You know when people say, “that person is a rock star” in relation to their skills and expertise? Well Vanessa Vakharia really is a rock star on two fronts; a math rock star as the founder and brains behind The Math Guru, a boutique Math and Science Tutoring Studio in Uptown Toronto and the lead singer of the band Goodnight, Sunrise who opened for Bon Jovi in 2017.
Vanessa used to hate math. In fact, she failed grade 11 math twice and decided she was simply not a “math person.” After changing schools, she decided to brave another math course with an open mind. This is when she realized that there is no such thing as a “math person”. Everyone can be a math rock star. Today, Vanessa is a certified high school math teacher with a Masters in Mathematics Education.
Vanessa discusses how anyone can become a math genius. Math seems to get the best of us and once we have a bad experience with math, people tend to steer clear from then on, especially girls. Vanessa talks about how math can open doors and help women thrive (and actually be fun).
The Math Guru was founded to address a dislike of math head on. Math, like any other subject, needs to be taught in a manner specific to each individual’s needs. Every student is unique and processes information and understanding concepts differently. The most important thing is to be able to intuitively know how someone’s mind works and how to make mathematical concepts fit into that model. In a classroom setting, there is simply a lack of opportunity for every student to receive math instruction that is specific to their individual needs. Many students end up discouraged, thinking that just because they don’t understand ONE teacher’s method of teaching, they are simply not a “math person.”
The Math Guru found a secret recipe for student success. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by math and give up but this does not need to happen. Students must simply:
a) Have concepts explained to them in a manner that THEY relate to
b) Stay on track by making sure that their knowledge base is always stable
c) Develop confidence by finally understanding that they are just as capable as anyone else on this planet
d) Get excited about doing what it takes to make a), b) and c) happen