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Math Articles

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A Recipe for Failure in Ontario's Schools

" ...one-third of elementary students in Ontario are below the provincial standard for reading, writing and math...half of students not meeting the math standard in grade 6 continue to remain below the standard in grade 9 applied math...these numbers are worrisome indeed..." September 10, 2009  Full article

What is a Professional Tutor?

A professional tutor is first and foremost someone who enjoys sharing the love of his/her favourite subject(s) with others. Tutors prefer working one-on-one with their students so that they can give each student 100% of their attention. This individualized attention means that the tutor can gear his/her instruction to each student’s needs.

A professional tutor knows that for a student to succeed, it is necessary to match one’s teaching style to the student’s particular learning style.
The student’s preferred learning style will become obvious to the professional tutor as the tutor works through several exercises with the student. Some students are primarily visual learners and will appreciate pictures or written prompts to assist their learning. Other students are primarily auditory learners who need oral instruction in order to succeed and do not respond as well to the printed word. Still other students are kinesthetic learners who need to touch and manipulate materials in order to fully grasp a concept. Most students utilize some combination of the above learning styles. A professional tutor understands that it is essential to find out how a student learns and then apply that knowledge as part of his/her tutoring style.

A professional tutor never gives up on a student and encourages the student never to give up on him/herself.  School work does not come easily to many students. Overworked teachers in overcrowded classrooms cannot be expected to give these students the individualized instruction and encouragement they need in order to succeed. The Ontario curriculum builds each year on what the student was supposed to have learned in previous years. It is the goal of the tutor to work with the parent, teacher, and school to support the student. Once a student falls behind, essential building blocks are missed, and gaps are left in that student’s knowledge and understanding. This simply means that those gaps need to be filled in as quickly as possible; it does not mean that a child is “stupid”. Here is where a professional tutor can come to the rescue.

A professional tutor takes a holistic approach towards each student’s learning. It is not enough just to see the student’s marks improve, although that is an important component of the tutoring process. It is equally important to understand the student’s goals and to emphasize those learning processes that will enable the student to achieve those future goals.

A professional tutor effortlessly makes his/her subject come to life and shares her/his love of learning with the student. Contact with a professional tutor should be infectious! Enthusiasm and encouragement are a potent and contagious mix. Even reluctant students come to believe that they can and will succeed — and in the end they do. That is what professional tutoring is all about.