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  • The Ultimate Guide to Finding a GREAT tutor for your child

    11:42am on Thursday 25th August 2016

    Singapore’s education landscape is very competitive. Statistics show that 80% of students in Primary School have a private tutor to help them. More and more, having a private tutor has become a necessity for students to keep up with the demanding school curriculum, and it is very important that as parents, we know how to select a tutor that’s perfect for our child.

    Proficiency in Subject Matter

    First and foremost, all great tutors should be well versed in their subject matter and know it like the back of their hands. Beyond the superficial information that can be found easily in textbooks, tutors need to have a deep understanding of the subject. This will enable them to explain the information to their students better.

    Tips for parents who are interviewing tutors for the first time:

    Qualifications: Make sure that Tutors have a reasonable academic qualification for the subject. This can be a University Degree, or the bare minimum of an A levels or Poly Diploma

    Teaching Methodology: Ask the tutor if they have taught the subject before. If they have, make them explain to you the methodology.

    Test the Tutor: Most importantly, get your child to prepare a few questions that they don’t understand, and ask the tutor with you listening in. A sign of a good tutor is when they are very confident are able to answer quickly in an easily understandable manner.

    Proof of Experience: Lastly, if you want a tutor that’s sure to be a star tutor, ask for proof of their success. Usually, an experienced tutor will have at least a few good stories to tell, and they should be eager to share it. A newbie who’s lying about their experience will take a long time to fib a story.

    Interest and Engagement

    Interest in the subject, as well as engagement with the student is very important. If you want your student to learn things beyond the curriculum that will put them ahead of the other students, you need to find a teacher that is capable of doing that!

    It’s also important for the tutor’s passion to show in lessons, as this will help your child be more engaged in the lesson. Studies have shown that having a teacher that is strongly passionate about the subject will help students do much better in school, in the long run.

    Many parents miss this part out, and hire tutors who have a strong record of helping students improve their grades, but do not have passion for the subject. Remember, education for your child is a long-term investment, and you do not want your child to lose interest in the subject.

    It is VERY important for the tutor to be able to keep your child interested and motivated. Early interest in the subject can last for a long time.

    Tips for parents:

    Get to know your Tutor: Make small talk with the tutor about the subject matter. For example, if the tutor is teaching Physics, ask about what he thinks of the school curriculum, and whether anything needs to be changed. Try to sense his/her enthusiasm for the subject.

    Passion for Teaching: Does the Tutor love to teach?

    Having an inspiring / charismatic character

    The best teachers are those who inspire us to be better. Great tutors are able to inspire our kids. We want our tutors to have faith in our kids, and to be able to inspire them to greater things. There’re many tutors out there who do not really believe in what they’re doing, and think that your kids will end up being ordinary. That is not the case as no matter what level your child is at currently, with hard work, there is always a chance for him or her to become a great person, and nobody should be telling them otherwise.

    Tips for Parents:

    Does the Tutor have high hopes for your child?

    Does the Tutor encourage your child to explore new things and do more?

    Does your child come out of each lesson energized and positive?

    Does your child like him/her?

    A tutor can meet all of the above points, but if your child does not like the tutor, then we should not hire them. Every tutor has their own personality, but not every child can feel comfortable with the tutor. For example, your child might be a very quiet person who doesn’t work well under stress. A tutor who talks very loudly and in a straight forward manner might stress out your child and cause him/her to underperform.

    The best tutors are able to adjust their demeanour and personality to fit your child. Make sure that your child looks up to your tutor and is able to get along with them.

    Tips for Parents:

    Does your kid look forward to the lessons?

    Does your child listen to what he says? A good sign is when your child says: “_______ tell me to do this.”

    At Tuition Finder Singapore, we actually have come up with our own 20-point interview criteria for us to vet our tutors. ALL our tutors go through our vetting and interview process to make sure that they are the best fit for your child. Furthermore, we have contacts with the most reliable tutors with the best track records.

    After finding the best tutors, there are many things we can do to ensure our kids get the best out of the education we’ve got for them. For more information, visit our other blog posts!