Updated: Oct 20, 2021
When you put your children's education in the hands of someone else, it is crucial to make sure you have chosen the right person for the job — in particular after the recent lockdowns that have led to children missing large amounts of face-to-face school. A good tutor will ensure your child’s grades, motivation and confidence improve fast regardless of this, as well as equip your child with a “can do” attitude that can last a lifetime. That being said, it isn't always easy to know what to look for in a tutor to get them to this point. To help you make an informed decision, we have written this expert guide to ensure you choose the perfect tutor for your child.
To choose a tutor for your child,
Read local tutors' Google Reviews.
Pick a qualified teacher who has good references.
Check if the tutor has safeguarding measures in place.
Make sure the tutor has accessible and tailored teaching methods.
Ensure the dynamic is right, and that the tutor has a positive and patient attitude.
1. Read Local Tutors' Google Review
Google Reviews are a great indicator of how good and reliable a service is. Although you might know them better for looking up a local restaurant or a garage, this tool is just as helpful for tutors; the better the reviews, the better you can expect the service to be. This is because it is a real and personal account of a service. After all, the best people to tell you how excellent a tutor is, is someone whose child has benefitted from their service.
2. Qualified Teacher with References
Make sure you choose a tutor that is a fully qualified teacher. Whether this person is still practising, retired, on maternity leave, or tutoring as their full time job, nobody knows the school system better than the people who have been at the heart of it.
This person should also have good references from their time as a teacher and as a tutor - preferably ones that indicate they have had success in improving grades. It’s recommended that you call these references before agreeing to lessons, to ensure that the references are genuine.
3. Safeguarding Measures
Above all else, we want our children to be safe. After you have checked references and made sure the tutor has completed CRB/DBS checks, including List 99 and Barred Lists, ensure that the tutor you choose has adequate safeguarding and child protection measures in place.
This means that, to ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of students, your tutor will take steps in order to ensure that young people are not at risk, either from themselves or from others. Safeguarding issues include bullying, e-safety, radicalisation, child sexual exploitation, physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.
If you pick a qualified teacher, you can rest assured that these checks—and additional child protection courses—would have been completed.
4. Accessible and Tailored Teaching Methods
Once you are confident in the tutor's abilities and background, consider their teaching methods.
A good tutor will be prepared to teach your child the basics, but a great tutor will assess your child's skill level and ask you about your child's exam board (or school entrance exam) and tailor their material based on that. This means your child will learn what they need to know, in a much more accessible manner, over a much quicker period of time.
It's OK to ask your prospective tutor about their teaching style too. Indeed, ask them any questions you feel are relevant to to make sure their teaching style matches how your child learns. Remember that a great tutor will take this into account and make their material accessible and tailored to your child.
You could even ask your tutor how they keep up to date with the school curriculum, how they structure their sessions, and about their success stories to give you a better idea of their style.
5. Positive and Patient Attitude
Have you found a qualified teacher with great experience and references, and a sound teaching style? Great! There is one last element to check.
It goes without saying, but your tutor should have a positive and patient attitude towards your child, and be good at building confidence using praise.
Even if it takes a child a little longer to grasp the task at hand, you should be able to tell that your tutor will be patient and empathetic, and do all in their power to break down the task at hand until your child gets it (and gets it with confidence).
The best tutors will be able to put your child at complete ease, and make them feel comfortable enough to ask lots of questions - no matter how big or small. It is crucial, after all, for students to ask questions in order for the tutor to assess their current understanding of the topic, and for your child to make connections with their ideas that can be relayed in an exam scenario.
At GCSE Masterclass, we use only the very best tutors. All of our staff are fully qualified, experienced teachers, who have a proven track record of high quality teaching and excellent results within their GCSE classes.
Contact us to find out more about how we can improve your child’s confidence and grades.