Thinking of becoming a private maths tutor?

To hit the ground running, I offer a 1 or 2 day course on how to become an excellent tutor, avoid the pitfalls, advertise effectively, how to communicate with parents and develop a reputation.

The charge is £295 per day and includes all the above, as well as

- Practice video lesson where you teach me and receive feedback from the video
- Teach a live student, videoed, and receive feedback from me
- Mentoring and constant advice 24/7 after our sessions
- References and the ability to mention that you have been successfully trained by me
- Learn advanced methods that solve so many problems that students have with learning maths

Typical content:

- multiplication (2 and 3 digit), its use in decimals, percentages, quadratics (and how it can be used for surds, standard form), factorisation of quadratics and cubics, and how to use to completely avoid algebraic division. The idea that one method to do 11 things is better than 11 separate methods.
- DOTS - its use in multiplication (and picture) as well as its equivalent algebraically (completing the square)
- Percentage technique (divide by 100 afterwards!), use in discounts, compound interest and the reverse method to find a division as a percentage. Using 100% as a pivot for increase/decrease problems.
- mental squaring method, and how to cube numbers (as well as higher powers)
- Using the same method to find any line of Pascal's triangle, and binomial expansion for any power (avoiding factorisation for non-positive integer powers). Again using one method repeatedly.
- An emphasis on teaching the 'point' of algebra
- SQWAT - solving quadratics without algebra technique which gives the student a fast and easier to use tool rather than traditional techniques, and utilises the squaring method, gives the turning point as well as plays the role of 'fast' discriminant.
- Alternate quadratic formula giving the x co-ordinate of the turning point
- Viewing a quadratic as a rectangle and its area - and trying to make the area zero.
- Demonstrate a visual approach to completing the square which links back to DOTS.
- Importance of a student understanding the concept of area - how many squares, what size?
- Definition of tangent as gradient, sine as height and cosine as width
- Explaining why sin differentiates to cos and why cos differentiates to - sine using a triangle picture
- Using the same picture to explain the origin of the compound angle formula, and fast method to find Rsin(A+alpha)
- Origin of sin/cos = tan, Pythagorean identity using the above lens
- A visual demonstration of differentiation using numbers only and not a formal approach - and then evolving it to seeing the connection to the binomial expansions of (x+1)^n
- Fast eigenvalue calculator
- Prioritisation of understanding: (the 3 rules, area, volume, the 3 types of division, what the point of algebra is, prime numbers, definition of tangent and how algebra is arithmetic in disguise)

One recent trainee of mine was Dave Catherall, who now has many of his own students and has this to say about my course...

"....

Review of my experience with Paul’s 'tutor training'

I have been for two days tutor training with Paul Carson, which is proving invaluable for me wanting to do maths tutoring myself.

The first day that I had covered a variety of areas which are all important for anyone thinking about becoming a maths tutor. This includes marketing (eg setting up a website, advertising in local press, producing flyers/business cards), the right questions to ask a potential tutee, what things need to be mentioned before starting to tutor (eg cancellation fees, where the tuition will take place), and how to organize your time effectively.

The second day covered more specific maths topics, as well as an opportunity to ask Paul questions about any specific issues that I may be having.

Subjects covered :

· Maths topics – Day 1 : 3 rules of maths, fractions, division, multiplication, percentages etc

· Maths topics – Day 2 : sequences, algebra (3 types of), gradient, equation of a straight line, graph-plotting, simultaneous equations, multiplying brackets, quadratics

Paul covers the different areas in a very clear, easy to understand way, using techniques which are more intuitive than those usually found in the classroom. This is helpful to the tutor, because he/she can quickly become confident in tutoring the student, as well as helpful to the student because it is not based on learning a bunch of formulae or facts, but is designed to give a true understanding of what is being taught. In this way, the student is much better able to solve problems and questions, because he is using what he knows, and this confidence helps to give a virtuous circle of learning.

I also had the opportunity of practicing being a tutor on both days – first tutoring Paul, while being videoed, and then getting feedback on how I performed. This can be difficult watching as you see your mistakes, but it is the best way of learning, by being thrown in at the deep end! Also, I had the opportunity to tutor one of Paul’s students, for up to half an hour, again with video feedback and Paul’s additional comments.

This practical experience is invaluable, as you have something to refer back to, and it helps when polishing up your delivery, and also in asking the student the right questions, and prompting them without ever giving them the answer. It also makes you realise if you say a certain stock phrase without realising it, like “basically”, so you can stop yourself saying it!

In addition to the above, Paul is available to help by text, e-mail or phone should I need it, for instance in timing of newspaper adverts or how to approach a specific situation.

All in all, I would highly recommend Paul's course."