Hello. In this education post, I share my experiences and thoughts on the time when I did math tutoring for a math/stats professor's daughter. This tutoring period was when I was in graduate school.
Referred By A Classmate
My grad school funding at the time was about $15 000 CAD or so. These funds helped with paying off tuition, rent, food and so on. The catch was that us graduate students had to teaching assistant work in order to obtain these funds. I had classmates who ended up doing more work than required in terms of hours worked while the work I had was fortunately easy.
One of my classmates saw the work I was doing when I was doing assistant work for first year university calculus and first year linear algebra. These courses had a computing component which required students to do computer algebra exercises. My role was to help students with math typing, math syntax with Maple and MATLAB software. I also helped with troubleshooting and fixing people's typing. The classmate referred me to a tutoring role with a first year calculus student. This student happened to be the daughter of a statistics professor who was the classmate's thesis supervisor. I was honoured to take on this role.
Meeting The Professor & Daughter
I did feel nervous before meeting the professor and daughter. The professor was a biostatistics professor and so was the husband at the same university.
It was a Friday afternoon when I met the professor and daughter for the initial meeting and consultation. The professor and daughter were friendly which erased my nervousness. In the initial meeting, we briefly discussed about the math course that the daughter needed help with and payment details.
Tutoring Sessions Thoughts
As it has been several years ago, my memory of these tutoring sessions are not the greatest. The tutoring sessions were held just outside a coffee shop in the math building of the university. There were many tables, chairs and blackboard walls outside of the coffee shop for student study spaces. I got paid for my tutoring services after each session.
The prof's daughter was okay in math ability. She was not struggling and she was not super fast in understanding first year calculus concepts. The student was fairly easy to work with I thought. I made sure to go through as many examples and not focus too much on theory. I don't think I ever asked how she ended up doing in the calculus course at the end. In my opinion, I feel that it is a bit nosy to find out. I just focused on doing a good job in tutoring and with preparations.
I Got Another Student For Tutoring Somehow
In one of my last tutoring sessions with the prof's daughter, there was a guy who noticed my tutoring sessions. He was an older first year student who wanted math calculus tutoring as well as final exams were near. This older student was interested in my tutoring services after I finished the tutoring session with the professor's daughter. I ended up scheduling a couple of private first year calculus tutoring sessions with this student.
The older student was a first year physics student who wanted to get into medical physics I believe. He worked for a bit and then decided to return to university. He was fairly easy to work with and the sessions were held in empty classrooms during final exam season.
These tutoring sessions just came in naturally. I did not really advertise myself for tutoring services online at the university as a graduate student. The grad school workload from courses along with teaching assistant work was enough to keep me busy.
I did find it enjoyable to work with the students I assisted while in graduate school. Working with the students was relatively more fun than the coursework I was doing and living on my own.