For Parents – How to choose a Tutor?
They will need to be smart and know their subject material exceptionally well, but there is much more to tutoring than just subject knowledge or sporting skills.
A great tutor is really like a sports coach. They don’t just explain how to do things well. A large part of their role is to motivate your child; to help them believe in themselves – that they can and will improve.
Ask yourself “Is this tutor going to be a good motivator, goal setter, role model, a good coach?” Buy the textbook if you want knowledge.
Will my child connect with the Tutor?
Think beyond the subject and your local suburb as the only criteria for choosing a tutor. Consider if the tutor has the same interest as your child.
Did they go to the same school?
Do they share hobbies?
My son is into Footy and struggles with English, an awesome tutor for him would be someone who excels in English and loves the footy.
Do they share career goals?
Your child wants to be a nurse, they may need chemistry tutoring? A great tutor would there be a current university nursing student.
Try different tutors.
Trial one or two lessons first with your tutor to see how well they work together.
Have different tutors for different subjects.
Confirm times and costs in an email. This saves the frustration when things don’t go to plan. If either party can’t make it, give plenty of notice. This gives the tutor time to make another booking and the mums and dads to make other plans in their busy lives. Who needs confusion right!
Does tutoring add stress to my child’s life?
The reality is, tutoring can reduce stress.
Working with a tutor may in fact reduce stress by getting on top of a challenging subject. Feeling like they don’t know where to start, feeling helpless and dumb is much more stressful. Tutoring each week actually builds their confidence.
“I’ve seen other kids stressed about their homework”
This may be true, however, compared to what? Compared to failing a subject or not getting the ATAR they wanted, a little extra work might be much less stressful for your child than the alternatives.
There’s good stress and bad stress.
Bad stress is losing sleep over having pimples or other peoples highly photo shopped fake insta posts that leave you feeling inadequate.
Good stress is working hard for things like training for a sports carnival, or learning to drive a car.
Good things can come from “good stress”. Work is stressful but it’s also the path to achieving things. It’s a great life lesson.
I didn’t get tutoring and I turned out alright
You didn’t go to school in today’s world. But your kids do.
In a world where call centres, computer programmers, designers and architects etc can be located anywhere in the world. Your child isn’t growing up in the same world you did. The world is globally interconnected and much more competitive than it was 20 years ago and the least skilled in every country are the biggest losers.
Your kids are competing with smart English speakers from all around the world, think of when you call about your internet account. I bet you’re not speaking to someone locally. You may not like this super-global, super-competitive world, but it is here and real.
Hiring a professional tutor vs student?
A professional tutor has these advantages;
- less effort goes into gaining your child’s attention and respect. They may be a little older
- they maybe a current or ex teacher
A uni student has these advantages;
- they will be closer in age and will more likely be able to connect with your child on a different level. They would have done the same work not that long ago.
- they may have the same hobbies and career path your child intends to take. They could be a good role model.
- they may have gone to the same school and even had the same teachers.
There are fantastic, inspiring tutors in both groups, word of mouth or reviews are a great way to start.
Tutoring schools vs one-on-one
Does your child work best in groups or alone?
Do they have school friends attending after school tutoring classes, they might be more motivated to go. Or… could the friends be distracting?
Top tutoring schools/uni’s have the advantage of being able to hire the very best tutors and giving them time to carefully create a professional course plan with periodic measurement. In the end, private tutoring schools are professionals at what they do.
Tutoring school will have set times or classes, you will have to work with class times and not when it suits you or your family.
One-on-one delivers a tailored solution for your child.
Try both, there’s no harm, see what works best.