For parents considering the involvement of a private tutor for the first time, the prospect can be anything from genuinely exciting to downright disconcerting. It of course, all depends on the reasons why the tutor’s to be hired in the first place – school entrance exam tutors in London for example perform very different duties than those brought in to assist with pupils with generally problematic classroom behaviour.
Regardless of the reasons for choosing to hire a private tutor, having a good idea of what to expect in advance and how to realistically set your expectations as a parent will always make a big difference with regards to the ultimate outcome. The simple fact of the matter is that in all instances, the ultimate goal is one of benefitting the development of the child, though it’s crucial to understand that parental attitudes and involvement play just as important a role as the sessions provided by the tutor.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of five important things all parents should know when looking to hire private tutors:
1 – It’s Only Temporary
First and foremost, the mark of a great tutor is one that does anything and everything within their power to effectively put themselves out of a job. Or in other words, no private tutor ever begins working with the family with the intention of working with them permanently, or even long term in most instances. Instead, the most preferable result is the result that can be achieved as quickly and efficiently as possible, meaning that regardless of what it is the tutor is being brought in for, its only temporary. So even if the immediate outlook is challenging, try to remind yourself that it won’t be forever.
2 – Grade-Improvement Shouldn’t Be a Goal
OK, this is actually a contradiction to some extent as if the private tutor is able to assist your child in improving D grades to A grades, there isn’t a parent in the world that wouldn’t consider this to be a huge success. Nevertheless, grades themselves are essentially nothing more than symbolic letters that represent overall growth and development during the education process. Or in other words, just because any given child hasn’t yet improved their specific grades doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t making fantastic progress. Grades are more of an effect of progress and working toward goals, rather than being outright goals in their own right.
3 – You Need to Share…Everything!
One of the most important golden rules of all when it comes to the parent-tutor relationship is that of being 100% honest and transparent at all times. Or in other words, if there’s absolutely anything whatsoever your tutor should be made aware of with regards to your child’s educational background, performance, classroom behavior and so on, it’s in the best interests of all of you to be honest about it. You don’t have to tell them your life story of course, but anything that’s of even of remote relevance to the education and progress may be critically important.
4 – You May Have Habits to Address
Ask yourself – are you genuinely ready to be told by a professional that some of the things you are doing with the intention of helping your kids may actually be stunting their progress? If the answer is no, you might find yourself at loggerheads with a professional private tutor. The simple fact of the matter is that even with all the best intentions in the world, parents quite often stray into somewhat detrimental territory when it comes to the help they give their kids. Of course, it’s not to say that all such help is in any way damaging as such, but it may not be particularly productive either. So as much as it may be something of a bitter pill to swallow, you may have to accept being informed that some of your own bad habits need to be addressed for the benefit of your child.
5 – Private Tutoring is Completely Different to Classroom Teaching
Last but not least, it’s important to be aware of the fact that there is an enormous difference between standard classroom teaching and private tutoring. The reason being that a professional private tutor will incorporate and employ any methods and teaching styles necessary to have the biggest and most positive impact on the child in question, as opposed to using generic teaching techniques to reach out to a class of say 30. As such, don’t be surprised if you see all manner of weird and wonderful learning activities going on incorporating the use of modern technology and non-standard learning materials – if it works for your child, it’s really all that matters!