While many people may be familiar with the role a math tutor plays in assisting a student in a particular subject there are a great many other functions a tutor may serve in the educational advancement of a student. The job description of a tutor can run the gamut from very simple to quite involved depending upon the level of expertise and education of the tutor themselves. Understanding what to expect when becoming a tutor can help you to narrow your job focus more precisely.
A tutor's primary job function is to provide academic support to students based on their expertise and knowledge in given math subject areas. The extent of this function is greatly mitigated by the environment in which the tutor works. High school tutors may be required to have a working knowledge of all core areas of curriculum and/or elective areas. The tutor is expected to have a knowledge above the level of students with whom they will primarily be working. College tutors are typically have more focused areas of expertise. Math tutors may be required to have basic to intermediate knowledge in trigonometry or calculus depending upon student level. All math tutors should have mastery of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and basic mathematical concepts.
Tutor's may be required to assist students with assignments as requested by students, teachers, parents, or counselors. Math tutors may be required to assist students in understanding calculations done by hand and by calculator, geometry tools such as compasses and protractors, or the use of graphing calculators.Many tutors work with students with special considerations and assist them in completing assigned homework or tests for the course. Tutors are encouraged to promote independent thinking and work on assignments so must be careful not to complete homework for students to avoid misconduct. This is especially important in university or college level coursework where collaboration rules are strictly outlined.
Many math tutors provide supplemental assignments to students to help promote greater understanding of material. This is largely up to the student and tutor agreement but many tutors promote greater absorption of material through assignment of supplemental work. Tutors will work with students on supplemental homework to ascertain level of understanding and promote growth through cooperative efforts to complete both class assigned work and supplements assigned by the tutor.
Tutors may be required to check students work for accuracy or proper execution. This function of tutoring is often followed by working with the student to improve upon problems that were missed. Tutors may give students their own tests or quizzes to supplement tested material in courses to improve test scores in a given subject area, this is common with mathematics and science courses in which quantitative tests are given to test knowledge retention. Careful checking of work on mathematical assignments and gentle correction is utilized to promote cognizance of common mathematical errors.
Motivate and Challenge
Tutors are expected to motivate and challenge students. This is an important aspect of a tutor's job and perhaps the most important in that the tutor should foster a healthy sense of accomplishment and self esteem in the student to promote continued academic growth and development. Assistance with confidence on academic materials is utilized to support conceptual learning and development. Many tutors develop a friendly mentoring relationship with students in order to foster positive work environment. An understanding of student's frustration with mathematic material will help students to feel more comfortable.
Depending upon the educational level in which you are tutoring, some tutors are required to meet with parents or guardians to discuss student progress. Other tutors, at the high school or college level may be asked to meet with coaches, counselors, teachers, or other school officials to report on the students retention of material and assist in bridging the gap between the classroom and independent work. Working with various learning disabilities or other obstacles to learning should be managed along with certified learning specialists.
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