How Do I Find A Home Tutor!
How does engaging a home tutor benefit your children? What do parents have to look out for when it comes to finding a home tutor for their children?
There are many reasons as to why a large percentage of parents opt for home tuition for their children. Firstly, as stated in this article written by TodayOnline, many parents prefer their children to receive 1-to-1 attention and 100% focus in problem-solving from home tutors as compared to school teachers, who have the duty to handle all comprehensive educational aspects of all their students. Secondly, some parents are too busy with their own work schedule and find it a challenge to keep up with the school’s syllabus. Therefore, hiring a private home tutor would be able to solve this problem at the convenience of their homes, without any extra hassle.
MindFlex Home Tuition is an established tuition agency that has matched close to 6,000 successful cases a year. We have seen the important factors in making a tuition arrangement successful, and we have also seen our fair share of suitable and unsuitable tutors.
Today, we would like to share with parents on our 5 Best Pieces of Advice When Selecting A Home Tutor.
Advice #1 – Establish Commitment & Communication
Before parents start finding a home tutor, the first piece of advice they should heed is to establish their commitment requirements as well as foster good communication with their chosen tutor to avoid any last-minute cancellation or misunderstanding. Select a tutor who can meet your commitment requirements, and at the same time, maintain good and responsive communication with you.
Firstly, make sure that ground rules are set and that both parties comprehend the commitment period and requirements before the lesson takes place. Students who find difficulty in their schoolwork on a daily basis may have to clarify with the tutor on whether questions can be asked outside of lessons via WhatsApp. Most tutors are flexible about this, but there are some who might not be agreeable. Some parents also have certain specific objectives and results that they expect tutors to be able to fulfil; by a certain deadline. Parents also commonly ask us about the individual tutors’ teaching style / method, as they might want the lessons to be carried out a certain way. It is paramount that both parties see eye-to-eye on these matters and have a clear mutual understanding of what is expected (eg. weekly lesson plans / tests / updates) from the tutor. To foster better communication, MindFlex offers to facilitate phone-call interviews as well, so that these questions can be directly channeled to the tutor before any commitment is sealed.
Lastly, remember to establish whether the time-slot given is a fixed slot or it can be arranged to one’s flexibility. This is often a point that leads to misunderstanding. Tutors have many students on-hand and continue to take up new ones along the way, thus making it difficult for many of them to work around new time slots that students may need to change to. Establish whether the lesson arrangements should go through the parent, or the student, and also determine how often should the student’s progress be updated to the parent.
Therefore, to avoid misunderstandings and foster a better working relationship with your tutor, the key is to have more open and regular communication.
Advice #2 – Check on the Tutor’s Current Student Base and Past Track Records
Many tutors can teach across various levels such as both Primary and Secondary levels, and across various subjects too. We would advise parents to find home tutors who are currently teaching students of the same level as their children, or who have had recent experience with it.
Finding a home tutor who is currently teaching (or recently taught) other students that are of the same level as your children determines that they are more up-to-date with the current syllabus, as well as being able to acquire relevant materials and resources. It is important to find a home tutor who is proficient and well-versed with the school’s current syllabus and contents to be able to help your child effectively. Not only can he/she be able to share good exam tips, they are familiar with the current exam question types and can provide commonly-tested exam questions. Another bonus that parents can look out for is to engage tutors who are currently teaching or have taught students from the same school as their child. The learning style and homework might be similar and thus the tutor might be able to be more familiar in handling your child this way.
Every parent hopes for only the best for their children and has their best interest at heart. At MindFlex, we would always recommend tutor candidates who fulfill these criteria, as we understand parents’ concerns about safety (as lessons are held at their homes) and information credibility – especially on tutors’ qualifications and years of experience.
Advice #3 – Check Your Budget and Purpose of Tuition
We often come across cases where parents miscalculate how much to allocate to their children’s home tuition expenses. After engaging their selected tutor for perhaps 1-2 lessons, some of these parents then realise that the lessons too costly for them to upkeep, thus ending up having to terminate tuition prematurely before the tutor can produce any results. Therefore, before we embark on finding a home tutor for parents, we would always check on their budget to recommend the best tutor type for them. Here is the list of market rates that one can expect for the different types of tutors, ranging from part-time tutors, undergraduates, full-time tutors as well as an ex or current MOE teachers.
Now, the next question that parents will ponder upon when choosing the right tutor for their child – What is the difference between the 3 tutor types and why are we being charged differently as according to these categories? Tutors quote their personal rates and charge according to their years of experience, as well as their personal capabilities.
Part-time tutors are mostly University undergraduates or fresh graduates with 1 to 3 years of tutoring experience. Their rates are usually affordable as they may not be trained professionals per say, but are definitely able to guide your child adequately with their own first-hand schooling experience. Most of our part-time tutors are young and are able to relate very well to your child, and thus would be best in building great rapport with your child. They will be able to understand the struggles that your child faces in school because of their young age and give good advice on how to cope with them. This builds trust between tutor and student; your child would be able to open up without being afraid, resulting in a more comfortable tuition experience for him/her. Some of these part-time tutors may also have experience interning at certain MOE schools as relief teachers or working part-time at tuition centres during their holidays, so this would provide invaluable and relevant skills that are transferrable for home tuition. If your child is doing well at school and would just need some guidance or consultation sessions to brush up on his concepts and clear doubts, Part-time tutors might be sufficient and cost-effective for this purpose.
Full-time tutors, on the other hand, are professionals who give tuition on a full-time basis, with usually at least 5 years of tutoring experience. They are highly experienced and up-to-date with the MOE syllabus. Most of our full-time tutors are University graduates, and as they have adopted this as their professional career, they are able to provide you with the highest commitment level out of the 3 tutor types. On top of this, these tutors would most probably take on the personal responsibility of crafting their own personal materials, worksheets and notes. Many of these tutors have their own resource bank, constituting past year exam papers from various schools across Singapore. These materials would thus come as a handy source of practice for your child, which he/her would not be able to acquire on his/her own. Part-time tutors, mostly being undergraduates who take on tutoring to earn extra pocket money for their own school fees, would probably not have these collated materials. If your child is suffering in his/her studies, MindFlex would recommend that a full-time tutor may be more suitable for you as they would be equipped with the necessary professional experience and resources needed to guide your child to excellence.
The last tutor type that is available for your child would be MOE Teachers, who are NIE trained and certified. They are either currently teaching in schools, or they used to teach previously in schools but have left the service (often to focus on giving 1-1 private tuition, actually!). With their teaching qualification, Ex/Current MOE Teachers naturally cost the most amongst the 3 tutor types. One might ask, “Are they necessarily better? Are they worth the high rates?” MindFlex would say yes, to a certain extent, because of these 4 basic reasons:
1) They have pursued a Diploma / Degree / Postgraduate Degree at the National Institute of Education, meaning that they have clocked in years of learning and training on all the various teaching pedagogy and methods. They are all qualified, meaning that they have passed the “test” on having the fundamental skills and knowledge on being a teacher.
2) They are trained and specialised in their own individual subject, meaning that you would be able to hire an expert on a particular subject your child needs in. Some of our tutors are even subject HODs and would be able to provide great specialised tips!
3) They have been attached as full-time teachers to 1 or more schools, and thus have plenty of years in classroom teaching experience. This has resulted in them teaching hundreds of students over the years. They know the curriculum well, and are able to observe specific areas / topics that students face difficulties in.
4) They have marked test scripts and exam papers on numerous occasions. These MOE teachers are trained and aware of the local exam requirements and marking rubrics. This is extremely useful for home tuition as they able to pick out on keywords or skills that your child needs to adopt in his/her answers, in order to score well! Here at MindFlex, we even have teachers who are/were previously PSLE paper or oral markers, so engaging them would provide some really handy advice for your child!
Given all the above information, remember to consider your budget as well as your child’s needs and the main objective of having home tuition in the first place. This will enable you to successfully pick the best tutor type and to avoid any last-minute termination. Repetitive change of tutors can be unhealthy for your child and should be avoided as far as possible. Once they have formed a bond with the tutor, any discontinuation might disrupt their studying momentum and also affect their morale and confidence.
Advice #4 – Qualifications & Past Grades of Home Tutors
Another advice that we have for you is to find a home tutor who has personally scored remarkably well in their National Exams, for the subjects that they teach. For example, if you are searching for a tutor to teach O-Levels English, selecting a tutor who scored A1 for his/her O-Levels English would come with many advantages. His/her proven excellence would be an indication of expertise to help your child greatly in the subject.
If the tutor has a Diploma/Degree in a field relevant to the subject taught, it would certainly benefit the student more as well, as this shows their passion and interest to excel in that specific field.
When hiring an MOE Teacher, make sure that he/she has an official NIE Qualification and relevant school teaching experience. At MindFlex, we can provide all this information in our tutor profiles, as well as request for them to send over a soft copy of their NIE certifications or bring over the hard copy on the first day of lessons. We will be able to highlight these important points out to you for your perusal, to guide you to make an informed decision.
Advice #5 – Choose A Reliable Home Tuition Agency
If you do not know where to start finding a home tutor, you can always start your search by contacting a home tuition agency. It is important to choose a reliable home tuition agency who has a large tutor pool like MindFlex Home Tuition. An established agency like ours will be able to provide you with a wide array of selections, as well as the best tutor profiles available in the market.
It is also important that agencies provide you with a list of candidates rather than forcing one tutor on you. In engaging us, we would be giving you a number of tutors to choose from, as well as recommend those of whom other parents have previously chosen and whom we have given successful assignments to. The information provided on the profiles must also be accurate and updated as much as possible, with important bio-data such as ‘Age, Years of Experience, Education and Job Experience’. Here at MindFlex, we will constantly strive to provide you with the most up to date information as possible. Through the tutors’ profiles, you will also be able to determine the number of students they have taught, their teaching methods, etc. and hopefully help you to deduce on the most potentially suitable tutor for your child.
If you are unsure of which candidate to choose, you can always approach the agency with further questions (we can help to you to contact the tutors and ask your questions too) and opinions because they would have had prior working experiences with these tutors, and sometimes even have some testimonials written by previous parents.
Conclusion – Start Finding A Suitable Home Tutor for Your Child
Mindflex Home Tuition is Singapore #1 Home Tuition Agency, and we offer a range of tutors accommodated to suit your child’s academic needs. Your child will be able to derive learning strategies, gain good study and exam tips as well as receive individualised attention.
Parents play a crucial role in their child’s learning process and whatever support you provide to your child would be of utmost importance. If you find yourself lacking time to aid your child in his work, investing the time and cost to engage and find a home tutor would be a very good option to consider. With the compounded guidance from you and your child’s tutor, he/she will learn how to think and learn independently, and eventually pave the way to his/her own future academic success.
If you are interested in finding a suitable home tutor, once again do feel free to contact us and we will be more than willing to provide you with our list of tutors, based on your requirements with no obligations involved.
If you are interested in more articles related to Private Home Tuition, here are links to other original articles for you to enjoy:
Private Home Tuition vs Tuition Centre – 8 Reasons To Choose Home Tutors
Private Home Tutor – 7 Reasons Why Tuition Is A Worthwhile Investment
How To Study & Remember Better? Top 5 Memorisation Tips from Private Tutors in Singapore