Looking for the right math tutor for your child? Take a look at these essential characteristics of a good math tutor, so you can find the right one.
Why is a good math teacher so difficult to find? The truth is that some people do not think in a way that is conducive to easily learning math. To some people, it is like teaching right-handed people how to write with their left hand. A math teacher cannot be “okay” to succeed. A math teacher has to be good to make an impact on their students. These are the qualities of a good teacher:
1. An Amazing Amount of Patience
Teaching math takes a long time and many never learn how to be good at math. A good teacher has to explain the same thing over and over again. A good teacher has to teach something, have the student understand it, and then teach it again in the next lesson because the student forgot or became confused.
This type of teaching requires a lot of patience. Do not be mistaken, a bad math teacher can create a sort of “Math trauma” that causes people to slow down whenever math problems come up.
2. The Ability to Explain the Same Thing Several Ways
A poor quality teacher will explain a concept one way and then keep explaining it in the same way until the student becomes frustrated, annoyed, and disenchanted. Good math teachers will explain a concept in one way and give a number of different examples showing how it is done. A fantastic teacher will explain it one way and give examples, and if the student truly cannot grasp the concept, then the teacher will explain it a very different way and give all new examples to see if that methodology works for the student.
3. A Reasonable Amount of Self Awareness
People get embarrassed if they do not understand something that has been explained twice. On the third time, they will nod or say that they get it when they do not. The world is full of truly terrible teachers who cannot pick up on this, and it is a massive contributor to students learning to hate math lessons.
A good math teacher must be able to pick up on these signals that the student still doesn’t understand the lesson and needs to go over the content in a different way so as to not embarrass the student. If a student is struggling in school, then it is essential that the parents find a math tutor who has a high degree of awareness otherwise the problems from school will carry over into the home.
4. A Very Non-Judgmental Attitude to Good Math Lessons
Part of feeling embarrassed by not understanding math is also feeling judged. Some people have trouble concentrating if they feel they are being judged, which is why a non-judgmental teacher is key.
This is especially important if the student has dyslexia or suffers with dyscalculia (diagnosed or un-diagnosed) because they are especially prone to unfair amounts of frustration, which is exacerbated by the feeling they are being unfairly judged.
5. Charm, Charisma, or Some Endearing Trait
This may seem like an odd thing trait for a math teacher, especially since math teachers are stereotypically uptight and unfunny. Yet, part of the reason for the stereotype is because the uptight and uncharismatic math teachers are the most memorable for being bad teachers.
If a math teacher has a kind, charming, charismatic and forgiving nature, then people feel more comfortable learning a very difficult subject from them.
Learning Math is Difficult for Many People
These five traits are the bare minimum for a good math teacher, which is why many math teachers have a difficult time teaching. Math lessons are often notoriously difficult for the teacher and the students, especially when some students are grasping concepts quickly and others are not. The five traits are essential to becoming a good math teacher.