Our interview with Nigel Fernandez
Name: Nigel Fernandez
Occupation: Freelance tutor, student, manages and blogs for the Capitalistlad
You can watch his interview video here:
Nigel has been a tutor since 2015 and is currently tutoring 4 students in O Level Mathematics while also managing the Capitalistlad, a financial blog, while also juggling his commitments as a student Business Management student at Singapore Management University. He mentions that while he does enjoy giving tuition, the commute he must make to give tuition can sometimes be a chore. Like most tutors in Singapore, travelling can often take up many hours in a day, which means valuable time is wasted especially for a busy individual like Nigel. Therefore, an online tutoring platform like Cudy could potentially be the ‘holy grail’ of tuition! Check out his interview above or have a read of his interview transcript.
Andrea: Why did you start tutoring?
Nigel: It was somewhere right after my polytechnic education where I had a bit of that before I started my national service. I decided that I had some skills, some valuable skills in teaching and I thought that ‘hey it would be quite a meaningful job to give tuition.’ So, I decided that instead of working elsewhere why not just do a home-based tuition business.
Andrea : What is your most memorable student or lesson? What are some of the challenges you face tutoring?
Nigel: I think one of the most memorable students I personally remember, was a student doing his PSLE, this was back in 2015, and I think that there is that challenge of working with a student that is doing his national examinations, because you can feel the stress teaching the student.
Although I’m not the one taking the paper, but I can his stress and I knew what it’s like being in that setting, because I was a student taking the PSLE myself, obviously, many years ago. I realised the most difficult part of working with students taking his national examinations is that you need to be able to sort of come up with a masterclass system; where you need to condense as much information as you can within that short period of time, because you know that PSLE is in October and sometimes the preparation really starts cramming up in about July.
So, you must have a really clear timetable and you have to work according to that. Managing his stress, managing him on an emotional level is equally as tough as working through the content with him.
Andrea: What are your thoughts of conducting your tuition class online?
Nigel: I think that will be great! I mean if given a chance to conduct tuition classes online will be fantastic, because now currently when I teach tuition I’m limited by location.
In one day, I would have to travel to a few places and that takes up a few hours of my day because I teach in the west, after that, I go to the east then I have another class in the north. So, to have a tuition class online, from a business point of view, that is great, because there is scalability. I’m able to reach ten, twenty, thirty students, whatever the limit could be at one time.
So, I’m not limited by location and it’s definitely a more efficient way. I can conduct just one class, one hour, I’m done for a day, I can reach out to 10 students. So this will be a great platform for me!