If we consider tutoring as an industry, global growth of this industry has been more than impressive over the last decade or so. It would appear that people have to believe in academic achievements as the ladder, perhaps the only ladder for social mobility. Modern parents, therefore, spend more money, energy and effort finding “good schools” for their kids in the hope that they are paving the way for the children to scale great heights in future life. This phenomenon is present in nearly every nation, developing, developed and even the so-called underdeveloped. As a matter of fact, Asians spend as much as 7 times more compared to Americans, on tuition for their kids. In percentage terms, most Asians spend about 20% of their household income on education for kids. Add to this; the fact that educational system present in most countries, at least in the eyes of the parents, are pitched well below what they think should be ideal. But, they are unwilling to merely lament over a weak system and allow the system to dictate the future of their kids. Instead, they turn to private tuition which, according to them, is the only means of guaranteeing that the children are not left behind in the race.
Is your tutor or tutoring services tuned in?
The demand for private tutors in Australia and elsewhere across the globe is breaking at the seams. According to one of the Australia’s leading private academic coaching centre, Edu-Kingdom tutoring centre, the demand of private tutors has expanded over the past five years. Admittedly, good teachers cannot be produced overnight to meet this explosive demand. Where does that leave you when you are scouting for a tutor for your children? How do you determine that your tutor can indeed take charge and ensure that the journey of your child through the maze of academics is engaging and fruitful? Here are some pointers to help you with the process of picking the right tutor/tutoring service for your children in Australia.
Evaluating the services of your tutor/tutoring service
Potentially, you are appointing a tutor to take care of the learning needs of your child for several years to come. Therefore, the first question that comes up is whether the tutor you choose will stick around for the next few years, say at least 6 to 7 years. What are his/her individual circumstances? Is she/he employed in other occupations with a potential for relocation at intervals by choice or compulsion?
Credentials of your tutor
Is the tutor willing to show you her verifiable credentials and also perhaps references of some present and past students before choosing him/her as the tutor for your child? Where this is offered, don’t just collect them and forget about. Do a thorough background check and ensure that you are indeed putting your child in safe hands. Don’t shy away from checking out gender-related issues when they are applicable, and even if there is a trace of apprehension or past events, you are better off looking away from that service provider.
Does your tutor have the adequate subject expertise for all the subjects that your child needs tuition? How many years has she/he been teaching these subjects and is he/she updated with the latest changes and in tune with what is required presently? Some tutors tend to handle multiple subjects, and though there is nothing inappropriate in that, you must satisfy yourself that she/he has the necessary level of expertise in all the subjects that your child needs help with. This could be particularly relevant in the case of mathematics and language skills.
Home tutor or tutoring centre
The next question that comes up before you is choosing between a home tutor and a tutoring service. If the tutor can come over to your home and you can provide an environment where your child/children can receive the tuition, such an arrangement has several advantages. In the first place, your child/children precious commute time. They can either use that space to play or relax and therefore be mentally energized to take the tuition more seriously.
If you choose a tuition centre instead, you need to factor in the commute time and also the kind of learning environment provided by the tuition centre. Do remember that most tuitions are after school and your child/children should be physically comfortable to spend the extended hours on focused learning. Talk to your child at regular intervals to understand his/her needs and disposition towards the tuition. Your child may also need appropriate refreshment before starting his/her tuition hours, and you should take special care to ensure that he/she stays off junk food as a routine to fill this void.
Tuning in your expectations
Have your expectations been clearly explained to the tutor and are they in line with what your child needs? Has he/she evaluated the child for his/her present level of performance and identified weak spots that need attention. Do they also conform to the observations made by the teachers at his/her school? It is important that these factors fall into place like in a jigsaw puzzle.
Is there a guarantee of improved performance from the child?
Can the tutor or tutoring service guarantee improvement in the performance of your child at school and with the grades that he/she is getting? Do those levels of guarantee meet your expectations? Do remember that tutors or tutoring services do not hold a magic wand and it takes for the student to gain confidence in his/her tutor and for the tutor to fathom the child deeper to unearth his/her difficulties and lubricate the whole process to ensure focus on the desired goals.
Have you spoken to your child?
Before doing all the elaborate exercise above, did you spend quality time with your child reassuring him/her that a private tutor is all that she/he needs to cover lost ground and move neck to neck with peers regarding academic achievement? This is important because your child must be mentally prepared to accept the tutor and recognize that you are concerned about his/her academic achievements.