Many of our majors and minors find that helping other students to learn mathematics is enjoyable and rewarding in addition to being a welcome source of income.
Some of the best ways to learn mathematics are to teach, grade, or tutor it. You will be surprised by how much better you will understand the subject. In fact, several of us on the faculty got our start in teaching as undergraduate tutors and readers.
Many students begin as a tutor for the PLTC, then move into positions as a reader or teaching assistant for a particular mathematics course. These jobs can then be a springboard to a summer job teaching mathematics. If you are considering a career in teaching then some teaching experience as an undergraduate is invaluable. Even if you are not planning a career in teaching, a position as a TA or reader gives to students an opportunity to help their colleagues, earn a bit of money and become better acquainted with the faculty.
Math department tutors work on a one-on-one basis with students who are having difficulty in a lower-level math course. This position is ideally suited for the student who wants to maintain a flexible work schedule, or who is not ready to take on the responsibility of being a teaching assistant or homework reader. The meeting times and places are determined by you and the student who needs tutoring. Generally you will meet weekly with a student for four sessions (one per week) and then meet with the course instructor for a progress report.
Applications for this position are available at the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center. On the application form, you will be asked to specify which courses you feel comfortable tutoring and to give the names of two faculty references. Our greatest need is for tutors in calculus.
The department hires student homework readers and teaching assistants (TAs) for the following courses: 101, 102, 115, 116, 120, 205. Occasionally we offer positions for 206, 220, 223, 225, 302 and 305. A reader's primary duty is to correct homework papers. TAs spend one evening a week staffing the Math Help Room. They may also be asked to hold office hours once per week determined by the faculty member teaching the course. In particular, she may be asked to hold a review session or office hours before an exam. Many TAs are also readers.
Readers should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week on grading, and TAs spend 2 hours per week staffing the Help Room. Applications are available in the Math Department office (SCI 361) and are due at a date near the end of the semester. Usually we choose TAs at the end of the preceding term. Sometimes, however, we hire additional readers at the beginning of a term. Applications are available a week before reading period each semester. Check back often!
The College has spearheaded a new program by which certain courses in the Science Center are assigned a supplemental instruction (SI) leader, usually a junior or sophomore, who acts as an assistant to the class during the entire semester. Much like a graduate fellow in a research institution, she holds a 90-minute evening session once a week to review homework and the most recent lecture material. SI leaders are required to attend the lectures of the professor, but are not required to grade homework. The semester-long salary is approximately 1200 dollars. SI leaders are chosen about two months before the beginning of the semester. Please talk to Roberta Schotka at the PLTC if you are interested in being an SI leader for the upcoming spring term.