January 11, 2019
Roles and Responsibilities of Singapore Math Teachers
In every student’s life, teachers play a significant role in shaping the academic performance of their students, as well as their characters. Tutors have the best interest in their hearts for their students and will guide their children with utmost sincerity. In Singapore, it has become very normal to majority of parents to send their children for tuition in order to achieve academic excellence.
Singapore’s education system is generally known to be one of the toughest education systems in the world. Specifically, Singapore is known for having an extremely challenging math syllabus which prepares students very well for math and science-related fields. The reason why Singapore math is challenging to that extent is because the syllabus demands students to be critical thinkers; to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
To overcome the challenges that the education system will impose on students, there is a need for good tutors who will be able to provide good guidance.
So, let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities of a good Singapore Math tutor.
Putting aside math, let’s look at why tutors in general need to be supportive of their students. With a tutor’s specialised guidance (particularly that of a home tutor), there is a sense of companionship, motivation and happiness while learning. A good teacher is a pillar of strength in their students’ academic journey, supporting them at every step of the way. They are there to encourage their students, teach their students how to rise from a setback with strength and courage, and celebrate their students’ every small victory. This healthy tutor-student relationship will enable the development of a sense of trust and respect mutually, this keeps the journey going. When parents are upset or disappointed, and friends criticise a student for his or her poor academic performance, the teacher is that one person who continues to trust and believe.
#2: THE FOUNDATION
Mathematics tutors in Singapore, be it school tutors or home tutors are very clear about one thing, and that is, no student will progress further until he or she has mastered the foundations of the subject content. This may seem like an obvious universal fact, but Singapore education system takes this very seriously, takes the necessary steps to adhere to this principal and hence has many ideas implemented to ensure this is being strictly followed.
Math tutors have to ensure that their students understand the simple ideas and concepts first before diving into the abstract, more complex ones. Some ways in which tutors can check their students’ understanding is through tests, or even by asking them to explain what they have just learnt. When a student can thoroughly explain what he or she has been taught, it is a sign of good understanding and it is the green light that indicates that the student can proceed to learn much more abstract concepts.
#2: HIGHER-ORDER THINKING SKILLS
This is also known as critical thinking skills, which essential for students to have mastered in order to survive Singapore Math. By imparting this skill from the beginning, it becomes second nature to them when they are given a problem to solve. It is almost an immediate response that starts from the point of reading, then analyzing, hypothesizing, testing and finally deriving the step-by-step solution to arrive at the final answer. Math teachers can train their students by constantly giving them practice papers and by asking them to solve challenging questions during lessons. Practice will certainly make things easier over time!
This characteristic is crucial for students to excel in math since mastering the subject is all about constantly strengthening your memory on concepts, practicing every day and proactively seeking help from tutors. This quality is something that is lacking in those who underperform in Math. Children are young and they often do not understand the importance of discipline, and hence, Math teachers have to take that up that responsibility and teach their students to be self-disciplined. This goes beyond helping a student to excel in math; it helps him or her conquer life.
IN A NUTSHELL, Singapore math is famous globally for its challenging syllabi and students are required to be focused and interested in their learning in order to perform well academically. None of this will come easily and no matter how much a student tries, without a good math tutor, none of it will be possible!