What Should I Look for In A Private Tutor?

Private tutoring - a controversial subject, shouldn't everything happen in the classroom? 

Children's learning is not linear and the curriculum is like an upside down triangle. As learners progress through the curriculum, each topic expands to include more elements of a topic and dives deeper in to skills and information. 

Learners could be great at addition at 7 but struggling at 9 - why? Here are some examples:


  • missing school
  • distracted
  • the subject matter gets more complicated - new methods introduced
  • they were not engaged for a variety of reasons while the topic was introduced,
  • the topic  just didn't resonate with them at the time
  • learners  were not ready for the extension of the concept
  • learners need clarification

Here, private tuition can help as it will focus time on concepts that need a little more work. 

As a classroom teacher, I ideally wish that I could stretch out time in the day or have the opportunity to go over topics for a longer period of time but teachers have to keep to a time table and plan.  Teachers are under pressure to be  accountable and to ensure that they cover all learning objectives.  Classroom teachers are pulled in all directions and it's an expert balancing act.

Teachers have to consider the individual needs of each learner, differentiate  work, whole class learning and the standards and learning objectives that they (we) have planned for.

Private tuition is a very useful tool to supplement learning at school. It should not ideally replace learning but support, consolidate or enhance it. The significant advantage of private tuition is that we can spend focused time with a learner. Further more, we can take time over tricky concepts and methods until it is embedded.   

In private tutoring it is very important that children have a rapport with their tutor as it is usually a 1:1 session or a small group. This is something that will encourage them to pursue their lessons - so the first thing to look for when choosing a private tutor (police check,  qualifications and experience aside) is if your child enjoys the lesson. 


 Things to remember when choosing a tutor.

1. If your tutor is not part of a company - remember they are responsible for their schedule. Their schedule can fill up very quickly with regular students. So if you like them - make sure you keep booking them or lessons slots will book up quickly. 

2. Remember that it is important that your learner has a good rapport with the tutor. This is something out of our control so remember to ask your student if they would like to work with this tutor - a trial lesson is always a good idea. 

3. Student and teacher safety. Online lessons should be safe, all contact details to be between adult and teacher and learners should not share any personal contact details with their tutor. Student safety is paramount. 

4. Behaviour. It is different to the classroom and the pace is quick, private tutors rely on students to behave well during the lesson and mutual respect is top of the list. If your learner is tired or distracted, ensure you pick a time when they are at their best. 

5. Group lessons, these can be a great alternative for students who are shy - a group setting is a convenient way to learn while not being the main focus. 

If you would like to book a private tuition session - please click here.