Mathematics Tuition - Further Information

Smile of wonder

WELCOME! Thank you for taking the time to look at this page and other information on this web site. I hope it is all useful and that you become one of the thousands I have helped. If you have any questions, please be assured that I am always open to talking.

+ The information on this page, and other pages on this web site, are the basis of any agreement between us - I do expect to be accountable for the statements which I have made.

A lot of this page is an expansion of the page ‘Expectations & Understandings’.

INF.1: When I use the term ‘we’, this means the student, the parents/guardians and myself. It is important that we work together, as a team, with clear communication and clarity of purpose. It may be that the team can benefit from others being added to it.


4+ students = 300 pesos
3 students = 350 pesos
2 students = 400 pesos
1 student = 500 pesos

Sessions will usually last a minimum of 60 minutes, and can also be booked for 90 or 120 minutes. A schedule can usually be devised to meet the needs of everyone. I am happy to work 7 days a week and from 07:00 to 22:00.

INF.3: You will soon notice that the rates are designed to encourage group work. Yes, they do also mean a higher hourly rate for me, but I will have more work to do when there are more students. The sessions will be more demanding of me, though I admit they might actually be more fun with two or more students. However, there will certainly be more preparation and follow up work. None of this really matters as the main point is that group work is beneficial educationally. Putting it another way, I think your daughter/son/ward’s class peers are the first people we should add to our team.

I think this topic is so important that I’ve created a separate document ‘Benefits of Group Work'. If you have any doubt that there are educational benefits, please take the time to have a look. Though ‘one on one’, individual tuition can sometimes be beneficial, it can often be simply too intense, too much for the student to deal with, with no time to breathe and absorb the Mathematical concepts. If any of us think that your son/daughter/ward might benefit from individual tuition, be it short or longer term, we can certainly talk.

Finally, I acknowledge that the rates are probably higher than other local teachers might charge, but I am confident that my training, experience, and approach to teaching justifies the rates. With a group of students, the rate is very competitive.

INF.4: I do not encourage too much tutoring. Twice a week works well. Once a week may well help. However, three times a week is only necessary sometimes. It is unlikely I would accept a booking for a student to have tuition more often than that unless there are special circumstances.

As one example, I was recently asked to give 2 hours’ tuition 5 days a week. I gave good reasons why this was not a good idea. I think that, if a parent considers their child needs that much tuition, it is likely that there is a problem at school. Very few problems are solved by doing more of the same thing. I offered to compromise at 3 times a week, but the parent declined, and that lead me to think that they were really looking for a child minder. That is not what I do. I am a professional teacher.

Smile of welcome

INF.5: I am also perfectly happy to add the students’ current classroom teacher to our team. I am happy to communicate with them, but would ask you to understand that if this communication becomes extensive and/or ongoing, I may need to make a charge. It can sometimes be very helpful to make that connection. However, the contact is not always a positive benefit, and I will leave the judgment to you.

INF.6: I may extend a session for five minutes or so. This will depend on there being a need and my not having other appointments. I may give consultation by telephone, by text, by email, but it should be noted that these are often not satisfactory ways of teaching and learning. I do this is because I want students to progress with their learning of Mathematics. That is why we are meeting and working together! It is our purpose. However, none of this should be taken as an expectation.

The following points refer directly to the page ‘Expectations & Understandings’.

INF.7: “You can expect me to do everything I reasonably can to help students’ (EXP.1). The primary objective is to help your daughter, son or ward with their Mathematics. A close secondary objective is for them not to need my help. I’d actually be very happy to receive a message after 3 or 4 months to tell me that the student is much happier than they used to be with Mathematics, that they even enjoy Maths, and that they do not feel that they need my help any longer. I would be very satisfied with that conclusion.

However, teaching and learning is a very complex interaction, and there can be no guarantees. If teaching and learning were as simple as ‘A + B + C + D = the result we want’, then it would be very easy. But it is a much more complicated equation than that, and the teaching and learning process is as complex as human beings are themselves.

INF.8: The 'Student Information Form' (EXP.2) should be downloaded, printed and completed. The form can be printed for you and collected from my home or, possibly, delivered to yours. I would very much appreciate it if you can complete the form as far as possible. Please add absolutely anything you wish on the back. However, as stated elsewhere, face to face dialogue is always encouraged.

Girls having fun

INF.9: The first session is for assessment (EXP.3&4). It will be informal and is not something which anyone should have any concerns about.

It is, of course, my right to decline to tutor any particular student. However, that is very unlikely. I really do not care very much about what each student’s Mathematical ability might be. I really cannot emphasise that too much. What I mean is that is not what the job is about for me. What I care about is finding each student’s Mathematical level, then finding out where they are with their Mathematical journey, and how I can help to build their capacity and move forward.

In the first session, I will very likely ask your son, daughter or ward to do a little work, but as much as anything I am interested in how they work. Again, that is not so much to make a judgement, but to find out what we need to do to work effectively together.

INF.10: Please see the MAP for the location of lessons (EXP.5). Carmenville is a very safe subdivision. I live close to Gate 1, which is the end nearest to Angeles City itself, and where trikes are readily available.

The room I use for tuition is quiet, clean, big enough, light and airy with two big windows. I have a nice big round table for us to work at with good chairs. I use white board, paper, I.T. … we will do whatever works … we might walk, sing, shout answers loudly, do drawings, act the answer … again, whatever works!

INF.11: (EXP.6, 7, 8 & 9) With regard to keeping or cancelling appointments, I hope you agree that what I have described is a fair arrangement and respectful to all parties.

Though I do not think this will be necessary, I think I must add that if any student is persistently late, regularly cancels appointments, refuses to do work as directed, does not seem able to change their attitude … continues to act in any way which is not helpful … that is something that will need to be corrected. We all need to set good examples as we are not just teaching our students Mathematics, but also lessons for life. It is difficult to be specific about what action I might take, or what I might ask the parents/guardians and/or student to do, as each circumstance will be different. Though I do not give up easily, ultimately I may refuse to continue to tutor the student.

I like to think, and have evidence that I am indeed a good motivator. I actually believe it is a large part of the job of a teacher. However, it is not efficient if every session starts with the students unprepared and needing to be lifted and made ready to work.

We will try to be productive from the first to the last minute of the lesson, as I like to offer value for money, it is essential to have a positive learning environment, and try to be relaxed and possibly even have fun. Sometimes it is best to take a break, re-energise and I might take the decision to do that. Students themselves are welcome to ask for a break. I will provide water, but any refreshments which the students might need should be bought with them. However, NO cans of soda, sweets or gum will be allowed. If students do need to eat I would encourage them to eat good, real food.

Students should bring pens, sufficient paper, a ruler, a calculator, their current text book … these are likely be needed for every lesson. Students are expected to take responsibility and to accept that I am not a stationery store. To give a specific example, if they know they are going to want to work on Geometry, they should bring an angle measurer, a protractor, probably a rubber. This is an example of an area where a student needs to take responsibility for their own learning.

INF.12: The purpose of feedback is to inform the educational process. I believe that it should, as far as possible, be open and include all members of the team. Assessment and feedback are an important part of the process. (EXP.10) It is likely that I will give more feedback to parents at the start of our working together. I will not usually commit to any timetable of giving progress reports as this is not usually necessary.

INF.13: All I would add to (EXP.11) is that you can expect confidentiality. I will not discuss your business with anyone else without your express permission.

INF.14: I hope the rest of the document 'Expectations & Understandings' (EXP.12, 13, 15) is self-explanatory. Questions are always welcome though.

+ As I said at the start, the information on this page, and other pages on this web site, are the basis of any agreement between us and I do expect to be accountable for the statements which I have made.

Kids in a row

Copyright 2014 - Richard Messenger

Copyright 2014 - Richard Messenger