Investing in your child’s education by deciding to hire a private tutor can be a great way to increase your child’s confidence in the classroom and bridge the gap between learning in the home and learning at school. Getting the most out of the tutor/student relationship is a case of building a good working bond between adult and child – which can be tricky to manage especially if your child is reluctant. The following top five tips on getting the most out of your tutor might just help to smooth the path.
Good communication of needs is the best way to ensure that what your tutor covers with your child produces the outcome you would expect. Investing in private tutoring is a decision borne from a specific need in most cases. Whether that’s to build classroom confidence, improve spelling, fix specific problems, prepare for entrance examinations, or even to learn a new instrument, you have a good idea of your expectations and the desired outcome for your child. Making sure that your tutor knows exactly what those expectations are means they can tailor sessions toward reaching that goal.
Making sure that your tutor knows exactly what those expectations are means they can tailor sessions toward reaching that goal.
The personal touch
Getting to know the person you have selected to work with your child is crucial. If you and your child like the tutor you have chosen, the whole thing will be much smoother and everybody in the relationship will be happier. Aside from getting a good feeling about the tutor, it might also be that you have specific cultural no-no’s or behaviour expectations in your home, sharing these with your tutor will make everyone feel more comfortable. After all, a tutor is there to support your child and the best way to achieve a good outcome is if everybody feels relaxed and the atmosphere is productive.
Knowing exactly what you would like your tutor to do with your child in terms of syllabus, any specific problems your child might be struggling with, or details of long-term goals such as school-specific entrance exams, for example, all make for excellent preparation that should be done before a tutor is engaged.
The nature of entrance exams means that children often sit a number of them for a variety of schools – be they grammars or private. Knowing in advance what the demands of individual exams are means that you are in a strong position to be able to communicate effectively with the tutor. Of course, it is most likely that a good tutor will already know everything there is to know about individual target school exams!
With a good tutor, it should be clear that your child is growing in confidence, or improving after a few weeks. One way to ensure progress is by making sure you’re kept abreast of any mock paper scores. Another more important way, however, is to ask your child. Are they enjoying the subject more? Do they feel more confident in the classroom? If your child is feeling good, this is a good indicator that you have picked a great tutor.
Do they feel more confident in the classroom? If your child is feeling good, this is a good indicator that you have picked a great tutor.
If a particular approach isn’t working for your child and they are struggling, the best way to move forward is with total honesty. Experienced tutors always have a trick or three up their sleeves and what might work brilliantly for one child, might just fail to connect with another.
If you have a gut-feel that perhaps your current tutor isn’t working out, don’t be afraid of having another go – it can sometimes take a few tries to get the right person. This is one of the major benefits of working with a reputable agency who will have an alternative tutor ready to go and will understand your needs based on years of experience.
So, in summary, good preparation, clear expectations, the personal touch, honesty, and progress are all top ways to get the most out of the tutor/student relationship. A happy child making good progress toward your expectations should be at the heart of every private tutoring experience.
And if all of this fails? Biscuits. Biscuits are nearly always a good solution when there’s a teacher around – and a child for that matter too.