What do you do if you’ve been tutoring and mentoring pupils for 10 years in maths and science, yet you see them repeatedly encountering the same barriers to mastery?
If you’re Mitchell’s Plain resident, Paulvin Webster, you research, write and self-publish a book which will help those frustrated pupils to, as his book is titled, Just Pass Math.
“I’ve been teaching, tutoring, and mentoring math and physics for over 10 years, and in this time, parents and pupils have been asking me the same questions,” says Paulvin.
“Yes, there are many textbooks that can guide a pupil on how to apply certain mathematics concepts, but they tend to be written for people with a science or maths background who will be able to understand the formulas, concepts and symbols. Most parents, who try to help their children, don’t understand these formulas, concepts and symbols, and feel helpless when they can’t help their children.
“I remember watching an interview with (American entrepreneur, author and podcaster) in which he said ‘the best book that you can or will write is the one, where one day you get so angry about something, that you write a book about it.”
Paulvin says the book is written in such a way, that anybody who can read, will grasp the mathematical concepts presented, and be able to apply them. “An example is my 71-year-old dad, who has a Grade 5 education,” says Paulvin.
“I feel parents should also get involved, because I believe success will be achieved if the parents work with the pupil and the teacher.”
What started as a side-project in 2014, became his only focus 13 months ago, when he devoted himself to finishing and marketing the book. “I’m currently busy with an online course based on the book, and the funds generated by the online course, will be used to produce the audiobook version,” says Paulvin. “The reason why I have different formats is that everybody consumes knowledge in a different way and speed.
“This is something our current school system does not accommodate.”
Paulvin says that although the book is not approved by the Education Department, he hopes that it will eventually be. “I hope they will soon realise that this is a necessity for every student and their parents, to make teachers’ jobs easier.”
The book is a solo effort, with Paulvin having done all the research himself, based on his experience with pupils and their parents, and educators. He says: “It’s about the silly things they do that always leads them to failure on a daily basis.”
If pupils or parents repeatedly asked him the same questions he made notes of them. He has also tapped into his community for support. “An ex-colleague who is currently busy with her Masters in psychology, edited the book for me,” he says.
Paulvin uses what he calls “modern language” in the book. “It’s language (I believe) that pupils will (more easily) understand.”
Significantly, he also uses emojis in the book, which, he believes, would put off mainstream publishers, and that prompted him to self-publish. “I want to be in control of the content.”
Just Pass Math is available in paperback, directly from Paulvin for R250, and also on amazon.com as a Kindle ebook for $5.99.
Paulvin says he has sold 90 paperback copies of the book. “This is my first book, and I didn’t know the marketing part would be this challenging.”
For more information, contact Paulvin Webster on 065 548 0109 or firstname.lastname@example.org