It is not uncommon for personal assistants to be asked by their principals or clients to organize services for their children, and finding a private tutor is often high on the list. So how do you go about sourcing the best tutor for your client’s child?
There are quite a number of factors to consider, and obtaining accurate information from the client is the first step. Does the family require a live-in tutor, for example one who is happy to accompany the child on family holidays? If so, there are companies which specialize in sourcing these kinds of tutors. Or instead, is the family looking for a tutor who is highly experienced in coaching children to pass school entrance exams? Such tutors are in high demand, often have waiting lists, and are often simply recommended through word of mouth. To find an expert tutor in this area, it is therefore important to start your search early and to do some background research on tutor directories or private tuition agencies.
Clients will seek a private tutor for other reasons too. It is a little known fact that children attending independent schools are actually more likely to receive private tuition than those attending state schools. This is no doubt because wealthy parents are well aware of the doors which having a private tutor can open. Private tuition can not only speed up the learning process but can also give a child added confidence and resilience. Some tutors can help with special educational needs such as ADHD or dyslexia, or work with a child who has missed school due to illness. Tutors can also be invaluable in widening a child’s horizons by teaching subjects, honing skills or discussing topics which would otherwise be left unexplored.
It is therefore imperative to find a tutor who is the best fit for a child’s needs. Aside from having the right qualifications and experience, tutors need to be able to establish rapport with the child – and you only get to see this in person. This is why it worth booking a trial lesson with the tutor, after having followed up their references. When choosing the tutor, you should bear in mind not only whether a male or female tutor is most suitable but also their life experience. Although an experienced tutor can be very competent, recent graduates also have much to offer: they can be enthusiastic mentors and remember clearly the trials and tribulations of their own education.
Some families will also be lucky enough to hire a polymath tutor: one who is expert in a range of areas. For example, not only will they be a maths graduate, they can also tutor the piano, play chess or use their skiing prowess to the family’s benefit on a winter vacation.
Finally, online tuition is an increasingly popular choice for families which are often on the move. An online tutor – accessed from anywhere in the world – can provide an element of stability and continuity in a child’s life. Although parents can be initially skeptical of the effectiveness of the online medium of instruction, children and teenagers will often take to the use of technology for this purpose very quickly.
Written by Henry Fagg who is the director of The Tutor Pages Limited: www.thetutorpages.com