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Questions you should ask before hiring a home tutor

Over the past few years, education systems, in general, are gaining significant attention for its complexity and challenging nature. Various articles have been published discussing the downsides to the increase in difficulty because there is a general claim among students and parents that the education system is predominantly geared towards high achievement in exams and compels memorisation of heavy content and emphasises on critical thinking skills. All these factors combined with pressure to succeed, affect children’s interpersonal skills, health, and happiness.

The way of educating children has been scrutinised by critics for the longest time but the major changes cannot be made to the system because policymakers have set it to be as such. What is in our control however, it dealing with the system in a smart way and to manoeuvre through it smoothly by taking the necessary steps to ensure one can jump pass the hurdles that lie before. Yes, the system may breed fear and uncertainty but one thing we should remember is, “what does not kill you, makes you stronger”.

On top of a tough education system, teaching by school tutors is not all that satisfactory. It is tough to point fingers because technically no one is at fault. Teachers try their best, but it is not enough to match the rigour that the syllabus and national exam demand from students. School teachers’ teaching skills are becoming somewhat obsolete, losing its effectiveness (but this is being countered by re-training workshops to a certain extent). There are many reasons for this phenomenon, such as a large teacher to students’ ratio (there’s a lack of opportunity for personalised attention). It’s impossible to fulfill every students’ learning needs and hence students are deprived of customised teaching which could help them excel at a much faster rate.

Hence, hiring a home tutor has become a famous option for children to survive through their education journey. However, parents are often unsure as to how to go about selecting the perfect tutor for their child. Every child is unique and a tutor has to be able to adjust and adapt to tutor any type of child and be able to accommodate his or her learning needs.

So, here are some questions you should ask before hiring a tutor…

#1: TUITION FEES

This is probably one of the first few questions that parents would generally ask and it is undeniably a practical concern. A household is like a mini country; the parents are the governors and policymakers who would have to decide how the resources they have will be efficiently allocated. Parents have to take a look at the tuition fee rate and check if it is affordable to be able to hire the tutor or not.

Tuition rates may vary for each tutor because the rates differ based on various factors like the expertise of the tutors, their educational qualification, the resources supplied to their students, etc. Top tuition teachers usually have rates that are pretty high possibly because of the combined effect of the above-mentioned factors. Expensive tuition rates do not necessarily mean that the quality and standard.  In fact, the fee rates of a tuition teacher do not matter as much. Every tutor has his or her own unique strengths in educating children.

#2: WHAT’S THE TUTOR LIKE?

You don’t need to be obsessive about hunting down every detail about the tutor but knowing a fair bit about a tutor will be beneficial for you in making the right decision. Some tuition teachers are quite well-experienced, while others have just started out. It is important to find out what they have done and achieved since the start of their career as a tutor. Usually, tuition teachers would have written a personal statement that can be used to gauge the quality of the tutor and you can make a decision based on that.

If you need further clarification and to ensure that you are making the right decision, you could contact the tutor, have a conversation about your child’s learning needs and the tutor’s teaching methods and the expectations he has for his students. Knowing about the history is beneficial as it will build trust in you, and you can confidently allow your child to be tutored by the tutor you have chosen.

#3: TUITION TIMINGS

It is of paramount importance for children to not become exhausted and burn out because otherwise, they would be unable to perform well in their studies. Today, children are always on a busy schedule and there is hardly any time to breathe. Though it is true that they need the extra help, allocating time for that can be a challenge. You could ask about the available tuition timings and discuss with your child as to what is the best option.

#4: LEVEL OF EXPERTISE

Not all tutors will be able to teach a particular subject all the way from, say, primary school or elementary school level up till junior college or high school. There will be limitations and you need to discuss this with the tutor before hiring them. This way, when it’s time for the tutor to leave, it will be easier for you to make alternate arrangements for the next tutor immediately.

#5: RESOURCES

It’s good to know about the kind of resources that the tuition teachers would provide because practice papers and assessments are great practice tools for students to sharpen their skills in handling questions and to also force themselves to work efficiently under time-restraint conditions. There is a general emphasis on providing students with enough extra resources to practice since we all know that the way to go about excelling is by practicing. You might want to ask the tutor about what kind of resources are being provided and how else you can support to provide the best for your child.

BOTTOM LINE

Home tuition has various benefits and it aims in bringing the best out of students. It is indeed an effective solution, and many senior parents who have had their children chose this path can vouch for its effectiveness. The guidance is essential for students to ride the fast track and stay ahead of the curve. If you ask the right questions before hiring a tutor, you will get the right answers and that will help you make the right decision.

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Written by Steffen Carter

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