#Struggling Math Teacher with a Vision
The name is Leandro Simons and I have been teaching 15 years now. I also have 12 years tutoring experience under the belt, tutoring mainly Mathematics and Physical Sciences to learners from Soweto, Eldorado Park, Orange Farm, Ennerdale and Poortjie. I am in dire need of your assistance to make my vision materialize, equal opportunity for all. The story that follows hopefully will make you realise why.
For 8 years I have been tutoring for ENGEN in Zakariya Park. Here I met some amazing learners from very impoverished backgrounds, that had the insatiable desire to do better. Just reminiscing about the 3 boys from Poortjie that would collect bottles whole week just to have sufficient transport money to attend Saturday Classes. Hereafter they would arrange a lift back to Trade Route Mall, walk about 7 km back to school and go reteach whatever they learned to about 100 math learners. This they did for three years straight. I am also reminded about one of our boys raised by his granny, who financially was not equipped to take care of him. With a little support from my manager, myself and my colleagues her rewarded our support by going from a diploma pass in grade 10 to 7 distinctions in grade 12 and received a full bursary to study chemical engineering. This made me realise that given the same opportunity and content as middle classed learners these learners generally outperform middle class learners. Their tenacity and desire to improve just inspired me to better my educational instruction. They rewarded me with 46 math distinctions, 48 B average passes, 55 C average passes over the 8-year period from 238 learners taught for grade 12. Effectively 62% of my learners were scoring 60% or more in math. However, 16 of these learners did not pass math, and reasons range from only joining the program in grade 12, to not having transport money to attend all classes, a bad foundation in math and not understanding or listening to my teaching, therefore not asking for help.
However, the sad reality dawned on me, not all learners are afforded the same opportunity due to not all of them having access to the same quality education. This compelled me to research and the discoveries shocked me.Our textbooks were not covering almost 50% of examinable questions. Learners attend extra tuition but don’t always show improvement in math. This led me to do further research in the matter. I reached three very important conclusions. First to learn requires you to listen, however with math your eyes are also required to follow what you listening too. Secondly we do not give enough problems of the same importance to rid learners of performance anxiety. Thirdly that a lot of teachers don’t have an understanding why they teaching the content and the purpose behind it or are not even qualified to teach math. For Example, Algebra in plain English is just Pattern Recognition. Learners are not taught the pattern to solving algebraic problems. Yet this is one of the greatest required skills in all fields of employment.
So this is my request, my desire, my calling. God has placed it upon my heart to humble myself and ask for your assistance. I require the finance to do the following. I would like to open my own Tuition Centre to generate extra income for myself, for an extensive data plan and freeing myself up to offer greater assistance in areas where needed. The plan is to complete the last 15% of my three textbooks to ensure all learners have access to a comprehensive textbook covering 95% of examinable content. I further want to purchase a proper camera and microphone to complete my DVD Tutorial series on exam content and classroom content. I plan to sell the series to learners that can afford it, but also use the revenue generated to provide it as a pilot project in schools where no math teachers are available. Currently approximately 1500 schools offer no math or physics. This series is so comprehensive that it can be used for everyday teaching, improving knowledge not only of teachers but also learners. Hopefully and ultimately will lead to better instruction in the schools where best needed. The extra data I want to us to continue assisting learners on my Facebook pages, YAPGrade 12 Mathematics, YAPGrade 11 Mathematics, YAP Maths 8 etc. I also have 320 Learning exercises and 274 Exam question videos available on Vimeo. I want to create a video channel so as to generate extra income. I believe this would free me up, to give extra support and training at schools that have requested my help from the Northern Cape to the Eastern Cape. My ultimate goal to improve overall teaching at Schools. I am also working on an online solution accessible by phone for R10 per Two hours of tuition to assist learner across Africa whilst training extra staff to do the same and generate an income for themselves. This system will accommodate 100 up 500 learners at a time whilst still allowing for individual attention. All the material is ready to create the system and we will be able to train 50 unemployed youth that had 50% and more in math to ensure they able to generate minimum R20 000 to R 30 000 a month. My current dilemma comes from my inability to make printed material available for all learners I help as well as print material for training. I am also in need of software to make the DVD series secure and prevent copies. I also need to pay Vimeo to run a channel. I have a comprehensive list of Exam Question Topics in PDF form available to ensure proper revision takes place but don’t have the capacity to share with all.
I am also starting a program for grade 12 learners in Eldorado Park as per parents’ request. The program will run every Saturday from 13:30 till 18:00. I already have permission from a principal of a school and cluster manager to use the school as a venue to assist. I would like to offer it for free but will be charging between R5 to R10 per learner to cover petrol and printing cost. I would be assisting close to 250 learners from various schools in the area. Program starts 6 April 2019.
Although I recently finished my BSc in Informatics my heart lies in teaching. It gives me great joy. The excitement learners show when they get something is just indescribable. I just wish you could meet me in person and experience me teaching. You would soon realise my burning passion and desire to continue giving each learner the opportunity to become the best they can be. I don’t only teach content but also improve confidence, motivate and constantly inspire. I believe God has placed greatness in all of us and everyone needs someone to remind them of their greatness and uniqueness. My gift is teaching Mathematics and Physical Sciences and giving them substantial meaning to all I educate. I use real life explanations of almost all topics so learners see the power of maths.
You helping me will ultimately give me the opportunity to help thousands of learners. Your assistance is highly appreciated and feel free to follow how your assistance continues helping learners across the country on Facebook.May God bless you and may goodness follow you for the rest of your days.