In early January, 2017, I applied for my first real job at Mathnasium, a math tutoring center for grades K-12. It was my senior year in high school, and I really wanted some work experience before I attended college. I had not been able to the last years because of the overwhelming workload and sports. During senior year, I did not do tennis anymore and my classes were not too hard to me. I came in for an interview, and they responded a back a week later with an online training link and that I had gotten the job. I was super excited and could not wait to start teaching math to kids.
This event was important to me because I had always loved teaching and helping people with math. I wanted to teach even more so I picked this as my part-time job. One thing I did not expect out of this job was talking to parents. This job did not only teach me to get better at math, but also how to talk and handle kids, as well as talking to parents. It might seem easy to just talk to parents, but its hard for me because sometimes their kid doesn’t do well during a session, so it takes practice and politeness to break it to them kindly. This job has definitely contributed to my development because I got to see how a business works in the real world, and how to sell our business to parents. My boss invited me to fairs happening around the community so we can continuously advertise the business. I had to talk to multiple parents and explain to them how we can help their child’s math skills.
I will always remember the relationships I have with the kids. The Mathnasium I work at has around 60 kids enrolled as of today, and I am proud to say I know all of their names, as well as a little fun fact about them. It is our job as an instructor to make sure the student feels safe and welcomed at Mathnasium, so we always make an effort to ask how their day at school went, or what their plans are over the weekend. This way, they’ll be more opened to ask questions on what they’re stuck on, as well as not be intimidated by the instructors.
I believe this experience makes me different from my peers because even though we are all STEM majors, and probably good at math, it takes hard work and practice to be able to teach it someone. It is definitely a different process of learning math and then teaching it to someone else. Because I have worked at Mathnasium for almost a year, I have gotten many other private tutoring jobs, and I am able to teach math to my younger sibling much better than before.
I believe this experience demonstrates intelligence, politeness, leadership and responsibility. The kids look up to us as instructors, and it our job to be good role models to them. We help motivate them to do their homework and study for tests, as well as praise them for their hard work. This experience has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I think I am more of an introvert than an extrovert when it comes to public activities, so having to take the lead to teach a child, especially when their parents are watching, can be nerve wrecking. Some would either mess up, and some thrive and do their best work when they are under scrutiny. I have definitely had moments where I’ve said the wrong equation by accident, or could not understand why the student did not get a problem when I first started working, but fortunately I have grown from that and these situations happen very rarely.