For today’s blog, we have a guest who will be talking to us about how he became a successful GCSE and A-level online Maths tutor.
My name is Michael and I am a full-time online maths tutor. I’ve been tutoring Maths for the last 10 years. Over this period, I have helped to support students at all academic levels. I now focus on tutoring students doing their GCSE, A level and IB Maths at Air Maths tuition.
The last 10 years have been quite the rollercoaster. I’ll share just a few snapshots with you.
In September 2009, I joined the University of Aberdeen to study Mathematics. Scottish Uni degree’s take 4 years to complete and the 1st two years didn’t count towards my degree.
Can you imagine a young, outgoing and open-minded 18-year-old kid like me, now living thousands of miles away from his parents in a city full of Uni students? You know what that means? Party time! The first 2 years were very good, to say the least. I watched a lot of Jersey shore, went out a lot, went to the gym a lot, did some tutoring on the side and only attended the lectures I had to.
But all good things come to an end and after 2 years of constant hangovers, it was time to knuckle down and get serious. The next 2 years would count towards my degree. At the time, my uncle was/is doing exceptionally well in finance and was pretty well connected. He told me, ‘Mike, if you get a 1st class honours in Maths, I’ll get you into any of the big 4 banks’. I looked at his cars, boats and lifestyle and thought to myself…. ‘Okay, well I have to get a 1st class honours then!’.
First class honours degree in Maths
So, I limited the partying (keyword ‘limit’ not stop), went to all my lectures, asked my professors for extra help when I needed it, and I gradually started to see results. After 2 years of hard work, I graduated in July 2013 with a First-class honours degree in Maths! This would open a world of opportunities for me. The world was my oyster as my uncle told me and I could choose any career I wanted; Accounting, investment banking, trading, research, game designing – You name it. I could be it.
Teaching was actually the last thing on my mind. For some reason, my only idea of success was working in the financial sector. So, I heavily pursued this and started my career in Financial services the same year I graduated. I went from banking, to trading stocks, bonds, currencies. It was stressful, tough but overall successful. But I never truly felt a sense of accomplishment. During this whole period, I always seemed to have 2 or 3 students that I was tutoring…. Strange how life works out right?
How I became a Tutor
My journey as a tutor started while I was at University. A friend and maths colleague of mine was looking for someone else to take over a student she was teaching GCSE Maths. For some strange reason, she thought I might be the right person for the job.
At this point, I had zero experience and wasn’t sure if I could do it. What if he asks me a question I don’t know? What if I don’t know how to structure the lesson? What if, What if? All these thoughts went through my head but like anything, I’ll always pick up the courage to give it a go!
So, I went there with a writing book, stationary, calculators and everything I knew about Maths. After the lesson, Ashab’s mum paid me which was quite awkward. Then an hour later, she rang me and said, ‘Michael, we would love you to come again please’.
I was so surprised. Because all I did was tell him what I knew about the topic and answered his questions in a way that I thought he would understand it. After just a month, Ashab (a C grade student) started to get A’s and when I started receiving phone calls from other parents, I knew that this was something I could get used to.
Maths Teachers shape futures
Ever since, I have met with 100’s of students and helped 95% of them to achieve their target grades. The experience of tutoring is fascinating. No 2 days are the same and that’s why I love what I do. Every day I get to solve someone’s problem and feel like a superhero afterwards! What more could you want? More importantly, when you have a whole family relying on you to deliver for their child, it’s an exhilarating type of pressure and motivates me to do more. The idea of shaping someone’s future is one I don’t take for granted.
Aside from teaching Maths, one of the things I enjoy most is interacting with people. There are so many different people in this world with different experiences and subsequently different life perspectives. I think there is so much to learn from people and how they think. I guess being openminded and willing to learn has probably helped me to become a better tutor.
Small group tutoring
In recent years, I’ve tutored students of similar levels in small groups and noticed that these lessons are far more interactive and engaging than one to one tuition. Student’s ask me questions, help each other to solve problems and each lesson we try to become better than the last as a team. As a result, students have found that they are able to get more out of tutoring at a cheaper price.
With the helpful hand of technology, I’m now able to help students all over the world including UK, Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Romania and Spain. And I intend to help even more. That’s why I recently started an online maths tutoring company called Air Maths tuition.
Our motto is, ‘Interact, Engage and Perform’. At Air Maths tuition, we are using technology in so many ways to achieve this. But ultimately, my mission is to help students all around the world to achieve better grades at the most affordable rates.
Thank you Michael!
If there are any specific topics or guests you’d like to hear from, please let me know and I’ll try to get them to share their experience with a guest blog!