There are 3 key reasons why private tuition goes wrong. Tutor My Kids has been arranging private tuition in Cambridge and surrounding areas for some years now, so we know some of the common pitfalls of arranging a private tutor for your kids. Here are the 3 that we think are the most problematic:
Picking a tutor who isn’t a teacher.
There are numerous websites out there which allow anyone to register as a tutor. There are often students, post graduate and undergraduate, who register for private tuition. In theory this can be good, because you’re getting a terrifically experienced tutor, BUT it can also be a big problem. Students, especially those who have excelled at their subject, sometimes find it hard to relate to younger students who find that basics hard and can pitch the work at too high a level. They may also confuse kids who only need to know (at this stage) what’s covered on the GCSE syllabus. At Tutor My Kids, all our tutors are teachers, so know how to put across the subject matter well. Many are teaching the current syllabus to children in other schools and/or sixth forms in Cambridgeshire which means that they’re bang up to date with the subject matter. Some even set and/or mark the exam papers, so again have an intimate knowledge of the requirements of the exam board.
Inevitably, when picking a private tutor from a website, it is going to be a bit of a hit and miss affair as to whether the tutor will get along with your child. Often it can work really well, but equally, sometimes less well. At Tutor My Kids, we always meet with our clients in their homes. We also interview our tutors personally and face-to-face which means we can match tutors with students in a much more effective and successful way.
Academic Level clash – getting the right tutor for your kid.
Getting the wrong tutor for your kids in terms of what they need academically, is probably the one that can have the worst effect and compound difficulties, rather than alleviate them. At Tutor My Kids, we usually do some assessment work with the child to get a feel for the level that they’re at. In addition, we contact (with parents permission) their class or subject teacher to supplement that information so we’re employing a joined up approach with school as well.
Rosie’s (not her real name) mum called us to ask for a GCSE maths tutor in Ely. When I worked with her, I found that she had some very deep gaps in her maths knowledge that stemmed back to primary school. I knew that if we put in a GCSE maths secondary school teacher straight away, there was a real danger of her getting entirely demotivated and lost (which of course was the exact opposite of what we wanted a achieve). So we decided to put in a primary school teacher who was able to also teach the secondary syllabus which would enable her to steadily work through the gaps in her earlier maths knowledge whilst supporting her through the secondary school topics. It would have been very easy for her parents to simply hire a GCSE maths tutor and not understand why this wasn’t working out.
Maths in like a brick wall – you need to sure up the foundations to ensure that advanced learning sits well on top of it.
So, it’s easy to get it wrong, either because the tutor isn’t qualified to teach, because of personality clash or subject level clash. To make an easier and better decision about home tutoring in Cambridge and surrounding areas, there’s more information on the Tutor My Kids website here or you can call Rachel Law for a chat on 01223 858421.