Math whiz makes numbers make sense

Published 7:41 am Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“I need you to reach back.”

This is one of the phrases Shayla Tate uses when she’s in a tutoring session with one of her clients.

The Brookhaven resident said a common characteristic her clients share is that they all need help remembering what they’ve already learned.

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This has inspired her to start a summer math camp this June in Brookhaven.

“Every August in math as a student, I felt like I had to start over,” Tate said. “I had it by the third week, but kids don’t have three weeks anymore.”

Tate said the summer camp will help children avoid the summer brain drain by preparing them for the next grade.

“Once your confidence is built, you have the courage to go ahead and tackle math and not be intimidated by math,” Tate said.

Mathematics was always a challenge Tate loved to conquer. She developed a passion for working with numbers in high school.

Tate remembers her high school math teacher, Emily Thompson, who taught her Algebra II and trigonometry.

She said many of her classmates complained, but she was a fast learner. “To me it was very clear and step by step,” she said. “She was a good old-fashioned math teacher.”

Tate went to college for business and education. She has been teaching for 11 years, but she never thought about tutoring others until 2009.

She started working at a tutoring facility and then decided to tutor privately.

“I started working with my first private client in 2013 and tutored her for two years,” she said. “Since tutoring her, I was able to pick up three to four more clients,” she said.

Tate takes her time with her clients, making sure they’re mastering the lessons. She said parents seem to be satisfied with her techniques.

Kimberly Reed’s son, Brayden, is one of Tate’s clients.  “We have been coming for about four weeks and I can already tell by seeing an improvement in his grades,” Reed said. “He’s more confident with his homework.”

Tutoring needs to be individualized to be successful. “The key to any tutoring is one on one,” Tate said.

For more information, call or text Tate at 601-324-1084.