Are tutors’ teachers?

In answer to the question are tutors’ teachers, the answer is no not necessarily.

A tutor is formally defined as:


“a private educator, typically one who teaches a single pupil or a very small group.”

In doing research into how others would answer this question I discovered the following responses.

Some would state that a tutor doesn’t need to be qualified to teach although many are. There doesn’t always have to be a difference. Normally a tutor is sought out for extra lessons and support in a specific area such as English or Maths.

Tutors are normally chosen by the family, whereas teachers are chosen by the school or setting that they are employed by.

Tutors should still plan the lesson though they don’t need to follow the curriculum. Many choose to support the areas of weakness of the individual child rather than move on at the same pace and direction the curriculum suggestions.

At this time in the UK there is no legal requirement for tutors to be teachers.

Over the past 9 years of growing Clara James Tutoring, I have worked with teachers, teaching assistants, those with extensive subject knowledge and those who have nothing more than a passion, a desire to help, grow and learn.

What I have found, and this is purely from my own experience, some of the best people I have worked with have been the teaching assistants and those with a passion.

Teaching assistants are used to working closely with children on a one to one level or small groups. They can adapt and make the work relevant and accessible. They know the curriculum and how things are taught in schools.

Those with a passion, often those who are parents are working as tutors for the commitment to helping others. They show the empathy and take the time to understand the child. They want to make a difference and their love and character shines through. The student warms to them and feels at ease.

I’ve had teachers work for me who have been fantastic. I’ve had others who have done the job for so long they have got stuck in a rut and can’t adjust.

They are used to supporting a group and working with the average child. They struggle to flex to the needs of the individual.

One lady who worked for me briefly, a qualified teacher, who had been all around the world teaching English. She had done this for over 30 years. Every family I connected her to came back to me and asked her to not go back because she had upset the child. She had gone in predicting she new what a child of that age/ stage in their education should be doing. This often wasn’t what they were capable of which is why they had asked for support. We parted ways very quickly.

I’ve found that some people who, when working with lower ability children, find it hard to pass on the foundational knowledge.

Their own intelligence makes some things seem like common sense.

In conclusion, I suppose what I am saying is: Are tutor’s teachers?

They are not necessarily qualified as teachers but as in all walks of life, sometimes the personality, life experience and ability to pass on knowledge so that it is appropriate to the understanding of the child, is what is of importance.

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