Common myths in tutoring / hiring tutors
Myth #1: Tutors need to be certified teachers.
Tutoring is very different from classroom teaching, and requires very different skills. It’s important to understand that “certified teachers” (only a requirement for teaching in public schools, not private, religious or independent schools) have been trained to teach to a group of students. Much of their training includes managing classrooms, being familiar with public school regulations and ethics like how to be inclusive with all students. Very few skills they learn in their teachers’ training are important for doing tutoring. In the study done on Teacher’s Effectiveness, Hay McBer (2000) Research into Teacher Effectiveness: A Model of Teacher Effectiveness. Norwich:HM Stationery Office, it was found that “pupil progress outcomes are affected more by a teacher’s skills and professional characteristics than by factors such as their sex, qualifications, or experience.”
At MyGradeBooster, we believe that good teachers are those who are good communicators, are passionate, patient, friendly, cheerful, and know their stuff; not just those who hold teaching degrees. We believe that just having a teaching certificate does not make you good at tutoring. We know what it takes to be a top notch high school math, chemistry, physics, science and biology tutor and we only hire those who can teach.
Myth #2: To save money look for the cheapest hourly rate possible.
So many families have thrown away money thinking they were getting a good deal. There is no way to know the total cost of tutoring based on the tutor’s hourly rate. The reason for this is when you have a better tutor, you use fewer hours of tutoring. Often, not only can a tutor who charges more end up being cheaper in the long run, but can keep you from wasting your time and money. Bad tutors may also result in even lower confidence in your child and this can make the situation much worse than before you hired a tutor.
Myth #3: You should wait until the situation is bad enough that you need serious help before looking into a tutor.
Most students only need up to 1.5 or 2 hours of tutoring per week. But, by the time the decision to get a tutor is made, most students are so far behind that it’s just impossible to catch up and keep up in just an hour per week. Also, most courses, especially math and sciences are cumulative, which means you need to understand this year in order to understand next year’s stuff. If you have waited years to get a tutor, just imagine the amount catching up the student will need to do to gain a strong foundation in what has been covered.
Myth #4: Tutoring will take a lot of time. We are too busy with extracurricular activities.
Hiring a tutor can actually save time, so you can get on with volunteering, sports activities, or whatever you do best. Sure, you will need to set aside time for tutoring. Most high achieving students set academic achievement top on their list of priorities. Some short term sacrifices may need to be made to your social life if you really do want to improve, but the long term success will be worth it. From the other side, think of all the time you will not have to spend trying to figure things out on your own!
Myth #5: My child only needs a tutor during the school year.
Students lose approximately 2 months’ worth of learning over the summer. Also, starting school after a long break makes it harder to get into the school mode and pick up where they left off. The only way to prevent this loss is to continue instruction while your child is not in school. Only 1-1.5 hours of tutoring a week during the summer holidays can make a significant difference in how well your child adapts to the new school year.