Top Tips on How To Choose the Right Tutor
What You Might Not Know
The first thing that most people are unaware of is that the Australian tutoring industry is unregulated, meaning that anyone at all can call themselves a tutor in whatever subjects/areas they want to.
Tutors can make any claim they choose to promote themselves and there is no agency or guidelines to oversee this.
Why is this a problem? It's like choosing a mechanic: you wouldn't choose someone to work on your car simply because they told you they were a mechanic. We tend to choose a mechanic based on their reputation, the size of their business, premise location, etc and we also want to know that they are qualified.
There is no tutor qualification as such, but you can certainly determine if a tutor has the right skillset.
For example, children in the primary years are in the developmental phase of acquiring numeracy and literacy skills. Therefore, only a tutor who understands this development, such as pre-service and qualified primary teachers, is suitably qualified to tutor primary years children. Someone who got a high Year 12 English score, might be a great tutor for another senior student but will have absolutely no understanding of how children acquire literacy and numeracy skills and are therefore unsuitable to tutor primary children.
The same can be said of any tutor who promotes themselves as very good at maths and may be studying math-based subjects at university (such as engineering.) Being good at a subject personally doesn't necessarily mean that they know how to impart knowledge. Also, there are a number of different senior math subjects in years 11 and 12, and each has quite a different curriculum.
A tutor must be very familiar with a subject's curriculum in order to effectively tutor that subject.
The other thing to consider is the type of tutoring that is actually being delivered. Is your child simply being supervised while they complete worksheets or an online program? Do they simply complete work that is then corrected? This not tutoring!! How much of an opportunity do they have to ask questions and receive individualized instruction?
Is your child receiving individualized instruction that allows them to learn at their own pace? Is time being spent in ensuring that your child understands the underlying concepts and can apply these to numerous situations? Or, is your child simply learning some procedures which, on the surface, make it appear that they are improving, but in fact not learning anything specifically about concepts?
The Tutor/Student Relationship
When hiring a tutor, do you know that they are actually who they say they are? Do they have a Working With Children Check? Do you know how to check credentials?
Probably the most important consideration is the suitability of a tutor for a student. It is critical that a very good relationship develops between the student and their tutor, otherwise there is the potential that tutoring will never work. Students who are disengaged with their learning, or who are "coasting" will work harder to please a tutor they respect, admire, and trust. Simply allocating a student a tutor because they live in the area, or can tutor certain subjects or the time of the lessons suit the tutor best completely devalues the importance of the relationship.
Why Choose Us?
At The Tutoring Company, we take the time to understand the type of tutor that would best suit your child. We can recommend tutors that we feel are best suited or, you can choose your own tutor yourself. In fact, many parents choose a tutor, together with their child, from our online list of tutors. When students have a say in who their tutor is, they feel an immediate connection with their tutor and are more likely to commit to working hard with them. Also, parents know their children so doesn't it make sense that you are the best person to choose a tutor?
The Tutoring Company is adamant that all tutors undergo a stringent interview and vetting process. Tutor's Teacher Registration status is checked as is the Working With Children Check issued by each State. Reference checks are also made.
We do not employ anyone who does not meet our standards. This may mean that it takes us a while to find our ideal candidates but it is always worth the wait.
When a child starts with a tutor the most important thing is the relationship between them. A child will only progress with a tutor they trust and one who encourages them and helps to build their confidence.
Of course, content knowledge is also important but so are teaching strategies and an understanding of the developmental process of acquiring skills and knowledge. This is why our Primary Years tutors must be qualified primary teachers or those studying to become a primary teacher. Secondary tutors are also either studying to become teachers, qualified teachers, or specialists in their field with a proven history in tutoring.
Be wary of tutors claiming to tutor across multiple subjects, or claiming that they are "qualified tutors". There is no tutor "qualification" but there is tutor certification through the Australian Tutoring Association.
This means that the tutors/organisations have been thoroughly vetted by the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA.)
ATA tutors are bound by a Code of Conduct, providing you with additional reassurance about the authenticity of your tutor.
The Tutoring Company is a member of the Australian Tutoring Association and Jenny is a board member.
Feel free to call Jenny for a chat on 1300 186 172.