The process of finding a tutor can be really overwhelming, so using an organisation to help you can really take the stress out of the situation. Either way, thinking through the following issues will ensure the process of choosing tuition will go as smoothly and successfully as possible.
It is advisable that your tutor should have a minimum of a degree or equivalent in the subject you require. Possession of a degree proves that the tutor has the relevant knowledge as well as a level of skill and understanding. Many tutors will also have a PGCE, but do not discount someone who does not. Home tutoring students one-to-one is very different from teaching a whole class of pupils. There are many successful tutors (and teachers in schools) who do not possess a PGCE. The key requirement should be someone who is familiar with the curriculum your student is studying and somebody who is enthusiastic about it.
You might want to ask the prospective tutor for references and for a CRB check; this will depend on your individual circumstances. References are not going to be relevant if the tutor has been recommended to you, for example. A CRB check or an enhanced disclosure might not be relevant if the student is older but for younger children or those who are more vulnerable, you might want tp see the relevant documents. It is important to bear in mind that none of these checks are completely fail-safe.
Tutoring can really help students progress with their learning, particularly if they are looking to be successful in passing exams. GCSE tutoring is particularly advisable, as students can find the quantity of different subjects difficult, or there might be one or two subjects that are more difficult for them. When you feel as though you have found the right tutor for your needs, it is a good idea to have an initial trial session. This will ensure that the tutor and student get on and are going to be able to work together well. You can have the best tutor in the world but if they do not click, then there will be poor progress in the sessions.
At this point, you can clarify with the tutor what resources they will provide and if it would be useful for you to provide anything. You can also then discuss how many sessions will be required. After the initial session, the tutor can then discuss with you areas of weakness that need to be focused upon and a plan can be drawn up. Make sure you discuss how you are to be kept informed of progress and how it is best to contact the tutor if necessary. Often, these practical details can be overlooked. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that needs clarification.
Due to the demands of exams, GCSE tutoring in particular can cause tutors to be extremely busy at certain times, so once you have decided that private tuition is for you, don’t delay in finding someone.
Nicola Elson is an experienced teacher and tutor. She hopes that you have found the information in this article useful and if you have been inspired to find out more please click here.