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(11 Posts)
Bunbaker Sat 14-Sep-13 18:25:50

DD is in year 9 and is struggling a little with maths because her teacher is rubbish at explaining things. So I have decided to get a tutor to basically recap the topics she has covered and enable her to understand the work.

She has managed to keep her place in the top set, but I can see her slipping down if this situation continues. I have already contacted the head of maths who has made the excuse that DD has to get used to a different teaching method. Well, this teaching method doesn't work for her.

I have registered with First Tutors and already received loads of replies. I would like to know how to proceed further. I would prefer to meet the tutors first before embarking down this route. I would also like DD to feel comfortable with the tutor.

Is it usual to carry out interviews before engaging a tutor?

The tutor would come to the house BTW.

IslaValargeone Sat 14-Sep-13 18:28:21

You probably need a practical 'try out' lesson I would have thought?
That way your dd will get a feel for the tutor's style and vice versa.

Bunbaker Sat 14-Sep-13 18:34:03

Good idea. I will do that.

daphnedill Sat 14-Sep-13 21:35:15

I'm registered on FirstTutors as a tutor (not maths). The "buyer" (patent/carer) has to pay a fee to get tutors' phone numbers and addresses. This means that you can't have too many trial lessons, although I always offer my tutees a free session to discuss aims, assess the tutee and for the parents/tutees to decide whether I'll be suitable. I've never had anybody decide not to engage me (yet!)

Make sure you ask any questions, using the free FirstTutors messaging facility. There's a feedback (star) system, so you can check out what other parents think. Be very wary if a tutor has chosen not to publish feedback. It's tough on tutors who are just starting, because some of them might be very good - they have to start somewhere!

If I were a parent looking for a tutor, especially at exam level, I would want to know that the tutor has teaching experience and knowledge of current exams. Most of them should be able to provide CRB/DBS checks, references and evidence of qualifications. FirstTutors does reference check their tutors, although I suspect the referees are variable.

Good tutors don't come cheap, although I give discounts to those living near to me, because lessons involve less travelling time, and to siblings, if lessons take place in one time slot.

daphnedill Sat 14-Sep-13 21:36:45

typo alert - "parent" not "patent"! Ooops!

Bunbaker Sat 14-Sep-13 21:45:17

Thank you Daphne, that is really useful. I am trying to go with someone as local as possible, but who fits the criteria. What I really need is someone who can recap DD's lessons, but who can explain methods in a way that she will remember. She uses the MyMths website, but sometimes there are gaps and with topics she is struggling with she just gets stuck.

I am so disappointed because her maths teacher in year 8 was brilliant and maths was the only subject where she beat her target. She is working at level 8 BTW.

professorpoopsnagle Sat 14-Sep-13 22:02:44

I am a maths tutor. I am registered on a few tutor sites but I also have my own website. Like Daphnedill I also offer a free (no obligation) meeting so that parents and students can meet me and we can discuss what we need to do. I also say that we have 2-3 lessons on a trial basis where students can see if I am the right person to help them- every one is different and I stress that it's important to find the right person. I have (and show on the first meeting) my CRB and my teaching certificates, and I have references available on request.

I am slightly uncomfortable with the sites because of the 'fees'. I have only taken on 1 tutee through the sites and I ended up giving them notice a month later as they messed me about. Everyone else has come through word of mouth/my own site. Is there anyone you could ask, or check netmums etc? It is hard to search for and find direct tutor sites as the commercial sites fill 2-3 pages of google- it can be worth checking through them. I have never responded to an enquiry because I have more work than I need (I have had 15 enquiries in the last 3 weeks and we haven't got to parent's evenings yet). I would be a bit wary of anyone that seemed super free but as has been suggested everyone has to start somewhere and it is the beginning of the year.

A good tutor won't mind lots of questions/meetings/trial sessions- I prefer it as it is essential for the tutoring relationship.

camptownraces Sat 14-Sep-13 22:05:55

You should ensure that the tutor is familiar with the specification of the exam for which your daughter will be entered. If it's modular, tutor needs to know what each module covers. Also, familiarity with the text book the school uses is essential. Do you know what these are?

tywysogesgymraeg Sat 14-Sep-13 22:07:26

Where do you live OP? It would be better to get a personal recommendation I think.

ChillySundays Sun 15-Sep-13 07:58:44

Would agree on trying to get a personal recommendation. I did this and have ended up recommending the tutor to a number of mums. Where do you live?

Bunbaker Sun 15-Sep-13 09:01:10

I am in South Yorkshire and would be looking for a tutor from the North Sheffield/Barnsley area.

DD is in year 9 so not yet ready for GCSE yet. They don't use text books at her school and all her homework is set on MyMaths.

Everyone's responses on here is so helpful - thank you smile

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