singapore are teachers who have retired from the classroom. These tutors are highly qualified and professionals in teaching a wide range of subjects. When parents hire a tutor for their children, it is usually for a seeming deficiency in one subject: math.

Even after getting maths tuition lessons, the child may still struggle and seem to be having problems with the subject. This shows that the math tutors may be making mistakes in their handling of the subject. Math tuition doesn’t have to be difficult. If you are giving private tuition in Singapore, take note of these things and become the best math tutor your students deserve.

Mistakes Math Tutors Make

1. The Way The Teachers Feel About Math

A tutor who loves his or her subject will be a great tutor on that subject. If a tutor doesn’t like their subject, they will be poor tutors of it. This is usually the root of the problem that students have with math. Their poor attitude towards the subject is a reflection of the math tutor’s attitude about math.

If you are taking math tuition with this attitude, please correct it. Teach math like you love it. Be positive and happy with the subject. Your attitude shows the students that they have nothing to worry about. It tells them that math is easy and fun. You can change your own attitude towards math by assessing yourself. Take steps to change whatever it is that makes you ambivalent towards the subject. Doing this will positively affect your students’ performance in math.

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2. Mistakes Should Be VALUED

Many students develop a negative attitude towards math when their mistakes are constantly pointed out to them. Instead of learning the correct thing, they with you and stew over their tutor yelling ‘Wrong!’ at them. During your maths tuition, do not point out mistakes like that. Rather, try to value those mistakes. Mistakes are proof that the student tried to solve it. They should feel good about that. They shouldn’t feel bad about getting an answer wrong. Mistakes are a way to promote even more learning. As such, mistakes should be valued. If a student gets an answer wrong in your tuition class, you can ask them to explain how they got their answer.

They may have reasoned the question in the wrong way, or missed a step during calculation. Either way, congratulate them on a job well done and show them the right way to solve it. Practice with them using the same method but on a different question on a regular basis, not necessary in the same lesson.

3. Take The Emphasis Off Of Tests And Avoid Timed Tests

Teachers just love giving tests. Math teachers are probably the worst at this. When students are having a tough time with a math topic, the teacher decides it is time for a test. As a math tutor, you should try to de-emphasize the role of tests, timed or not. Tests are a part of every school’s curriculum but tests are also the reason why children dislike math. Math is taught in school to prepare students for life and further studies.

As a tutor, if you must give tests, make them fun. A friendly quiz where everyone is involved is a good way to ‘test’ their knowledge without them getting anxious. Reward them if they score a good mark but don’t punish them if they fail.

4. Don’t Present Math As An Un-learnable, Difficult Subject

Research shows that children of average intelligence can successfully learn all the math topics at the primary school level. This shows that math isn’t a particularly difficult subject. It also proves that math isn’t ‘un-learnable’.

Telling children that they cannot learn it affects their mindset. They believe that they can’t, and so they don’t. As you have math tuition sessions with your students, change their mindset about math. Make them understand that they can learn anything and everything that they want to. They can do this by studying and having a genuine interest in the subject. Eventually, they will grow to understand math and excel at it.

5. Show Children That Math Is A CREATIVE Subject

There is a myth that floats around that math is more difficult to learn than English. Another group of people say that English is more difficult to learn than math. The main argument for both sides is that math problems have only one way of solving them. This means that math is boring. This makes subject harder/easier.

What everyone fails to see is that math is actually a fun and creative subject to learn. Maths tuition classes can have variety and fun, as long as you plan your lessons properly ahead of time. The basic tenets of math stay the same for all time. The way you solve math problems, however, can differ. Use that to your advantage when you teach.

6. Find Good Reasons To Study Math

Show your students just how important math is during math tuition. Most children want to become scientists when they grow. This is a good opportunity to show them the reasons why they need math: because all scientists use it! If they complain about algebra and geometry, show them how invaluable those are to physics and other science courses. Show them how math is used in everyday life: measuring for cooking, making a shopping list, for counting money, and so on. One of them may even become a math tutor like you! Math is an important aspect of their lives. Showing them this excites them and makes them want to study more.

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Many students seem to have problems in math. This makes hiring a math tutor a necessity. Maths tuition Singapore is a big thing right now. Many parents assume that the problem lies with their children. That doesn’t have to be the case. More often than not, the child’s lack of interest in math comes from the teacher’s attitude towards the subject.

Want to learn about how you can improve your tutoring skills? These articles can help you:

5 Proven Methods to Make Young Children Pay Attention
How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills in Your Students

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.