A pal of mine is looking for a job and because she has two young kids at home, I recommended that she explores the option of being a tutor and conducting lessons in her home.
I was a tutor for many years (on a part-time basis) since my NUS days because it’s good money and I do love teaching (some) kids. I’d be lying if I said I loved teaching ALL of them because there are some who will make you want to tear your hair out. I’ll share some tips for parents who are hiring tutors for their children at the end of this post. 🙂
But first… ever wondered how parents find tutors for their children?
Do a Google search for “Singapore Home Tuition” and you’ll see over 3.2 million results! If you are still not convinced by media reports about the booming local ‘tuition industry’, do a simple Google search and be amazed.
With so many agencies and so many choices, as a parent, how do you determine which agency to engage and which tutor to hire?
Thankfully, I’m not a parent and have no such worries. However, I do know of a site which recommends only MOE teachers (whether they are current or ex-teachers).
I’m not saying that MOE teachers are better than other tutors (e.g. undergrads) though. ‘Cos I’ve been a tutor myself, and a pretty good one too! 😛
If you have a preference for certified teachers, then you might want to check out this site: http://www.schtutors.com/
Established in 2008, SchTutors is said to be the sole tuition agency in Singapore that recommends only MOE current and ex-school teachers to parents. SchTutors also guarantees that the tutor is a current or ex-school teacher – the administrative fee will be refunded if the tutor doesn’t have the stated qualifications! Thus, some of their clients include school principals and tuition centres!
Go ahead and check out their testimonial section, rates, FAQ, etc. 🙂
And since I’ve been a tutor myself, I have some tips for parents who want to get the most out of the tuition fees they pay tutors…
Tips For Parents Engaging Tutors
- Provide as much information about your child as possible, so tuition agencies can find you the most suitable tutor. Also, the tutor can come prepared. For instance, if you share that your child needs help with grammar, the tutor can prepare more grammar exercises.
- Treat the tutor as a guest in your home, whenever possible. If it’s a hot day, offer the tutor a glass of cold water or juice. I’ve been offered bread, cake, soft drinks, etc. And it really makes the session more enjoyable. I won’t even mind giving the child an extra 30 or 45 minutes of my time because the parents have been so sweet to me. 😀
- Pay your child’s tutor on time! I cannot emphasize this more.
- Don’t micro-manage. Instead, establish a way of ‘communication’ regarding lessons covered and work done or to be completed. Prepare a notebook in which the tutor can list the topics covered today, and what the kid needs to do as ‘tuition homework’.
- The ‘study area’ should be conducive to learning. Having the television or radio switched on while the lesson is ongoing can be very disruptive. Also, get the younger siblings to stay clear.
Ultimately, I do think it is sad that students these days are so bogged down by classes, extra-curricular activities, tuition, additional lessons (e.g. ballet, piano, golf), etc. Looking back, I have to say I truly enjoyed my childhood and days as a student. If I could give just one piece of advice to parents, it would be to ensure that your kid enjoys these lessons and if the tutor’s not a good fit with your child’s learning style or personality, then it’s best to get a change of tutor ASAP!
And oh… it’s best to take a 15 minute break after every 45 minutes of lessons, to ensure your child stays in a peak state for concentration and learning. 🙂
*If you’re a current or former MOE teacher and want to earn some extra income from giving tuition, head over here: http://www.schtutors.com/tutorRegistration/
*If you’ve found this blogpost useful, please share it with your friends! *wink*