What is a good tutor?(14 Posts)
I just had an interesting discussion with another parent.
Her belief is that as long as the kid gets the right results thats the most important thing...
My belief is that the tutor should create an interest. So the child will want to self learn....not do it because they have too...
Bit of both. You learn better if you enjoy something - but these days you also need to be taught how to pass exams. Grades are everything!
My theory is if the child wants to learn...They usually will get the grades...
My child (y10) wants to learn.
However, she will not get the grades unless she gets the chance to practice exam technique repeatedly.
I think it depends on the needs of the individual student. Some already know the material very well, but fail to be able to express it in a manner which will get them marks in an exam, others might be very able, but want to explore the subject beyond the school curriculum and something I encounter frequently is students who have missed some fundamental point early on and who are then affected by that meaning they cannot access ideas and material based on those fundamentals.
I think one (Ofsted induced) problem these days is that there is so much emphasis on measuring 'progress' on a lesson-by-lesson basis. However, deep learning is not like that. Students need time to be introduced to new concepts, explore, digest and finally formulate their own ideas on a topic. These days, Ofsted expects demonstrable progress by every student in every lesson. Tuition can therefore play a valuable role in allowing students to explore their learning.
'Surface', or 'strategic' learning might allow students to pass exams, but is actually more difficult than 'deep' learning.
However, in answer to the OP, I think there is not an easy answer because I think it depends on the needs of student.
People hire tutors for a multitude of reasons. The most common subject to be tutored for is Maths. Some people (not just kids) find maths difficult and struggle with it. Some truly believe that they "just aren't good at" Maths and need help to build their confidence, otherwise they hold onto that belief, often for many years, decades even.
So some parents see a short term need that needs fixing, others identify a different problem, that a tutor can help with.
I tutor. However the old adage of leading a horse to water really holds true. You can build the motivation and the interest when it's issues regarding confidence or understanding that are blocking a child wanting to learn in a subject - but if there's a genuine and utter disinterest in wanting to do the sessions - it won't work and I'll gently suggest it's not working out, I don't want to take the parent's money and not get the results and end the arrangement.
If it's just a kid who's decided they hate maths as it's making no sense to them - that's a different matter - you can do the work, get a few pieces to click into place and the barriers can come down fairly straightforwardly.
Grammar in this is appalling - trying to do ten things at once so apologies!
It's a bit of each.
Very few children in my experience as a tutor enjoy a subject they are tutored in IF they find it hard. It's a struggle for them.
That's not to say they can't be encouraged but it's not likely that someone who is weak at English will suddenly love it and become a best selling novelist. I don't mean it's impossible but enabling a child to love a subject they find hard isn't easy!
It also depends on what level the child is at when they start tuition. If they are average and a parent wants them to be an A grade then that's possible. If they are well below average the focus will be on getting them up to a 'pass' level and anything else is a bonus.
Parents also need to realise that no tutor can make a silk purse out of a sows ear....we can only work with the raw materials and bring out the best in each child and of course children are of all abilities.
I like honest tutors too...Those that will tell parent's that your child is not one that meets the grade but we can help develop interest.
Alrhough some tutors just want the cash...Those whp will just do pass papers and exercise in remembering the answers....
I think not developing understanding and thus enjoyment is a crime....
I talk with a lot of good tutors in my job and they think it the role is actually quite complicated. What we reckon is that it's the best bits of a teacher, a mentor, and a coach.
Does that sound sensible?
I think it is both. A really good tutor will be able to find what interests the child and help them to achieve by using those interests to motivate the child - so that even when the tutoring is over, the child will be left with a lifelong love of the subject and desire to take it further. As well as a good mark.
A bad tutor will give the child their bog-standard materials irrespective of the interests of the child and ignoring the inherent fascination of the subject and leave the child with a lifelong dislike of the subject. Even if they end up with a good mark.
I feel like this about people who tutor children in English for the 11+ and force them to learn long lists of 'hard' words, rather than enjoy reading actual books and creative writing for its own sake.
That makes me v cross.
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I like to catch a child up with his/her peers, so they can access class teaching and achieve their potential. Parents and children seem very happy with that!
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