Studies show that private or individualised tutoring increases student motivation and achievement (Ballou, 2011). What is more, those students suffering from the lowest grades show the highest positive impact from tutoring lessons on their final grades (Rickard and Mills, 2017).
Based on these findings, it is no doubt that loving parents want to find the best tutor for their child to help him/her achieve his/her academic dreams and have a secure future. However, finding such a tutor in Singapore can be difficult.
There are many tuition agencies that offer their services to help parents in this aspect. Yet even when looking at a list of potential tutors, how do you know which tutor is the right one?
A lot of things go into making an impactful educator such as their own motivations and values, their qualifications and credentials, their teaching style, and their ability to adapt to the needs of their pupils.
In this article, MindWorks offers you a complete guide of things you should think about and questions you should ask a tutor to ascertain whether they will be the right fit for your child.
1. Have a Clear Goal in Mind
First, it is important to be clear about the end goal you wish to achieve from hiring a tutor. Is it because your child is having some challenges in a particular subject? Is he/she already a high performer and you want him/her to realise an ambitious academic dream? Or is he/she looking for extra guidance to gain a deeper understanding of a subject for improving grades?
In Singapore, performance in each step of your child’s academic journey influences their future education and career path. Even at younger ages, your child’s grades will determine the subjects they may choose for secondary streaming. This is why it is vital to have a clear goal, that links directly to your child’s future dreams.
If you are unsure about whether you should invest in tutoring for your child, click here to read about the 7 values of getting a private tutor in Singapore!
If you need some help in analysing the current academic situation to set a SMART goal for your child, consider reading: How to Conduct SWOT Analysis to Boost Academic Performance. This article explores how to use the business analysis model of SWOT in an academic context while considering the internal and external environment as well as the barriers and enablers that hinder or boost academic achievement.
Whatever your goal may be, make sure to communicate it with the home tuition agency in Singapore. This way, they will be able to help you find the right tutor quickly and efficiently.
Here is a simple list of things to clarify when calling a tuition agency:
Your child’s name and age
The name of his/her school
The subject he/she requires tuition in
Current grades/ performance in said subject
The overall goal in said subject
2. Clarify Your Budget and Have Realistic Expectations
If you have decided you want to reach out to a tuition agency for your child, you must allocate a budget for it. Here are some estimations of tuition rates you may expect to spend:
The tutors most highly in demand will definitely be a lot more expensive, sometimes even 50-100% above market price. However, they have a history of guaranteed improvement in your child’s performance and can ensure higher engagement with the subject material.
Similarly, school teachers undergo formal training in pedagogy which may help them be more agile depending on the learning needs of your child. However, undergraduate tutors have most recently gone through schooling themselves and thus may have an excellent perspective and updated study tips to offer.
Each type of tutor may have different advantages and disadvantages based on your budget and end goal. It is important to set realistic expectations for the kind of progress your child may make under the guidance of each of them.
3. Check Credentials
Once you have allocated a budget, which tuition agency in Singapore should you contact?
There are many renowned agencies that offer support to parents. However, in order to help you choose, here are some questions you can consider:
What services does the company offer? Is it easy to contact them? Approximately how long may they take to respond? How quickly can you start tuition?
What are their values and mission? Do these align with your own world views?
Do they have more information about their team of coordinators? Are these coordinators friendly and seek to provide customer-oriented service?
Who founded the company? How long has it been in business?
How large is their tutor database?
Similarly, once you have contacted your chosen agency, you want to look at the qualifications of the list of tutors presented to you. Here are some questions to consider:
Where did they study? Which subjects?
Do they have a thorough understanding of the syllabus?
How long have they been teaching? This is important to understand how familiar they are with a particular subject, however, time spent teaching doesn't always correlate with higher mastery of a subject or better teaching skills.
What do previous clients think about them? You may ask the agency to explain their past performance to you.
What are the values of the tutor?
What is the tutor's teaching style?
4. Is this tutor the right fit for your child?
Once you narrow down your choices to one or two tutors whom you are most interested in teaching your child, you want to consider their teaching competencies and personality attributes that might make them a good fit for your child. According to a handout from Santa Ana College, empathy, honesty, enthusiasm, patience, and being non-judgemental are some of the important personality attributes that make a great tutor.
Moreover, they should be a good listener, maintain confidentiality, ask open-ended questions, encourage independence, explain material in multiple ways and help your child find alternative study strategies to enhance their learning tool kit.
An important consideration is the tutor's relationship-building skills while maintaining professional boundaries. It is crucial for the tutor to have the right approach when tutoring your child in how to connect with him/her as a mentor who he/she can trust while understanding the responsibility and accountability associated with such a role.
According to the distinguished researcher Carol Dweck, author of the bestselling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,
Great teachers believe in the growth of the intellect and talent, and they are fascinated with the process of learning.
The key to motivating your child to academic excellence is not merely setting high standards but also creating a nurturing atmosphere. Being strict and disciplined does not mean compromising on creating a loving environment for students/children, which is why a tutor who can demonstrate their growth mindset through the way they give positive and negative feedback can create the most lasting improvement in your child's growth.
We hope this will help you in finding the perfect tutor for your child, so he/she can achieve all their dreams!
MindWorks Tuition is one of the leading tuition agencies in Singapore for home tuition. If you would like to know more about our mission, values and coordinators, click here!
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