I wrote this post about choosing a tutor long before the outbreak of Corona Virus and there may now be new considerations to take into account. I hope you can still find some value in it though.
We are all individuals and our reasons for needing a tutor will vary widely.
Regardless of your reasoning for seeking out a tutor, here are 10 points you might want to consider:
1. Where will the lessons take place?
Are you willing to travel to a central location for the lessons or the tutor’s home? There are obvious advantages to this including the tutor will have all their resources on hand to easily adapt the lesson if necessary.
However, if you hold a busy schedule and have other children that you would need to take with you to drop your child off, is it easier to try and find a tutor who is able to come to your house?
2. What would you expect to pay for a tutor?
The price charged by tutor’s varies widely. Some tutors will charge as little as £20/ hour. These are often online lessons carried out by students.
If you travel to a tutoring centre/ a tutor’s home where the tutor is physically present you will expect to pay more. However, the range of resources available will be greater and the because the tutor is present it is often easier to hold the student’s attention. These are often group lessons.
Another alternative, is to pay a premium and have the tutor travel to your home so you are relieved of the need to travel and possibly hang around somewhere whilst the lesson takes place. It also means that because the lesson is taking place in your home you are better placed to see what is happening in the lessons. (At Clara James Tutoring we charge £35/hour for this).
3. Do you want your child to have one to one tutoring?
Very often when children are struggling, they feel unable to ask questions in front of their peers. It’s hard to put your hand up and admit that you don’t understand what is been explained.
One to one tutoring offers the child an hour of the tutor’s undivided attention.
They can focus purely on what the child needs to find confidence in. They can pay attention to the areas where your child needs to grow. Everything has a consequence and here you would expect to pay slightly more for the lessons.
The advantage of group lessons is that your child will also have support of peer learning.
4. Something else to consider when choosing a tutor: how does your child learn best?
When I was young, I used to love reading books, making notes and writing essays. I know for many people this would be their worst nightmare!
When we tutor, we always use a range of activities: games, worksheets, code breaking, discussion, mind maps.
You need to find a tutor that has a similar teaching style to your child’s learning style. We need to acknowledge that we are all individuals and as such we all teach and learn differently.
Find a tutor that will embrace your child’s individual needs and requirements.
5. What experience and qualifications do you consider important when choosing a tutor?
To some people this won’t be of importance, they will be more concerned with the rapport of the tutor and their ability to pass their knowledge onto their child. I have met very intelligent tutors who have no ability to teach. I’m not a qualified teacher but I have a degree in childcare and education.
I have nearly 20 years of experience working in a huge variety of educational settings, but I’m not a qualified teacher. I have had tutors working for me, freshly out of A’ Levels that have had amazing feedback and I regularly get asked if they are likely to come back.
There are tutors who work with me who have tutors whose experience is working one to one with special needs children in a private schools, those whose background is accountancy, business growth, teachers.
They are all amazing but without being qualified teachers some people will have their doubts to their abilities.
When I started tutoring, I had my own doubts but it was explained to me that teachers are taught to teach one way. If the child does not grasp this method at school will they grasp it at home?
Another lesson I have learned that reinforces this was when I was at school. My dad was an accountant. He lectured occasionally at the local college to help pay for our family holidays but he wasn’t a teacher.
We had been learning solving equations at school and I couldn’t get it. The teacher had gone over it so many times and she was clearly getting fed up with me.
At home that night Dad spent an hour or two going over it with me in his words, using his own techniques, and I got it. It was crystal clear. I still use his explanation when I explain it to people today.
Like I say, we are all different and have our own learning /teaching style. What suits one person will not always suit another.
I hope this has given you food for thought if you are considering choosing a tutor.
If we can be of any further help, please do get in touch by sending an email to [email protected]