History of tutoring No ratings yet.

Tutoring as a way to compliment traditional teaching approaches has been around for centuries. In fact, tutoring is one of the oldest teaching methods, dating back to the ancient Greeks, which used to educate their children by getting them together in small groups to exchange knowledge and discuss topics.

The Socratic method, for instance, named after its inventor, is a way of questioning students in order to help them arrive at the right answer themselves. It’s a form of teaching that allows the student to explore a topic and use their previous knowledge to find the correct answer. Aristotle, just like Socrates, was well known tutor and, in fact, was referred to by many as “The First Teacher”.

Following the example, set by the ancient Greeks, tutoring was one of the most preferred teaching techniques, employed during the Middle Ages. Children of wealthy families would be scheduled for one-to-one tutoring sessions with well-known scientists and teachers, while students from poorer families would often become apprentices to learn about a particular skill or craft during a similar one-to-one session. Even the knights would initially start off as squires, serving a single knight so they can learn the craft from an expert.

With the development of education and the appearance of first formalized educational institutions, tutoring still remained an important way of learning. Most of the textbooks during colonial times were written in Latin, so students who wished to study a particular subject, would take courses in Latin, often in one-to-one tutoring sessions. Many of the students that were accepted in renowned universities were not academically ready for the challenging course programs and would turn to tutoring in order to succeed.

Today, tutoring is an efficient way to learn more, or focus on a particular subject, available to students from all levels of education. It helps master basic skills such as math or reading, can help explore a variety of subjects in more depth, and also enrich the horizon and common knowledge of the pupils.

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Characteristics of a Good Tutor No ratings yet.

Knowing the subject material is important. On top of qualifications, there are certain qualities that the great tutors possess which have nothing to do with any type of certification.

1. Patience

Regardless of how skilled or knowledgeable you are, if you lack the patience to transfer that knowledge, you simply cannot be a good tutor. Excellent tutors know that each student learn at their own pace and sometimes, the most difficult pupils are the ones that hold the greatest potential – if you have the patience to wait and see.

2. Make people comfortable around you

The ability to put others at ease is an essential characteristic of every good tutor. In order to learn, one needs to feel comfortable. The best tutors are able to have a friendly, casual conversation with their pupils which puts the students’ minds at ease and motivate them to learn.

3. Passion

Sure, you are an expert in your field, but do you feel passionate about it? If you really want to be a great tutor, you need to have passion. You can always spot the good tutor just by the look in their eyes and the way they talk about their subject. Someone who loves what they teach is the one who can motivate you enough to learn.

4. People skills

Last but not least, the good tutor will care about their students. They’ll address each and every one with their full and undivided attention and a special, personalized approach. The good tutor knows how to address each student and how to work with them in order to achieve best results. Tutoring is, after all, a noble profession that involves not only the ability to teach others, but the desire to do it.


About MyGradeBooster Vancouver Tutoring Services

MyGradeBooster is an award winning academic tutoring company, providing in home tutoring services to grades K-12 in Vancouver, BC. We work with the best Vancouver tutors to guide students towards academic success.


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The Goal of Canadian High Schools for University Bound Students No ratings yet.


What is the goal of high school in the 21st century? Since a high school diploma seems no longer sufficient for even the lower level jobs, the goal of high school is to prepare students and give them the tools to pursue their passion after graduation- whatever that passion may be. The goal of high school is not simply to get the grades to get into university. Even if it is a great short term goal, students need to see the real picture and be able to set long term goals for themselves.

Getting into university is hard – staying in it is harder. Many kids are not adequately prepared for university. Around one-third of students find their studies ‘really stressful’, partly because they are not accustomed to the academic rigours of university, said James Cote, a sociology professor at the University of Western Ontario.

Easy grading in primary and secondary school and less testing is not in students’ favour, especially for those who want to pursue a university degree. With a more accurate representative of their grades, students can make better decisions for their post high school studies as well as prepare to achieve their long term goals.

According to a Persistence in Post Secondary Education in Canada report, about 14 per cent of the first year students drop out (versus 16% overall). Youth In Transition Survey (YITS) results suggested that the drop outs are due to students’ struggling to meet assignment and test deadlines, struggle with academic performance, and lack of study habits in their first year classes. Within the course of a semester majority of students see their grades fall, often dramatically, and those who used to be top high school students get hit the hardest. “The business program or engineering program that they thought they were going to pursue [is] not an option for them anymore,” said Brock University economist Felice Martinello who co-authored a study on the changes in grades between high school and first-year university.

The skills that students who plan to go into university need to master are note taking, time management, exam preparation, and exam taking skills. Students need to be prepared to take good notes while sitting in large classes with one professor speaking at the front of the lecture hall; they need to learn time management skills to keep up with the large amount of material covered in a short amount of time. Students, especially those pursuing sciences and engineering fields, need to be prepared and comfortable with having majority of their marks come from a midterm and a final exam. That’s the reality of an undergraduate program at a university and yet so few students are prepared for it.

Students who are passionate about going into university to continue their education need to train to become disciplined learners during their high school years. They need to become comfortable with being tested as a form of assessment – to see it as an opportunity to showcase their knowledge rather than as a stressful event. They need to learn to manage their anxiety and become confident test takers. More importantly, they need to train to adopt a competitive view where the only person they are competing with is themselves – to be the best they can be at any given time.



Mehrnaz Bassiri, M.Sc.

MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services

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Canada – The Only G8 Country without a Federal Ministry of Education No ratings yet.


Canada is the only G8 country that does not have a Ministry of Education at a Federal level. We have Health Canada for issues related to our health. We have the Department of National Defence for our protection. But for education, we do not have such a federally regulated system. Elementary and secondary education in Canada is a provincial responsibility and each province is responsible for its own curriculum and method of assessing K-12 students.

This creates inconsistencies in our school systems. On one hand we have Alberta, where the amount of material covered and the frequency of testing is higher than some other provinces. I completed grades 7-12 in Alberta schools where midterms and final exams in all of the core subjects – math, chemistry, physics, biology, English, and social studies are mandatory. Grade 12 students in Alberta must write mandatory diploma exams in all the core subjects and these exams are worth 50% of their entire grade. Imagine being sick with the flu or stressed because your parents got into a fight on your exam day! A lot of kids have lost their admission offers from universities because of one poor test mark.

On the other hand we have BC schools with less material covered in the curriculum, and less midterms, final and provincial exams. On top of that, some teachers are more generous towards re-tests and extra credits than others.

Our education system does not allow for a consistent and accurate comparison between two students unless those students go to the exact same school and have the exact same teachers.

In 2012 UBC introduced their new broad-based admissions process. In addition to high school grades, applicants are required to submit supplemental material description experiences outside of their academics. Andre Arida, UBC’s director of undergraduate admissions explained to Ubyssey that high numbers of applicants, competition and grade inflation pushed the university to look for alternative ways of measuring an applicant’s preparedness: “Hopefully, in the long run, we get students who are more likely to be engaged on campus”.

The Ministry of Education in some provinces are currently undergoing curricula re-design and placing more emphasis on collaboration, engagement, and creativity. With this change, consolidation of curricula, harmonization of assessments, and equal standard of education across the country becomes even more important since placing grades on ‘creativity’ or ‘engagement’ is subjective.

A true consistency and fairness among all students ensure that all students are assessed based on the exact same curriculum and assessment criteria in all school districts in all provinces across Canada.  It is only then that we can accurately compare the grades of a student to one that has a different teacher, or is in a different school or province.

As for what parents can do to ensure their kids succeed in higher education is to be active in their learning and/or seek supplemental services to ensure that their children are appropriately prepared for life after high school.  About 14 per cent of first-year university students drop out, according to the Persistence in Post-Secondary Education Canada report that analyzed data from Statistics Canada Youth in Transition Survey. The overall post-secondary drop out rate, however, was about 16 per cent, suggesting that those who are going to drop out, do so early on due lack of preparation for the workload in university. With this in mind, the goal for high school students should not be to merely score high grades to gain acceptance into the university or college of their choice. It is equally important that students who wish to seek higher education are trained to be disciplined learners who perform well under pressure and are comfortable being challenged and tested.


Mehrnaz Bassiri, M.Sc.

MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services

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B.C. teachers’ strike drags on with no end in sight No ratings yet.

As the teachers’ strike continues it becomes more and more important to ensure your child is mentally stimulated.  After the two month summer holidays, it is essential that students continue learning while waiting for school to start. Here are some ways to keep students learning during the B.C. teachers’ strike.

1. Set aside learning time at home

Purchase a workbook and set aside a routine schedule for your student to learn every day.  Help them hone their independent learning skills by keeping them accountable to their learning schedule.  Students should go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up early in the morning to start the day. Treat the strike as an independent study skills development rather than an extended summer holiday.

2. Consider day camps

Registering your children at day camps is another way to keep them socializing, giving them a routine daily schedule, as well as ensuring they continue their learning process while being away from school.  Many day camps also offer academic enrichment programs in math and sciences. Use the government funding of $40 a day  to subsidize the cost of day camps.

3. Register for private tutoring

Hiring a private tutor is another way to keep children stimulated and learning. In home tutoring services send a private tutor right to your home and they will work with your individual schedule to find the best time for tutoring lessons. You may also supplement your child’s independent learning with a few hours of tutoring sessions for better results.

There are a variety of educational programs available throughout Vancouver and B.C. during the teachers’ strike.  Encourage independent learning and use the government funding to supplement their learning routine with different activities and private tutoring.



-MyGradeBooster Vancouver Tutoring Services

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NEWS: BC Teacher’s strike No ratings yet.

NEWS: BC Teacher’s strike

Our director and dedicated Vancouver  tutors are ready to support students and their parents during the teachers’ strike. We are home schooling and teaching students the BC school curriculum.  We use regular assessment and progress tracking to be sure that your child is understanding the material fully so that they continue to learn and do not fall behind in their education. Call us to discuss your needs.

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Research Findings on Brain Development No ratings yet.

Research about how our brain develops from childhood to adulthood shows that:

Brain development depends on both our genes and our environment

Both nature and nurture are important in brain development. We are born with the main circuits in place but it is actually our environment (our nutrition, stimulation from our surroundings, relationships with others) that wires and connects these circuits together into synapses.


Our early experiences have a big role in brain development.

The number of circuit connections we form in our early years depend on what stimulations we are exposed, how often we are exposed to them, and when we were exposed to them. Early positive and warm interactions with parents, caregivers, and family members are important for us to equip ourselves to deal with stress effectively.


 There are windows of opportunity for learning.

Although we are are learning all the time as we are exposed to new stimulations and situation, there are certain windows of opportunity through out our development that specific things can be learned. For example, if you want your child to speak a second language, the best time to expose them to it is from the time they are born until about 10 years old. After that age, it gets more and more difficult as the window of opportunity has passed.


Children are better learners than adults

The density of synapses are a lot greater in children than in adults. This means they are biologically wired to learn as much as possible in their first 10 years of life!



Goleman, D. 2006. Social intelligence: The new science of human relationships. New York: Bantam Dell.

Schiller, P. 2012. Start Smart. NC:Gryphon House, Inc.


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How to create a home environment for your kids so they are not bullies? No ratings yet.

All parents want to protect their children from the school bully. But what if it’s actually your own child who is the bully? What should you do? A child who turns into a school bully has a few risk factors: bullies face frequent punishments from parents and teachers. However these punishments are not consistent and thus the child fails to learn any sort of boundaries or limits. Or, if the child feels that they are being rejected or neglected by their parents they could turn into bullying. A hectic home environment with abuse and violence is another risk factor for creating bullies.


The important point to consider is that kids look up to parents to determine what is OK and what is not OK. For example, if a parent exhibits road rage, violent behavior, or even some subtle non-verbal cues such as making a face when they see a same sex couple, kids will pick up on this and mirror that behavior.


To create a bully-free environment at home, use effective monitoring and set clear boundaries. Stick to your rules like glue. Get involved in your child’s school life – help them get organized, praise them in the things they do well, help them in doing homework, keep in touch with their school teacher or even volunteer a few hours of your time at school. Ensure that there is an open and comfortable channel of communication in place between you and your kids so that they will feel comfortable speaking about any topic with you without feeling they will be judged, punished, or not accepted. Talk to your kids about tolerance and acceptance and most importantly, lead by example.


-MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services proudly serving Vancouver. We work hard to be your choice for tutoring in grades 1-12 math and sciences. Contact us for more information.

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How to be a great Vancouver tutor and make a difference in your students’ lives. No ratings yet.

Tutors may face many challenges with tutoring their students, especially if the student is demotivated, has been struggling in school for a long time, is using illegal drugs, is forced to do tutoring session by their parents, etc. There are certain tutoring methods and strategies tutors can use to overcome these tutoring challenges.


  1. Build a good relationship rapport with the student on your first tutoring session. Get to know your student, their likes and dislikes, and their home and school life. Be empathetic and gentle, rather than coming across as interrogative. Tell your student about yourself, your tutoring experience, background, likes and dislikes as well. Kids love stories.
  2. Set S.M.A.R.T goals for tutoring sessions and what the student wants to achieve. They may need your help or encouragement on getting their goals on paper, so be prepared to guide them. Make the student take ownership and feel that they are in charge of their learning. Kids want to feel independent and lead their own learning.
  3. Make sure that kids really do understand what’s going on in their course. Sometimes they will not admit they have no clue. Tutors should not ask students if they understand, instead test the student to ensure they are getting the concepts in their tutoring session. This feedback system is an important successful tutoring tool.
  4. In your teachings, remember that the more you tell them, the less they actually learn. Be sure to create a balance between lecturing and problem solving.
  5. Be positive but don’t sugarcoat your feedback. Be honest, but deliver it in a kind way. Make sure your tutoring feedback reflects something that the student can actually change – for example, more practice, better focus, etc. If there is something they cannot change then don’t mention it to them, instead talk to their parents.
  6. Start with simpler topics and once the student masters those concepts move to more difficult ones. Build their confidence through positive talk and praise.
  7. If you have tips on how they could improve their study skills or habits, such as keeping an organized binder or getting enough sleep at night let them know. Many times improved study skills and learning habits improves students’ effort, focus, and attitude.
  8. If you know your student is using drugs do not start lecturing them about the damage it will cause to their brains and life. Instead go online and show them pictures of brains that have been damaged through drug use. Speak with the student’s parents about your concern.


There is no cookie-cutter way of tutoring. Every child is unique and thus it is up to the tutor to adapt to different personalities. There are many great books and online resources on tutoring and how to be a great tutor. The common denominator with all top tutors is that they genuinely care about their students.


– MyGradeBooster Vancouver Tutoring Services

Thank you for visiting MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services of Vancouver on the web. We offer Grades 1-12. Please contact us if you have any questions about MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services. MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services proudly serves Vancouver, British Columbia and the surrounding areas. We work hard to be your choice for grades 1-12 tutoring in Vancouver!

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When does tutoring not work? No ratings yet.

When does tutoring not work?


Hiring a tutor and setting up routine tutorials has a great potential to boosting grades. However, occasionally you will hear parents saying that they did hire a tutor but the situation didn’t improve for their student. What is important to realize is that tutors are not magicians and just because parents hired a tutor doesn’t mean they found the remedy to success. If you are looking to hire a tutor, be sure to read the following points.


  1. When parents make a decision to hire a tutor, they must make sure the tutor is knowledgeable, had great interpersonal skills, and has an appropriate reference/background check. It is not easy to find great tutors. Be sure that they can break down complex topics into easy to understand, bite size pieces of information.
  2. Once you found a great tutor and start tutorial sessions it is important to choose the right number of hours/week to make sure that the tutor is not just helping your student with their school homework, but actually reinforcing concepts and information so that your student fully understands. If the tutor is only helping your student with homework then you are only masking the problem as opposed to solving it. The homework handed in by that student is not their own work and this will be evident in test/exam time. So how many hours/week should your student see their tutor? It really depends on how much improvement is desired. If the grade gap between where the student currently is and where they want to be is less than 5% then 1-1.5 hours/week is ideal for the tutor and the student to work together. If the grade gap is 5-10%, we recommend 1.5-2.5 hours/week (depending on the student’s motivation level). If the student needs more than 10% grade improvement then more time is required to not only help the student understand and do well on their homework, but also to help the student with study skills, creating learning habits and doing extra practice questions.
  3. Your student should be seeing their tutor in smaller chunks of time (1-1.5 hours) per session a few times a week rather than a big chunk of time once a week. The shorter, more frequent tutoring sessions will help your student to refresh their learning more frequently, allowing information to move into their longterm memory.


– MyGradeBooster Vancouver Tutoring Services

Thank you for visiting MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services of Vancouver on the web. We offer Grades 1-12. Please contact us if you have any questions about MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services. MyGradeBooster Tutoring Services proudly serves Vancouver, British Columbia and the surrounding areas. We work hard to be your choice for grades 1-12 tutoring in Vancouver!

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