Over 100 tutoring hours

Joe M.

Normal, IL


Math Tutor for Junior High, High School and College

In-person lessons
4.9 average from 40 ratings
Excellent Tutor
— Diane, Bloomington, IL on 12/2/13

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Illinois State University


Illinois State University

About Joe

I am returning to tutoring math after a 20 year career as an actuary.

I enjoyed tutoring courses in college algebra as a math major at Illinois State University, and then as a volunteer with Heartland Community College students for a couple of years afterward. When work got busy and pulled me away from it, I missed the fun and adventure of teaching, although I was able to apply those interests a bit as a supervisor.

Recently I've been tutoring students in algebra, geometry and trigonometry as a volunteer at the high school where I also help coach basketball. It's been as rewarding as teaching college students was.

Students have different personalities and learning styles, so my goal is to make them comfortable and to help them discover the answers, like a trusty pair of training wheels. If someone starts down the wrong path, I'll nudge them back in the right direction. I've had plenty of repeat customers whose grades have improved during our time together.

Students bring tests, quizzes, or homework problems with them. They also bring their class notes or textbook so that we learn to answer questions in the way that the teacher expects. Typically we meet for an hour at a time, or longer as final exams get closer.

I am also glad to work independently with students during the summer for those looking to get a head start or to reinforce lessons from last year.

Most of my appointments are after 5:00 on weekdays. I've gladly tutored on weekends too.
I am returning to tutoring math after a 20 year career as an actuary.

I enjoyed tutoring courses in college algebra as a math major at Illinois State University, and then as a volunteer with Heartland Community
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Travel Radius
Travels within 5 miles of Normal, IL 61761
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Excellent Tutor"

- Diane, Bloomington, IL on 12/2/13

"Good at different approaches"

- Cassandra, Benson, IL on 11/30/13

"Good experience."

- Tricia, Bloomington, IL on 5/19/13
Joe replied on 5/21/2013

Thanks Tricia! As bright as he is, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the opportunity to work with him.

"Joe is a great confidence builder!"

- Jeanne, Normal, IL on 4/22/13


- Doug, Normal, IL on 4/15/13

"Excellent tutor."

- Steve, Bloomington, IL on 1/20/13

"Great tutor!!"

- Leslie, Normal, IL on 3/20/12
Joe replied on 3/21/2012

Thanks Leslie! Very thoughtful of you, and humbling.


Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


I studied accounting for two semesters in college with grades of A. I worked in an accounting department for 7 years with a large insurance company.

Algebra 1

I majored in math in college, and used math regularly as an actuary for 19 years. I've been tutoring students in algebra 1 for several years. Students have gotten especially good at factoring while working with me.

Algebra 2

I've found algebra 2 to be one of the more challenging subjects for students when it comes to determining slopes and equations of lines. I've worked with many on this. Therefore, in addition to my math degree, I am able to help identify common pitfalls of thinking.


Calculus goes a step beyond higher algebra and trigonometry, dealing with area under curved lines and similarly unusual subjects. I enjoyed the practical applications of it when I took the course in college. I have experience sharing the basics and the short cuts with other students.

Discrete Math

I have a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Illinois State University, and have been employed as an insurance actuary for 20 years. I owned a private tutoring business for six years and have taught all subjects between algebra and calculus. I have substitute taught actuarial math classes at the university.


Geometry is one of the more picture-oriented math subjects, which is unusual for students but I find that they pick it up fairly quickly. I majored in and tutored math while in college, and have tutored several students in geometry. The understanding of angles has real-world applications!


Prealgebra is a subject that tends to require lots of repetition to get the basics committed to memory, such as factoring. I've seen students have major breakthroughs with a little guidance and practice. I have a math degree, and have tutored many students in algebra.


Precalculus is a good primer for the classes that follow, especially with the understanding of trigonometric functions. I've seen several students make great progress once they've worked enough problems with the unit circle, to get comfortable with degrees and radians. My math degree and career experience has helped precalculus students raise their grade significantly.


Probability is one of the more exciting math subjects once a few key concepts like combinations and permutations are mastered. I took these courses in college, and have helped several students do so as well. My work as an actuary used probability.


For those who are comfortable with the language of probability, statistics enables students to test real-world theories with hypotheses. I took this course in college, as well as a professional actuarial exam on this subject. I have tutored generally for several years in probability and other math subjects.


The scientific nature of trigonometry can be intimidating, but I've found students to become much more comfortable with practice of the basics such as the unit circle. I took this course in college. My greatest success story was for a student who improved her trig grade from a C to an A by the end of the spring semester.

Illinois State University


Illinois State University

Excellent Tutor — Joe was the best tutor I could have asked for! He is a math tutor, but he agreed to tutor me in my college level Finance class. I was totally lost and didn't have a clue where to even begin. He was extremely patient and accommodating to my schedule. He helped me understand the concepts and calculations needed in order to earn an A on my final paper. Without his help there is no way I would ha ...

— Diane, Bloomington, IL on 12/2/13

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $70.00

Travel policy

Joe will travel within 5 miles of Normal, IL 61761.