Advice for Students or Parents

Safety

Because the private tutoring market is unregulated, there is possibility for unsafe individuals to operate under the name of tutors. Whether you're choosing tutoring at your own home, at tutor's home, or meeting in a library or a public location such as a coffee shop, safety must be your first priority. The most important advice is to never meet a tutor alone the first time.

If you are visiting a tutor at their home for the first time, make sure that you have already spoken to them on the phone, and you have a basic knowledge about the tutor. Ask if anyone else is going to be there while the lesson is taking place. Take your mobile phone with yourself, tell a friend or family member where you are going, who you are meeting and your expected return time. Try to arrange the first lesson during the day light and ask a friend or family member to accompany you during the lesson.

If you expect a tutor to meet you at your own home, make sure you're providing a safe environment for the tutor. Similarly, it is recommended to talk to the tutor over the phone before arranging the lesson at your home. Ask several questions to get to know the tutor, let your family or friend know who is visiting you and when. Let the tutor know if anyone else is going to be present at your home while the private lesson is in progress. For the first session ask a friend or an adult family member to be present at your home.

A DBS/CRB (Disclosure and Barring Service) is not compulsory by law for self-employed tutors, nevertheless it is advisable, particularly if the student is under 18 years old. Students aged under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or an adult family member to the teacher's house. All students under the age of 16 should also be accompanied by a parent or guardian during scheduled private lesson.

Suitability

By checking tutors' profile you will be able to see their qualifications, degrees, nature and length of experience each tutor holds, nevertheless you are still encouraged to communicate with the tutors, inquire about their field of expertise and ask relevant questions to assess their efficiency and competence.

Reliability

While the way a tutor expresses themselves on their profile and career portfolio is usually a sign of their commitment, their approach during initial communication and the way they conduct themselves during the first meeting is often an indicator of their reliability.

It is usually expected that a potential tutor to respond to a message within a reasonable time frame. Of course, there is always possibility of unexpected circumstances or an extremely busy schedule which restricts a tutor to respond to the message in an acceptable time, however in most cases it is expected that a potential tutor to respond within 24 hours. Following the initial successful communication, the subsequent contacts should normally take shorter time to be acknowledged. However, if the initial enquiry takes longer than expected and the student has to follow with the second message and further waiting time, this is usually a sign that the tutor is unavailable or not interested, thus better to look for another tutor. Tutor's punctuality, presentation, dedication and interaction during the first session are also indicators of reliability.

Comfort

To have effective private tutoring, it is important to ensure that the student is comfortable with the tutor. While for many students age or gender of the tutor is not important, some students feel more comfortable with a female or a male, or a younger or older tutor. If you are a parent, it is recommended to engage your child in the process of choosing the tutor.

Attitude and personality

While qualification, degree and experience are the most important factors in choosing a tutor, personality and character match are also important. When the tutor's personality is compatible with that of the student and there is a bond between them, the learning progress is often much faster. Students generally admire teachers with good personality, which leads to better communication, understanding, and ultimately better results. Sometimes a small degree of personality conflict may exist between tutor and student, especially during the first few sessions, however a flexible and experienced tutor should be able to recognize and resolve it immediately. If the conflict is significant during the initial lesson or a minor conflict intensifies during the first few sessions, it would be better to look for another tutor.

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London,
United Kingdom

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