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Tips On Selecting Good Home Tutors

There are many factors parents and students need to consider when choosing a effective private tutor. Some considerations can include age, sex, experience, qualifications, reputation/track record, budget, etc. Given that there are many tutors around, how then could you as a tutor stand out?

I shall share a few factors which I think are important.

  • Passionate and knowledgeable in the subject you are teaching.  This is an important criteria that you must fulfill. Other than previous grades in school, a good tutor has to demonstrate a good track record, and be able to make references to the why and how of tackling the concept or question.  Most importantly, a good tutor must be able to put seemingly difficult concepts into simple terms, making sure that the student can absorb and assimilate the details. Passion is also important because a good tutor must want to impart his skills, knowledge as well as passion to his/her students. He/she must want to target for full marks, and not just sufficiently high grades, for his/her students.
  • Active tutoring.  There are tutors who are tutoring passively. That means, they sit around and watch the students do their homework/schoolwork. There are tutors who simply tell the students to try and try again, without offering much active help. In my opinion, this is clearly a waste of money by the student. Why pay so much to employ a guardian to watch over you do your own work? Active tutors take the initiative to provide notes and questions to their students, and teach in such a way that it helps the students think, comprehend, analyse, and understand concepts and questions. They repeat this process again and again. They train the student to grasp concepts, to utilise effectively every tool in their hands (calculators, rulers, etc) and to make full use of exam strategies to reduce their careless mistakes or take advantage of the structure in which questions are set. There are a variety of questions around for tutors to do so, from assessment books to websites. For websites, there are many free resources around.
  • Motivating.  This is to me the most important factor to be present in a good tutor. To do so, tutors have to be able to build good rapport with their students. They have to create the hunger, the want, the confidence to score in their students. Many a times, I have come across students who are desperate, dejected and totally low in confidence. They seeked tuition from me as a last resort, as if I’m a miracle pill to at least help them pass a subject. And luckily for them, I managed to instill more confidence in everyone of them, give them hope. There are also students who have totally no idea why they should study a particular subject. I have this student who plans to go into making games, and cannot think of any reason to study and do well in physics, other than to make the grade. That unmotivation remains, until I explained how mechanics and physics are also required in games, and went into some details on how the programmer needs basic knowledge in these aspects in physics to create a realistic game. There are many more stories, but I would have to stop. In short, a good tutor will be able to help students break out of their rut and work hard for their goals.
  • Responsible.  A good tutor will take responsibility for all of his/her students. Being responsible as a tutor means
    1. willing and want to take the student all the way to the end of the year
    2. do not teach the wrong things. When unsure, state so, and do extensive research before teaching the student the correct things. It is a hideous sin to make the student unlearn wrong things.
    3. ensure that the student improve in grades.

Also found at Study Grandmaster Resource


Great summary of the key

Great summary of the key criteria for tutor..

How a teacher wants a home tutor to help?

As an ex-teacher, pupils who need tuition are those who have short attention span, who need a 1-1 coaching. These are some things which we need a tutor to help:

1) go through important concepts for each topic. Test your kid if they have fully grasped it.

2) go through homework/worksheets your teachers assign as these are the important concepts we want to reinforce.

Therefore, it may not be a bad idea to sit next to your child, coaching him in his homework. Tutors can always feedback to teachers, indicating that the child needs assistance in attempting certain questions.

3) Spot your child’s misconception/ common mistakes and arrest it promptly.

4) Stretch your child by exposing him to high order questions.

5) Inspire your child by exposing them to more facts/lifeskill beyond textbooks.

6) Prepare your child for exam components.

7) Communicate w your teachers.

Just giving my 2-cents worth of advice. Hope this helps…a win-win situation for teachers & tutors!!

Thanks for sharing. I have

Thanks for sharing. I have heard nightmare stories of irresponsible tutors who constantly change their schedule etc. One clue to a responsible tutor is one who asks about your exam schedule so that they can prepare the student in advance for different papers.



thanks for sharing. good

thanks for sharing. good tips.

Look at the qualification

I think the qualification of a tutor also matters..
Most of the private tutors registered themselves to the tuition agency via phones. 
They could claim that they are holding a degree, master or even ex school teacher.
How true it is? We wont know! Most parents will not even ask the tutors to produce their cert or proof of employment. Parents, next time when u engage a tutor, u know what to do!

Active tutoring

Why pay so much to employ a guardian to watch over you do your own work?

I like this part. A lot of times, a tutor would simply sit around and watch over the child doing his homework. This I find is a waste of money for the parents.

As a tutor, the child should be learning skilss which would be different from what they were taught in schools. It is a way of expanding the repetoire of the child in his approaches. The tutor would need to have a simple lesson plan for each lesson which they are conducting, not on a ad-hoc basis.

At the same time, parents should remind their child that they should not be doing homework during the tutoring session. Let the child do the homework on their own as it will highlight to their school teachers what is lacking in their knowledge and ability. If the tutor helps the child with their homework, then it means that the child may get all correct and hence giving a false feedback to the teachers in school.


Thanks for highlighting the

Thanks for highlighting the key criterions for a good tutor, kaydenbrown! I think those criterions like passionate, active tutoring, motivating and responsible are important to apply on parents who are trying to teach our own kids at home too… 
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