Teacher or Tutor? 7 Reasons you might want a Teacher-tutor

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Owl Tutors

August 24th, 2022Last updated: July 4th, 2023

In this article, Cecilia sets out her reasons why qualified teachers make excellent personal tutors. An experienced teacher and private tutor herself, she is well placed to set out the top reasons for working with an education professional.

The term ‘tutor’ can encompass a very wide range of instructors and educators, from those with a few years more experience of school than the student to those with professional qualifications and years of teaching experience.

Likewise, the cost of tutoring can vary enormously.

Is it worth paying a premium to ensure your child’s tutor is a qualified teacher?

What are the benefits of a Teacher-Tutor?

Time with a tutor is valuable – the hours your child spends one-to-one with their tutor is a fraction of their learning time and the learning covered should offer excellent value in terms of moving them forward – building up from their starting point and consolidating new learning.

1. Teachers are trained to assess the quality of learning

A qualified teacher will assess strengths and areas for development with an accuracy based on understanding the expected levels of attainment for your child’s specific needs, e.g. entrance exam or public exam.

They will be able to do this initially in a focused and expert way, without wasting precious learning time.

They will be able to continue to assess learning throughout the lesson through the spoken and written responses of your child. 

They will have been trained to constantly check that your child has understood their new learning points by asking them to demonstrate understanding rather than just agree that they have understood.

They will be looking for solid evidence of understanding.

A qualified teacher will use this continuous assessment to constantly tweak the content of the lesson and ensure gaps are filled, weak areas are supported and content is covered.  

2. Teachers are trained to plan lessons/tutorials thoroughly

Teachers are trained to become experts in designing lesson content which is relevant and useful, geared up to exam success and delivered in a way which suits the individual student’s learning style. Knowing a subject inside out is not enough. A lesson has to be engaging and pitched at the right level to ensure learning is effective.

3. Teachers are Subject Experts

A qualified teacher will have experience of the curriculum in their area  – and the skills your child needs to perform well within it.

They will have deep familiarity and experience of teaching using a wide range of strategies, and will know when one isn’t working and how to move on quickly to another if that is the case. 

4. Teachers abide by Professional Standards

By ensuring your tutor is a qualified teacher, you are much more likely to get a tutor who comes with a high degree of professionalism – one who understands how to work one to one with your child appropriately, safely and mindfully.

Your tutor will have been trained on how to speak to a child who is perhaps struggling with a learning point in a way which builds their confidence and supports positivity.

5. Teachers guide learning

They will have a wealth of experience in gently bringing a child’s focus to their learning and ensure that not too much time is lost during the lesson by a smart child who would rather chat about their favourite dinosaur than work on comprehension! 

6. Teachers are accountable

A qualified teacher will have been trained to understand the importance of reporting back to the parent accurately and accurately.

All teachers are accountable as professionals for the delivery of their lessons and tutorials. Like most professions, teaching has its own framework for professional standards, which teachers must abide by.

They will be used to listening reflectively to any feedback of their lessons and be willing not only to justify their work with your child, but also be prepared to develop and if necessary tweak their own teaching style to support student progress. 

7. Teachers are education and assessment experts

Teachers are trained to support their students to use new learning in different contexts, to transfer new learning from the one to one lesson at home to school, exams and beyond.

They are trained to support a student to continue their learning outside the lesson, to seek learning opportunities and to use them.

They are able to advise with experience on issues such as choosing good reading books, ways to develop vocabulary as a family and ways to build numeracy skills into daily life. 

The wide range of students a qualified teacher will have already worked with means they are more likely to avoid making snap judgements or assumptions based on only their own experience as learners. 

For older students who will be sitting public examinations, it is essential that they are familiar with the examination requirements and not just subject knowledge. Many teachers are examiners for GCSE and A level exam boards as well as IB assessors. Equally, all teachers will be used to assessing their classes work regularly, so will have a thorough understanding of the expected level required to succeed.

Teacher v Tutor? Why not both!

We have set some reasons why we think teachers make excellent tutors. Like working with any professional however, this can often be a more expensive choice.

Although retaining a qualified teacher to tutor your child may be more expensive initially, you are very likely to get better value for money and a greater ‘return’ in terms of progress during the time your child spends in tutoring. 

If you would like to work with an Owl Tutor, all of whom are experienced and fully qualified teachers, please get in touch!

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