Tag Archives: private tutors

A Different Perspective to “Teaching”

“I cannot teach you.., only help you to explore yourself.” ~ Bruce Lee

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Tutoring Guide Series: Tutoring Professionalism (continued)

ConsultAtutor professional home tutor

Mastering Tutoring Professionalism

What does it mean by being someone’s “tutor”?

First, know the definition:

A tutor is a teacher who gives additional, special or remedial instructions and often privately.

&

Professionalism is about exhibiting professional character, behaviour and spirit.

To make it simple, here’s a list of how a tutor can exhibit professionalism (the points are not in any particular order, all are important!):

  1. Be punctual for all lessons and be well-prepared. (This very much applies to all professions and jobs..)
  2. Be reasonably well-dressed in appropriate attire. Ask the guardian/ parent if they are comfortable if you really, really need to.
  3. Be responsible and accountable. (Make sure you exchange contacts with guardian/parent and inform in advance of any unforeseen events if required)
  4. Always put yourself in the tutee’s/guardian’s/parent’s shoes and try your best to accomodate if necessary.
  5. Make  sure you are available to help if necessary. Extend your help and you’ll be appreciated, especially in exam crunch time. Its all about imparting your knowledge, right?
  6. Remember to make lessons enriching, interesting and fun as much as possible!
  7. Communicate, communicate and communicate! Improve on your delivery of speech!!
  8. Discuss lesson curriculum planning with tutee. Keep the guardian/parents updated, always.
  9. In scoring As, its “No goals, no glory” not “No guts, no glory”. Hold goal setting sessions with your tutee! Set reasonable, attainable goals and paste it on the wall in front of the study desk!
  10. Analyse and know your tutee’s learning style and adapt your teaching style to suit it. Read our Tutoring Guide Series on more about this.
  11. Last but not least, know the above 10 points and you are on your way to master tutoring professionalism! =)

A point to note is that tutors could act as mentors too. Advice based on personal experience for example, on studying methods sharing and exam preparation techniques like mind mapping or memory-tagging system can certainly show how much you can make a difference in your tutee’s lives.

Make the extra mile to make lessons more fun, more enriching and more impactful to your tutee today!

Share the same traits as what is described above? You might want to know more about tutoring via ConsultAtutor.com!

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Edu-Snips Series: Type of Tutors available at ConsultAtutor.com

choosing teachers

To choose a suitable personal tutor for your child, it is best to understand what are the different classifications of tutors available before selecting one that is most suited for your child’s learning needs.

In general, there are 4 types of tutors with varying qualifications and experience- 1. Undergraduate tutors , 2. Part-time graduate tutors , 3. Full-time professional tutors and 4. Current school teachers

In detail, here are some of the descriptions and information you would require to make an informed decision. 

1. Undergraduate tutors: Tutors in this category are mostly tertiary students in polytechnic and universities. As they are still pursuing their education, they are able to understand the present demands of the competitive education environment very well and are usually able to form a close rapport with the student. They are clear about the latest syllabus and model their teaching style well according to the latest trends e.g. incorporating e-Learning as teaching aids during lessons.  Undergraduate tutors mostly have minimum above average qualifications to scholars on the top end. In general, they teach on average 1 to 5 students a year and have teaching experience ranging from 1 to 5 years accumulated from peer tutoring experience in schools, private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

2. Part-time graduate tutors: Tutors in this category are mostly qualified graduates/ professionals who teach part-time tutoring 1 to 1 or in tuition centres. They are generally more experienced than undergraduate tutors in terms of number of years taught and are clear about the latest syllabus granted that they have been consistently teaching after graduation. Also, as they are more mature, they are able to effectively act as a mentor to some students and even share their real-life working experiences if relevant to subject taught. Excellent ones usually have stellar track records with previous students. Part-time graduate tutors have minimum qualifications of a diploma, degree, Masters degree or Doctorate.  In general, they teach on average 1 to 3 students a year and have teaching experience ranging from 1 to 5 years accumulated mainly from private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

3. Full-time professional tutors: Full-time professional tutors mainly consists of ex-school teachers and full-time graduate tutors. They teach private tuition as a profession and are highly experienced. They communicate with students very well and are able to identify learning styles or weaknesses in different types of students easily. As they focus only on teaching unlike school teachers who have to handle administrative tasks, full time professional tutors are highly focused in providing the best customised curriculum to each student as they spend all their tutorial time teaching. They know the latest syllabus like the back of their hand as they teach day in day out usually to quite a number of students of the same level and subject. Qualifications-wise, they range from Diploma holders mainly teaching Primary students to Graduates, NIE trained Graduates and Doctorates who teach Primary, Secondary, Junior College and Tertiary students. In general, they teach on average 8 to 15 students a year (1 to 1 not incl. small group tuition or class tuition in tuition centres) and have teaching experience ranging from 3 to 30 years accumulated mainly from school teaching (ex-school teachers), private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

4. Current school teachers: Current school teachers are teachers teaching in schools but give tuition enthusiastically to a selected few out of their free time. They are familiar with the trends such as syllabus and examination settings changes. They are trained in National Institute of Education (NIE) and have been certified to possess relevant skills to teach effectively.  In general, they teach on average 1 to 2 students a year due to their busy schedule and have teaching experience ranging from 5 to 30 years accumulated mainly from school teaching and private 1 to 1 tutoring.

Just a point to note: The rates of the tutors are in general increasing in order from 1 to 4.

Now that you are clear on the type of tutors available, we hope you will be able to make an informed decision at ConsultAtutor.com!

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Know your child’s predominant learning type: V,A,R or K?

Ever wondered why when you are back in Primary school some teachers want the class to read a passage aloud, take part in numerous role plays, learn new words using big pictorial cards and why when you are in Secondary school some teachers seem to “teach less” and allow you and your classmates to take more charge in the learning process by organising more group discussions etc.?

If you haven’t realise it, educators-teachers and tutors love to explore various teaching styles to suit the student’s learning style such that the delivery method and style bring about the most effect in a student’s learning. At various stages of a child’s education, pedagogies like assessment styles and delivery methods differ greatly. Hence, it is important for you to understand your child or student’s (if you are a tutor) predominant learning type in order for learning to be most effective in terms of skills vis a vis academic results.

In general according to Fleming’s VAK/VARK model, there are 4 types of learning styles:
1. Visual learners
2. Auditory learners
3. Reading/ writing -preference learners
4. Kinesthetic learners

In summary,

1. Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing and learn better via visual aids like diagrams, mindmaps, slides, animation etc.

 2. Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening and learn better via lectures, group discussions, audio-cds, podcasts etc.

3. Reading/ writing preference learners prefer to learn by reading or writing and learn better via  jotting down notes, preparing summary sheets, reading prepared handouts etc.

4. Kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by experience and learn better via hands-on projects, science experiments, labwork etc.

Teachers who conduct classes for a number of students can identify and implement various methods of instruction to suit the class in general or a ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutor can customise tutorials (delivery methods and teaching aids) specially for your child/student’s learning type after a period of observation.

Know more about your student/child’s predominant learning type today! I’m a V type. How about you? Share with us by taking part in the poll below or if you are unsure, try finding it out by doing this questionnaire before polling.

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How much does private tuition help? – The economist’s view

lineargraphOr  concavegraph  ??

 In Singapore, everyone knows how much emphasis is placed on education and the importance of having a quality education. This results in stiff competition for all major examinations as students work their socks off to vie for places in either top schools or the school of their choice.

Private tuition has already become a social norm in Singapore, but just how much does private tuition help? Well, we would say that it depends on many factors that are unique to each child. In general, some of the factors could be:

1. Character and learning style (visual/ auditory/ kinesthetic)- more on this in the next part of our EduSnips series

2. Level of knowledge in the subject

3. Learning pace

4. Setting (E.g. One-to-One tuition or in class) 

5. Delivery medium or delivery method preferred

Some other factors in rather more “tangible” terms would require backing by research and studies. In fact, a recent Straits Times article by a NUS economist has even looked into how private tuition expenditure is correlated to performance in examinations. Based on  2 separate studies of students in Hong Kong schools and South Korean high school students in national university admissions test, the findings are as summarised:

1. Higher proportion of students in higher forms received private tuition

2. Higher proportion of students with higher-educated parents received tuition

3. On average, 10% increase in expenditure on private tuition improved test performance by 0.56 percentile

4. Based on 2008 PSLE students admitted to secondary schools data, spending on private tuition to increase test score by 0.56 percentile would make a difference between being on borderline and being at top of cohort of admitted students to a particular top school.

(Png, 2010)

This interesting article  reveals studies done by various academics backed with measurable metrics gives a different viewpoint on “exactly” how much does private tuition help. You can read the entire article here and some of the community’s comments here.

Excerpt from:

Ivan Png. (July 1, 2010). StraitsTimes. In Ask: NUS Economists. Retrieved July 13, 2010, from http://bit.ly/cvh6If

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