Tyler Tarver is a man of many talents. He’s an educator, an administrator, a professional photographer and videographer, and social media sensation. However, Tarver’s true talent might be the way he’s combined them all to educate students around the world in mathematics.
“I try to make concepts as simple as possible and also a little entertaining,” he said. “I go through the problems and don’t over complicate it. Kids don’t go to YouTube to see the theories of math. They want to know how it works and how they can get it done.”
Tarver’s journey led him back to his hometown of Bauxite, where he works as an administrator within the Bauxite School. “I’m a graduate from here and went to college at Arkansas Tech,” he said. “My degree is in history and political science, but I started teaching math immediately after graduating. I found it was harder to find a math teacher than it is a history teacher.”
After completing one of his two Master’s degrees at UCA, Tarver began teaching in Beebe. It was there, while working with students who needed additional help in math, that he began developing his video math tutorials.
“I was teaching three different math classes at the same time,” he said. “I can’t teach Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry all at the same time. I would record myself teaching my Geometry class and the students watched those while working in the room. I acted more as a facilitator, answering questions while also teaching the Algebra I and II kids.”
Tarver eventually began uploading his math tutorials on YouTube. The response has been phenomenal, growing into two channels containing both math videos and his professional video projects. “The educational channel has 14,000 subscriptions, and the main channel has 18,000,” he said. “They have around nine million total views combined.”
Although he’s no longer in the classroom, Tarver still posts tutorial videos online from time to time. “I just go into to classrooms and film myself teaching things I think students need to know. I also post videos to help students with social media.” One of those posts, explaining the slope intercept, has been viewed online more than a million times.
He’s also a writer with three books self-published, a multi-time Videographer of the Year award winner by Little Rock’s A-List and works part-time at New Life Church.
“People ask me when I sleep, and I really don’t get much these days,” he said. “After working at the school, I spend time with my family, do my freelance or church video work and usually edit after my son goes to bed. It can be pretty hectic.”