The Difference A Good Math Teacher Can Make

The Difference A Good Math Teacher Can Make

The Difference A Good Math Teacher Can Make
Talgo Math October 7, 2022

If you’ve scrolled through our website, you’d probably have noticed that one of our favourite phrases is “If you’re struggling with math, it’s never because you’re a bad student – there just might have been wrong with the way you’ve been taught!”

And to date, we stand by that principle. We can never discount the extraordinary impact that a teacher can have on a student’s results and academic progress (and their lives in general!).

You might think that all math teachers are the same – that is, if teachers are given the same syllabus, they should be able to teach math the same way and produce the same results. But that’s not true at all!

An effective math teacher should bring out the best in your child, both in terms of their studies and enjoyment of the subject itself.

Unfortunately, not all teachers invest this time and effort into their students, and parents aren’t always aware of the difference a good math teacher can make.

Teachers that we’ve loved!

Do you remember a teacher that profoundly impacted your life and shaped the way you saw a subject? We’re all guaranteed at least one special teacher who can light up a room when they teach and convince students to open up fully.

Savi notes that she’s been lucky to have many outstanding math teachers in her life, both at school and at university.

“I have to say, though, the best teachers are the ones that taught me to work independently instead of spoon-feeding me the material. I always try to impart this to my students!”

At Talgo, we place a lot of emphasis on building confidence through independent learning. We want students to go into an exam feeling composed and positive because they know they’ve got this, not nervous because their tutor isn’t there!

What do we see students struggling with?

Confidence, confidence, confidence!

Savi confirms that a majority of students mostly struggle with confidence when it comes to math.

Most primary and secondary school students haven’t been taught their foundational math well, creating the self-fulfilling prophecy that they are irreversibly ‘bad at math’.

Math is a lot about problem-solving! A student needs to be confident, work calmly (even when a question looks super daunting!) and think on their feet if they have to solve a problem a little differently than they’re used to.

Savi notes that a lack of self-confidence is the hardest thing to address in a student because it comes from within. But this is where a good math teacher will help! She adds, “A good teacher won’t only teach a kid the right theory, they’ll gradually build a student’s self-esteem through recognition, praise, and patience.”

What do we do differently?

Through practice and positive reinforcement, confidence-building is precisely what we focus on at Talgo!

Savi jokes that students tease her about the way she keeps repeating, “You can do math, you can do math!” like a mantra.

“Honestly, the only way for a student to truly enjoy math is to understand it! My teaching method has proven really effective so far – I teach my students the concepts thoroughly, and then ask them to solve problems independently. Your love for math comes from the pure satisfaction of solving a difficult problem on your own!” Savi explains.

Here’s a wholesome #TasteofTalgo story for you from Savi’s perspective!

Savi: I first started teaching math full-time in the summer of 2016. Around this time, a student joined my class because he was severely underperforming in school, earning 15 – 25 marks for each test.

As I began to teach him, I realised he had a serious math-related learning difficulty. Together, we worked hard to prepare for his test, and I tried to adapt my lessons to suit his learning style.

He ended up getting a B at his IGCSEs, and I was (and still am!) immensely proud of his progress and achievement!

Side note: I still recommend seeking expert help if you believe your child has a learning difficulty.

The future of teaching!

Savi adds that the education landscape is starkly different today than it was twenty years ago, for instance, in the 90s or early 2000s.

Savi notes this dynamic change herself, saying, “As a teacher, I’ve evolved in the last nine years I’ve been teaching, both as a part-time and full-time tutor.” Teaching is a dynamic profession, so a tutor needs to be ready to adapt their material and style to suit each new generation.

“I’m conscious of how fun and engaging my class is for each student. I try to make things as interactive as possible, so their attention isn’t diverted for a second,” Savi continues.

“I also try to treat students as equals and ask them for their opinions of what we could do differently in each class.”

At Talgo, we make sure your voice is heard during our classes., and our students feel the difference!

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