Not all tutors are created equal.
It is well documented that private tuition is on the rise. The Guardian and Telegraph are among those reporting an increase in tutor requests, fuelled most recently by concerns over quality and continuity of learning during lockdown. While the tutoring sector was flourishing well before Covid-19, the emergence of so-called “Zutors” highlights how more families than ever are taking action to ensure their children don’t get left behind.
Inevitably, this has resulted in many new tutors jumping on the bandwagon. Tutoring can be especially enticing to those who want to make some quick money on the side: turn up online with an (e)-textbook, spend and hour talking through exam problems and voila, a side-hustle is born. I wish there were an easy way to prevent such slapdash practices. However, tutoring is an unregulated industry: consumers need to be informed and ensure they spend their time and money wisely on a tutor who will actually bring a benefit to their family.If your tutor gives you an hour of their time and then clocks off, that is not good enough. Click To Tweet
Ask your tutor what support they will be providing alongside the tuition time itself. Experienced and high-quality tutors will be clear and upfront about this, because they understand the value of time, as well as the holistic nature of work required to make progress. To get good results, tuition needs to be carefully planned, so that you are actually paying for: preparation time (creating resources and tailored lessons for your child), the lesson itself, and any agreed follow-up activities (marking homework). Good tutors can assess what your child needs, realistically tell you how much time they will be able to invest in their tuition, produce what is needed to help them, communicate this plan clearly, and provide regular progress updates.
This personalised, dedicated time given to your child is exactly what gives private tutoring the potential to work wonders for esteem, confidence and attainment. When tutoring fails to be personalised and bespoke, you’re just paying for another hour of generic teaching, laden with the same compromises seen in whole-class tuition.
This is the first in a series of posts about finding the right tutor(s) for you and your family. These tips will be a useful checklist for you, regardless of whether or not you chose my own company (Tempus Tutors) for tuition. Make sure you see future posts by connecting with me on LinkedIn. Alternatively, subscribe to receive news updates from Tempus Tutors.
Your tutor needs to go the extra mile for you and your family, informed by good practice. The same principle applies whether your child is 8 or 18. Above is an example of best practice: at Tempus, A-Level students are invited and encouraged to complete additional essay plans outside of lesson time, which they are motivated to complete by our inspiring tutors. Unlike school teachers who have umpteen essays to process and mark at any one time, tutors at Tempus have the capacity to provide individualised feedback, linked to the specification, with personalised advice for further learning. It may look simple, but such high-quality feedback can take up to an hour to create, per pupil.
At Tempus, I (and the handful of carefully selected tutors I work alongside and manage) go the extra mile to create a bespoke tuition plan for each child. If you are looking for high-quality tuition from a qualified Oxford graduate in 2021, or know of someone who is, contact me today. I can offer subject-specific help, generalist tuition, Oxbridge preparation, interview practice and more. You can also forward this article to anyone who is in the process of finding a reputable tutor.
Chloe Bradshaw BA Hons (Oxon) MA