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Advice on tutors

(8 Posts)
FantasyAndHope Thu 01-Mar-18 15:17:05

Dd is currently doing alevels final year in English lit (ocr) history (ocr) R.S (ocr) she is at a point where her grades are not declining nor decreasing just staying the same
Dd does not struggle content or knowledge wise it is the structure of her essays that she struggles with
Any tips/advice on tutors? How to choose one? Are uni students helpful?

chocolateworshipper Fri 02-Mar-18 11:58:42

Hi Fantasy.

Might be worth looking on a website like this one www.firsttutors.com/uk/ so at least you can see reviews of each tutor.

I have no experience of using a uni student, but I would imagine it could work well as their experience of A levels is so recent. Best of luck x

catslife Fri 02-Mar-18 15:46:04

You could also try www.thetutorpages.com/. This site enables you to contact tutors directly without having to pay for their contact details.
There is advice on choosing a private tutor on the Good Schools Guide.
For English Lit i would want to make sure that a student (or adult) tutor had experience of the actual books your dd is studying as different schools and exam boards may choose different options.
Changes in syllabus could mean that a student tutor has done the old syllabus so their experience could be less relevant even though they have studied the subject recently.

Nettleskeins Fri 02-Mar-18 18:25:45

Hi Fantasy I've used TutorHunt quite successfully (small price for contact details) although you have to check quite carefully through the reams of tutors on offer. I've found two really excellent local tutors through them (but they are usually youngish) You can specify those with teaching experience and then check they have taught approximations of your syllabus. One of ds's wasn't a classroom teacher but a professional tutor so good at detail 1:1, but not interested in teaching a whole class which can be a different skill set.
BlueTutors only send Oxbridge or Imperial tutors, I found the distance and hence the cost more offputting - but one tutor from there was great, but they suggested a few that were not right, on paper, at all. Again youngish, c 25 or under. You also have to remember that a very brilliant graduate might not be so good at giving you technique and not have any interest in exam criteria, possibly might overegg the information.

Fleettutors were no good at all, very expensive and inflexible. I feel the big bespoke tutoring agencies are for people without a clue where to start but don't necessarily give you any better choice than choosing through personal profiles yourself.

evenstrangerthings Mon 05-Mar-18 23:07:59

When scanning the tuition websites I usually look for people who are examiners. They tend to have have direct and recent experience of how to maximize marks in exams and are often experienced teachers who can pinpoint gaps in students' knowledge. A Uni student wouldn't offer these skills, even if they are an Oxbridge student.

hmmwhatatodo Sun 11-Mar-18 23:35:49

I had a university student to give my son some quite last minute revision help. I wasn’t expect much from a student (I couldn’t afford to pay £40 minimum for a teacher). I was pleasantly surprised with her and she was really helpful. I’ve also had a teacher who knew her stuff but would just fail to turn up and then abandoned us a couple of months before the exam (said she had to go back home due to family issues but surely she could have let me know). We also went to see a qualified English tutor once and she really horrible and unfriendly, I didn’t feel at all comfortable with her and she acted like she was going to be doing us a huge favour (despite charging £40 an hour). I was desperate for someone who knew the syllabus though so my son went for 2 lessons and didn’t learn anything , said she just kept scrolling through stuff on the internet and asking if he had covered this and that. He then turned up for the next lesson to find no one was home. She eventually replied to my texts asking what was happening to let me know that she had moved and ‘sorry about that.’ As you can see, my experience of searching for tutors hasn’t been great. I also find it infuriating to see students at or from oxford or Cambridge charging £70 an hour when they have no actual teaching experience!

Nettleskeins Mon 12-Mar-18 09:36:19

Blue Tutors (Oxbridge graduates) make them do some sort of 2 day teaching induction before they start! I suppose not a PGCE but better than nothing!

user150463 Mon 12-Mar-18 10:30:39

Blue Tutors (Oxbridge graduates) make them do some sort of 2 day teaching induction before they start! I suppose not a PGCE but better than nothing!

I don't think 2 days is worth anything.

These tutor agencies misuse the Oxbridge name. An Oxbridge graduate has no experience in teaching - and no detailed knowledge of different exam boards/marking schemes etc.

I am an Oxbridge educated academic with over twenty years of HE experience. I don't consider myself particularly well qualified to tutor for A level exams - which rely heavily on "keywords" in answers to get the required marks - as I have never marked A level exams. So even though I do have the teaching skills - and could indeed pinpoint the gaps in knowledge - somebody with actual experience of teaching/marking A levels would be way better than me, even if they didn't have an Oxbridge degree.

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