I chose to be a tutor not because I can’t teach but because I can and love to teach. I made an active decision to make it my full time occupation and as a result I have a very varied and satisfying career, meeting all sorts of people. Tutoring is not solely an indulgence of the rich to ensure their child exceeds in exams, it is a much needed service that supports a child’s learning, boosts their confidence, eases their pressures and worries and helps them to untangle subjects they previously thought of as impossible; all this, regardless of their social background and academic needs. Tutoring is unique learning; the child is the absolute focus of your teaching and I am always amazed by the achievements and improvements they can make by being taught in this way.
Recent press articles such as telegraph.co.uk/education have condemned tutoring and given it a bad wrap. My beginnings of tutoring are humble, as is my background, so I find these articles hard to relate to. It paints a picture of children being unwillingly ‘subjected’ to tutoring but many of my students want extra help and their parents work day and night to provide this. It is also important to remember that tutoring fills a tiny percentage of a child’s free time; their childhood is not sacrificed, in fact it is enhanced as they feel more relaxed because their worries about a subject diminish.
Tutors are not trying to belittle the education system or glory grab from hard working teachers. We have a different role. We supplement a child’s learning. And some, regardless of where they live or go to school, need this additional support.