This may seem an obvious topic for me to blog about – I’m a tutor, of course I would stamp out any negativity surrounding my profession. But what inspired this blog was a google search. I was quite shocked and saddened when I typed the keyword tutoring into google and the suggested searches that appeared:
Tutoring is a waste of time; tutoring is hard; tutoring is bad.
This, combined with numerous misconceptions I have encountered throughout my 15 years in education have inspired this blog.
If you are reading this and agree with any of the above google search statements, then you have probably experienced a tutor that was unsuitable in meeting your child’s learning needs.
Tutoring sessions should be as individual as the child. I have often had people comment that tutoring must be easy if my students are all the same age or in the same year group as surely you just deliver the same content – wrong! I cannot recall a time I have been able to double up on a lesson plan (yes, reputable tutors will have individual lesson plans or overviews to share with parents). Tutoring isn’t about rolling out worksheet after worksheet and making ‘one size fit all’, it is very much the opposite. Tutoring should be a bespoke, custom made experience because your child’s needs and strengths will be different to another child’s needs and strengths.
Seeing the search tutoring is hard upset me too, as tutors should be delivering achievable content and building upon their students’ successes, no matter how big or small. Tutors need to support their students in building not only skills but self-confidence and self-esteem. The rapport between a student and tutor should be a positive one where students are not afraid to make mistakes, feel they can ask questions and be confident to ‘have a go’.
There are a wide range of reasons that parents engage tutors for their children, which we have discussed in previous blogs (see https://educationboutique.co.uk/does-my-child-need-a-tutor/ and https://educationboutique.co.uk/tutoring-tips-for-students-and-parents/ ).
It can seem overwhelming trying to find a tutor that is a good fit for your child, especially if you have had a negative experience in the past. We recommend seeking advice and guidance from The Tutors’ Association, the only professional membership body for tutoring in the UK. https://thetutorsassociation.org.uk/
Two Facebook groups we also recommend are the 11+, ISEB, SATs, GCSE & A-Level Resource Group and The Cadwaladr Quests Creative Writing & Reading Group for 11+, SATs and ESL. These groups have reputable tutors, teachers and educational authors as admins and provide live sessions on a range of topics and offer free support materials. Members often post seeking support and receive advice from reputable professionals on a range of topics.
And remember, Education Boutique are always happy to have a no obligation chat.
Brooke McClure, Lead Resource Teacher at Education Boutique