This is blog post was written by Yvonne Morris. Yvonne shares more on experiences as a Thinkster Math tutor over the last two and a half years!
I was first introduced to Thinkster Math by a Facebook post and loved what I saw on their math tutoring approach.
I have always been interested in technology and being a math tutor. One, because I love seeing the lightbulb turn on in a student’s head when they understand a concept. And two, because I love helping students build their confidence in math and helping them reach their full potential.
I started with Thinkster in November 2017 and had some initial doubts that it was the job for me.
When I first started to take students, I opened my schedule up too freely so that the tutoring sessions were spread out inconveniently. I had opened up as many hours as I could because I thought that this would help gain and keep more students.
This turned out to not be very efficient. In fact, there was one night where I only had one student scheduled! With my schedule so spread out and scattered, I felt overwhelmed.
In March 2018 I had it in my head that I was going to send in my resignation. At the time I felt isolated and didn’t really know anyone in the company (except for our Director of Tutoring Services, Sumi).
When I sent my resignation email, Sumi called me up immediately and we discussed the reasons I wanted to leave.
This was a huge turning point.
I could tell how genuine Sumi was. She deeply cared for her academic team and wanted every math tutor to succeed.
Sumi and I then made an action plan. I paused on receiving new students and reworked my existing students into a regular schedule that was more efficient for me.
After about six weeks, I felt much better and excited to start growing as a math tutor and take more students. Then, in less than three months, my class size quadrupled. This time, I was confident and happy.
I also realized that not only does Sumi care tremendously for her employees, but that every math tutor on the team is incredibly helpful. I started to connect with other people on Skype and interact with fellow tutors. As I got to know others, I realized that I was not alone.
Once I began interacting with a supportive math tutor community, my enthusiasm greatly increased. I now tutor close to thirty hours a week, and some days may see 25 students! If I had not connected with others in the Thinkster company, I do not think I would have grown so quickly and confidently.
The students that I work with are some of the most fun students I have ever taught – both in school and online settings. I have some students that make me laugh really hard… and some that are more serious. I might be serious in one tutoring session, and the very next session I get to be a bit silly.
No matter what type of personality I have during the tutoring sessions, I always have one goal in mind:
To help all of my students grow and succeed in math.
As a math tutor, I really get to know each of my students because we work together for fifteen or thirty minutes every week.
Our relationships grow exponentially.
I had one parent say that,
“It feels like our tutor is with us every week in the room but she is twelve hours away from us. This program has helped give my child the confidence to know that he can accomplish math.”
Each week when I tutor my students, I have them turn on the video so that they can see that I am an actual person on the other side of the screen. This is so important because they grow more accountable and responsible for their work.
I like to get to know my students, so when I talk to the parents, I ask them to share something that interests their child. I want to make connections to their interests during tutoring. This helps them understand how relevant and important math is to their lives – whether it be in sports or art.
The Thinkster Math program is very efficient because it starts out by assessing the skill level and gaps of our students. We can then address particular weaknesses, or provide enrichment or advancement.
I have helped students advance one or two grade levels because of their dedication and consistency with worksheets and weekly whiteboard tutoring sessions. If a student is behind, I highly recommend to the parent that the student continues with the math tutoring sessions.
I love having the whiteboard tutoring sessions with my students because I really learn about them and each of their strengths and weaknesses. There is a positive correlation between student growth, time spent on worksheets, and the whiteboard tutoring sessions.
Throughout this past year, I have also had some really great testimonials from parents and students.
One of my favorites is that the child begged their mom to cancel their first session with me because he claimed to have a stomach ache and was worried about what I would think about him. I have been working with that student for about six months now, and not only has the student made incredible strides, but the mother is also working with Thinkster because she believes in the effectiveness of the program.
If you are considering working with Thinkster or if you’re already here, here is my advice based on what I have experienced over the past year:
Get to know others. Don’t feel shy reaching out to fellow math tutors on Skype and interacting! Everyone is very supportive and helpful.
Do not be afraid to ask questions – we have all been at the beginning and have lots of tips so that you can successfully grow with the company too! Also, you can ask Sumi, our Director of Academics, to connect or pair you with a teacher to work with you.
And what’s so exciting about Thinkster Math is that we are a community! You’ll love getting to work with your students and interact with other online math tutors too.