The world of private tuition can often appear a mine-field and there are many different things to consider when deciding if a tutor is right for your child. This post will discuss the key things to consider so you can be confident you are working with the perfect tutor for your child.
The most straightforward way of deciding whether a tutor is suitable for your child, after making sure all admin and safety checks are in order (Threshold Education does this for you) is to break it down into two categories:
Let's look at them in more detail.
The Tutor's Experience
When working with Threshold Education, you can be assured that the tutors presented to you have plenty of academic experience and are proficient teachers as they have had to undergo a teaching assessment at interview. However what can really make the difference is a tutor with very specific experience that relates to your child's requirements. For example, tutors that have experience in your child's exam board as well as the subject are able to help with exam technique which is essential for getting the top grades.
This extra experience doesn't even need to be from tutoring similar clients (although this is definitely a bonus!). Some tutors may have access to great teaching resources or inside knowledge. An example that springs to mind is when I advise students regarding university admissions: I can draw upon my experience on medical school interview panels to give them those extra tips and tricks that I would only know from being on the other side of the interview.
Every student is different and learns in a different way. A tutor's approach to each student should be individualised and tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Tutors can approach this in many different ways such as tackling specific questions with their student, going through past papers or giving a general revision lesson on a topic the tutee may be struggling in. Knowing what your child needs will help guide your decision. For example, if your child is struggling on exam technique, a tutor who has sat the exact same exams may be more beneficial than a tutor with a higher academic attainment in other similar subjects.
An important aspect of the tutor and student relationship is rapport. A tutor should make learning fun and engage their student. The best tutors don't make their tutorial feel like school. Your child is more likely to learn from a tutor they get on with and who is patient and able to put themselves in their students' shoes.
These can be sometimes quite hard to assess from a tutor profile, so a good way of seeing if a tutor is the right fit for your child is by having a phone call or trial lesson. If you are not happy with the first lesson, Threshold Education will refund the fee. This is an ideal way of everyone getting to know each other. The tutor is able to see what level your child is working at and tailor future lessons to this, and you are able to see if the tutor works well with your child. Always ask for you child for feedback as nobody is better placed to review a tutor than their students!
Hopefully this blog post has demystified what to look for in a great tutor and how to choose when you have multiple options. Qualifications and experience are great starting points but often what makes the difference between a good and a great tutor is how they tailor a lesson around their student and make them feel valued.