Does my child need a tutor? Should I get a tutor anyway? Where do I find a tutor? How do I know if they are any good or not? How would I know if the tuition is working or not?
These are just some of the questions you might ask yourself as a parent if you are thinking about getting a tutor for your child. This might especially be true if your child has just started one of the so called ‘important’ years at school this week, like the year they take the 11 plus exam which determines whether they secure a place at the school you want them to attend, or GCSEs and AS/A-Levels, which are the road path towards university and degree choices. It is no wonder that as places become more competitive at schools and universities, more and more parents are seeking extra help. Below we’ll answer some important questions about private tuition.
What is private tuition actually good for? The obvious answer is that the extra help and hours by a private tutor will give a child the extra practice they need to raise their grades. That doesn’t just mean for students who are struggling to pass. That also means students who are doing very well already. For example, last January, a mother called us seeking private tuition for her daughter for her A-Level English. She was already getting Bs, but they needed an A because of the university she wanted to attend (she got the A).
Importantly, private tuition isn’t just about the subject itself. Often, a child’s confidence in a specific subject has suffered at some stage during their education, and a lack of confidence leads to dislike, and dislike leads to a lack of effort and motivation, and well, it’s easy to see by that stage why they might struggle. That’s where perhaps private tuition is so valuable. It gives a child much needed one-on-one time with a tutor that can dedicate all their time and attention on them and their learning needs. Think about that in contrast to a classroom environment, where a child lacking confidence for a subject can easily fade away in the background and out of sight of the teacher who has 19 other children to focus on.
What makes a good tutor? That is a very important question that we at Manchester Tutors remain focused on when we interview every tutor before we decide to work with them or not. Too often, a private tutor is used a synonym for a subject expert in something. An aunt or family friend is often called in to tutor because they are good at Maths or English. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, being good at a subject yourself doesn’t mean you can effectively teach it to someone else, particularly if that person has important exams looming like their GCSEs or A-Levels.
In other words, you don’t really have the time to take any chances on what tutor you get. We believe an effective tutor is both a subject expert but also, and just as important, someone who can get the best out of a student by delivering their teaching in a way that will engage and encourage the student, which will in turn increase their confidence, which will hopefully translate to better results. In short, no two students learn exactly the same way, so by the same token, not every tutor will be right for a student. That is why we carefully interview and select tutors for children based on the information we receive from a parent about their child (i.e. we don’t just find you a History tutor if you need a History tutor – we find you the RIGHT History tutor).
It all starts with a free consultation with one of our tuition support consultants. Take the risk and stress out finding a private tutor, especially if your child faces a crucial year ahead.
The Manchester Tutors Tuition Support Team