ITG Tutors: Mark Collin

Mark has dedicated himself to ITG for over a year now and his thorough, professional and engaging style of teaching has seen him progress to Principle Maths and Science Tutor. In this role, Mark provides other tutors with invaluable support and he is always available to offer curriculum, exam and mentoring guidance. 

You have been at ITG for over a year, do you have any favourite tutoring moments that you would like to share?

There are too many favourite moments to list here, but one that springs to mind is results day last year and finding out all my maths students achieved an A or A* in their IGCSE exams. It is always great when a student comes to ITG beaming and telling me their recent test scores that they are proud of as well as watching a student’s confidence and ability develop week-by-week.

Have you got a favourite module to teach?

In terms of content, IB Biology is very interesting and allows me to really go into detail in a subject I am passionate about – especially the molecular biology, cell biology and genetics. Teaching IGCSE maths is also highly enjoyable; it’s fun to work through problems with students and teach them how to problem solve and approach questions in different ways. 

What initially made you move to Vietnam?

I spent a year travelling around South East Asia from July 2017 and Vietnam was not only my first destination, but somewhere I knew I wanted to return to; the food, the people and the culture made me feel immediately welcome. Towards the end of my trip, I began looking for jobs in various countries I had visited… Vietnam was my top choice and I was fortunate enough to find ITG where I get to teach subjects I am passionate about! I was slightly nervous initially but as soon as the plane landed back in Ho Chi Minh I felt at home and haven’t looked back since.

Can you tell us some more about what your role as a Principle Tutor involves?

As a Principal Tutor, I am mostly a guide for the other maths and science tutors, helping them find the right resources and advising teaching techniques. All of our maths and science tutors are brilliant, which makes my job a lot easier, but sometimes new students come along who have a slightly different curriculum or specific learning needs. When this happens I am around to guide our tutors and ensure they are able to help the students to the best of their abilities.

What do you think makes a great tutor?

In my eyes, a great tutor is one who is able to really engage with each of their students in a personal way. A tutor should teach more than just the subject matter, they should foster skills which allow a student to learn independently and discover an enjoyment of the subject. A lot of my science students struggle with exam technique and writing coherent answers to questions, and helping them learn how to apply their knowledge correctly has resulted in noticeable improvements in their grades. In maths, students often struggle with worded questions and working out what mathematical technique to apply – helping them break down questions and learn analytical techniques has helped massively. Integrating these skills into the subject matter is what tutoring is all about, and is what results in the biggest improvements.

Finally, what three items would you take with you to a desert island?

Food, snacks and coffee.