Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.
~ Albert Einstein ~
Everyone knows mathematical skills are essential as they equip students with knowledge in problem solving, as well as logical and critical thinking. Mathematics goes beyond the school subject of 'maths' — with mathematical knowledge filtering into other areas of the curriculum, including science and music.
The other 'fact' people know is that maths can be difficult. It takes time and energy to gain a functional knowledge of all the mathematical concepts the Australian school curriculum covers.
What will often make the learning experience worse for many students is that the crowded nature of the Australian Curriculum means teachers simply don't have time to cover everything in depth. Students fall behind when their teacher moves on and they are left to study the next concept with a shaky grounding in the basic knowledge it requires.
It's little wonder that, along with the science subjects of physics and chemistry, mathematics is one of the most commonly requested types of tuition.
The Australian capital has been called the most educated city in Australia. Certainly, with a large university sector and one of the highest percentages of people who complete Year 12, the education options are second to none. Learning maths in Canberra is not difficult if you know where to look and who to look for.
What to Look For in a Maths Tutor
Not every tutor will be the right fit for you so it will be worth your while to shop around until you find a tutor who has the experience required to support your learning and help you understand your course content.
What should students be looking for in a mathematics teacher?
Knowledge and experience
You won't necessarily require a tutor with teaching qualifications and years of school experience, although there are plenty of retired teachers in Canberra who offer maths tuition. However, a tutor who can demonstrate knowledge at your level and the mathematical skills you need help with is a must. At a primary or high school level, a tutor who is a university student will often be perfect but if you need help with specialist mathematics content, you will need to look elsewhere.
Friendly and encouraging
This is particularly important for students who have spent years feeling they are 'dumb' in maths class.
If you don't get along with your tutor, or you feel uncomfortable asking questions, learning will not happen. Find a tutor who you connect with.
Of course, you want to see results if you're spending time and money on tutoring. And you'll probably want to see them fairly quickly. Don't expect to go from a D-grade to an A-grade overnight, but after a couple of tutoring sessions, you should start to feel more confident and less stressed when facing problems in class. If you ask for testimonials or recommendations, this can give you a good idea about the experience of other students.
Value for money
This is a no-brainer. Remember that you will get what you pay for, but this does not mean the most expensive tutor will deliver the best results. Weigh up your 'connection' with a tutor, your needs, and the support you require with their hourly rate.
Maths Tutoring Canberra — Who Should You Study With?
Try doing an online search for maths tutoring Canberra.
There are hundreds of agencies and individuals in Canberra who offer mathematics tuition services. The question is: How will you choose the right one for you?
Specialist Mathematics Tutoring Agencies
If you want to go with a tutoring agency, look for one that specialises in maths rather than in a whole range of different subjects. These agencies will be well versed in the needs of maths students at every level and are more likely to have specialist knowledge and pedagogy skills suited to mathematical education.
Students keen to use agencies when learning maths in Canberra could try:
- John's Academy — specialist tuition in maths, physics and chemistry for Years 6 through 12 and university level
- Big Improvements Tutoring — for primary school students through to Year 12, maths and English only
- Kip McGrath Education Centres — small group tutoring in maths and English for primary school and secondary school students to Year 12
These days, most tutor agencies have an online tuition program available in addition to tutors who work face-to-face.
Online Tutoring Platforms
There is an increasing number of online tutoring platforms whose premise is to match students with tutors. In most cases, anybody can add their profile as a tutor on these platforms so it becomes the role of the student to sift through available tutors to find the one best able to help at the right price.
A couple of platforms you should consider are:
- Superprof — there are close to 30 specialist maths tutors listed on the Superprof platform for Canberra and surrounds. With an average hourly fee of $29 and the first class for free, Superprof tutors offer the best value around. Of course, you don't need to limit yourself to Canberra-based tutors, as most Superprof tutors work online as well, so it doesn't matter where they are.
- Bark — simply answer a few questions, including your level (pre-primary to university specialist), goals and preferred location and the Bark online platform will send you a list of maths tutors who are a good fit for your needs and available at your chosen time.
- Tutors Field — enter the subject you wish to study and your location and this platform will generate a list of tutors who have registered with them. Further information is given, including price, specialist fields, experience and the level and content taught.
Freelance Maths Tutors
Tutors tend to work in two sectors — through an agency or independently (freelance).
Most tutors who are registered with an online tutoring platform are freelancers or sole traders. They may be retired teachers, university or college students, or professionals who enjoy teaching. Some of them work full-time, while others may only work a few hours a week for extra cash.
Independent tutors will also advertise through university noticeboards or the student services section. They may place small advertisements in primary and high school newsletters, or leave their flyers with the front office or with teachers in the maths faculty. You'll also find posters and flyers on community noticeboards, such as those in shopping centres, community halls and public libraries.
If you are looking for a private tutor who is not affiliated with an agency, you can also place your own advertisement on a tutoring platform or other online platforms, like Gumtree. Asking the student services manager at one of Canberra's universities, or the front office staff at a college in Canberra could also be a worthwhile option.
When you're looking to engage a private tutor, make sure you ask to see testimonials or references first. And if you're looking for tuition for your child, it is essential you sight a current working with children registration.
Will the Cost Outweigh the Benefits?
There's no way around it — ongoing maths tuition can be expensive and not all students will be able to afford to get private help.
What options do you have if you need help but have limited funds?
If your tutor does not need to include travel expenses or extra resources into their hourly rates, they tend not to charge as much. For this reason, online tutoring is often a cheaper option than face-to-face.
Get together with a small group of friends or classmates and share the cost of a private tutor. This is not only cheaper, but it gives you the opportunity to continue practising after the class with your co-students. You can arrange to do this in person or online.
If you can't afford a qualified and experienced tutor, remember there are a number of university and college students who offer tuition services for primary and high school students. They are cheaper, and often more flexible with their time.
There is a huge number of YouTube sites where you can learn and practice all manner of mathematical problems. Eddie Woo is pretty much a household name in Australia with his WooTube maths channel, but there are plenty of others as well.
As you can see, finding maths tutoring Canberra is not difficult as you have many options. All that's left to do is decide how you want to learn and with whom.