In most cases it is found that the key to improving math is that the child needs to have a bent of mind wanting to be a good student. If this minimum ingredient is not achieved then all tutoring efforts may end up as being futile.
The most practical way to decide on a math tutor and finding the best among many is to let him judge by comparison. Let the child go to as many tutors as possible and let him decide which suits him the best. Tutoring centers and private tutors do understand this and offer free initial classes for new students.
The key to a good teacher is not only his capability of teaching well but also his interest in teaching students. It needs to be a mutual and team effort between student and tutor which will ultimately lead to fruitful education. With good chemistry between the two, children understand math much better and are also open to giving feedback for better training practices. A good teacher would go out of his way to do more research to find some innovative ways of teaching that would be more beneficial to his students. The tutor should be able to know methods and algorithms that can really help children get more marks in mathematics.
One mistake that parents make very often is to treat mathematics at grade 1, 2 or 3 as not very important and think that it involves only basic computation. However the very foundation for math is laid in these grades and therefore it is very important for such young children to get a good and strong foundation and build problem solving skills at an initial stage in education.
Lots of students feel afraid of mathematics because of a weak foundation. Such students need tutors who are really patient with them. It is not always fruitful to have long sessions of tutoring rather emphasis should be given on short sessions and then time should be given to watch their reaction. Tutors should emphasize on finding the reason why students struggle to solve certain problems and trace their root causes. Another way could be to go through the students notes to find out the line of thinking used by student.
A good math tutor should be interested in finding out which procedure is good for the student and which is not. As an example, there might be many ways of finding factors for a trinomial but student needs to master only one, with which he/she is comfortable. The tutor should be flexible enough to allow and assist the student in getting good with the means and method the student chooses even if it is a bit slower.
Patience is the foremost quality to look into a math tutor. Tutor should be willing to assume it's his own child and him being the math tutor, what treatment would he then impart. There are a lot of cases wherein tutor do not open heartedly embrace other students as their own children and give them preferred and more in depth tutoring as compared to others. A tutor without open and good heart would not be a very good teacher.
So before you make a final call ensure the math tutor is qualified, has good rapport with children, is equally sensitive to each and every student and creates the process of learning math a whole lot of fun.
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