When it comes to investing in high quality private tuition, like many things in life, not all offerings are created equal. There are plenty of part-time tutors and actors who teach whilst ‘resting’ that typically charge fees in the lower range. Because tutoring isn’t their full-time profession, they can probably afford to treat it a little like a paid hobby. There are also many that tutor, not because they enjoy it particularly, but because it’s what they’re qualified to do. This isn’t meant to be at all disparaging. It is what it is and it’s worth keeping in mind.
I mention this because there’s much about engaging a private tutor which may not be obvious at the outset. Sure, things such as qualifications, being based locally, or some other criteria are likely to be clear enough, at least on the face of it.
However, there are other factors at work which are considerably less clear. Qualifications matter of course and as someone who holds a PhD from Cambridge, I hold myself and others to high standards.
Then there’s something can only be acquired over time, and that’s experience. The experience of working with a wide range of students of varying abilities and knowing how to get the best from them.
Connecting with students is paramount as one needs to fully understand where a student feels weak and has insecurities. Helping them overcome weaker areas, developing understanding and enhanced capabilities is a major part of the role of a tutor. It is not only about teaching them to take and pass exams. It’s about creating a genuine and thorough working knowledge of each topic and the ability to solve any problem on their own.
The student-tutor relationship is one of trust. A student will often share thoughts and concerns with a trusted tutor, when they wouldn’t do so at home or at school. It’s this trust and rapport which enables a skilled tutor to fully unlock the potential in a student. When a student can clearly see that their tutor genuinely wants the best for them, that they care about the student and the ultimate outcome, it makes a world of difference.
As someone who spends a great deal of time working with teenagers who are preparing for exams, I can tell you this quality alone is worth the fee!
As a Maths & Science tutor, it’s also my responsibility to know the syllabi inside and out. To know what’s changed, what changes are coming and to ensure that each and every student is thoroughly prepared is another essential element for success.
I choose to work as a full-time professional tutor, not because I have to, but because I want to. I love what I do and other than being a husband and father, it’s my passion. I work tirelessly to ensure that every student I have contact with achieves and succeeds to their full potential. Increasingly, this includes those who wouldn’t normally have access to private tuition, as I play my part in enabling social mobility.
As a result, I have a wealth of testimonials from very happy parents and students, as well as a waiting list for my services.
So, when looking for a private tutor, it’s worth digging in to the detail to see what you’re really buying: An Apprentice or a Master Craftsman?
For what it’s worth, my view is that getting the right tutor for your child is more than a matter of money.