Best Tuition Centre – A Guide
Finding the best tuition centre for your child can be a real challenge. As tutoring services have become more popular, it has become increasingly important to put filters in place to find the right person or set of people.
This blog will outline some of those key filters that will help you decide, and will also provide some initial questions that you can ask.
Advantages of tuition classes in a centre
Good tuition centres should have a stringent process when it comes to hiring their tutors. In our case, we ensure that each tutor has gone through an extensive screening process before we hire. This screening process, in our case, includes, vetting the candidate, conducting an interview where we include a practical teaching element and one-month probation where an experienced centre manager observes and monitors the classes. The better tuition centres will always seek out the best tutors and not employ college students to lead classes.
Another advantage of a tuition centre is the fact that the environment is designed for lessons. This makes the experience feel more professional, and it sets the student up with the mindset of, “I am here to learn”.
There are some cases where home tuition can make a lot of sense. We have taken students from other countries via Skype, Botim or Google Meets, but the majority of our students come into the centres.
Identifying the best tuition centre – Tip #1: Find a Homely Environment
When we were setting up our tuition centres, we were determined to make our tuition centres have a comfortable environment. Creating a place where children feel comfortable learning should be a key priority for a tuition centre manager. If it isn’t, then you should consider other options.
They are also colourful and stimulating places, to suit those who require that form of input.
Identifying the best tuition centre – Tip #2: Experience
When you first talk to the centre manager, it is important to ask about their experience working with students. Your child may have specific needs (including medical or learning) or maybe working towards a specific goal. It is always a good idea to establish whether the centre has had experience in this regard. Of course, it is always going to be difficult to know if you can trust the person speaking to you, but it is a great idea to at least ask and gauge the reaction.
Identifying the best tuition centre – Tip #3: Establishing the Process
Understanding how the tuition centre will work with your child is also an important part of the sign-up process. Is there an initial assessment? How can I receive feedback? What happens if we take a holiday? Is it possible to make up classes? Is there a set timetable? Are there additional resources we will need? Is there a methodology that the tutors follow?
Identifying the best tuition centre – Tip #4: Find the right price range
Although I would strongly recommend not making decision on where to send your child purely on price, you still need to consider your budget when it comes supplementary education. Tuition is most effective if a student can attend regularly and maintain consistency. This is one of the reasons why we invoice on a monthly basis. It also allows parents to plan ahead and know their exact outgoings.
Identifying the best tuition centre – Tip #5: Location
We have students who come to us from quite far away. This is only possible if there are sufficient transport links or parking available for a car. Some secondary students make their way to us after school, so it is also important that they can make the class times. You might ask yourself, how do I find a tuition centre near me? I would recommend having a quick Google search and finding out which tuition centres are near your child’s school, or are near your home address. The Google maps feature is also useful.
Evaluating a tutor
Once you have decided that a centre has passed your initial assessment, it is important to evaluate the tutor. We will assume that the tutor has the necessary subject knowledge. There are five personal qualities that make a tutor effective:
Quality #1: Patience
Patience is a crucial character trait of an effective tutor. In fact, if a tutor is not able to be patient with students, it can lead to a breakdown in the relationship. Have you ever had a teacher who would become visibly annoyed if you did not understand something? It can be quite discouraging for children if the teacher loses patience, despite the fact that he or she is putting a great deal of effort into trying to understand.
Quality #2: Positivity
In our adult lives, we generally enjoy hanging out with friends and family members who are positive. Negativity can be draining and it is important for a tutor to be able to help students see the positive side to things. One of the worse things a tutor can do is make a child feel bad about not knowing something. Rather, it is important for the tutor to make the child aware that there is a path to success available to him or her.
Quality #3: Ability to connect, engage and build rapport
Ever look back on your school days and realise that you found certain teachers better than others? Aside from their skill in delivering knowledge, these teachers were probably able to help you relate to the subject. You probably can even remember them making jokes or talking about their hobbies. The best tutors are also able to communicate with people effortlessly and build connections with students.
I was watching a mathematics class recently with one of our tutors and one of the students was beaming ear-to-ear just talking about her day with the tutor. In this life, it is sometimes refreshing when somebody acknowledges someone else’s existence.
Quality #4: Ability to breakdown a topic in multiple ways
Students come in all shapes and sizes and have different learning styles. The tutor who can shape their delivery method to each student will always achieve better results than the tutor or teacher who lectures at the students. Some students learn more visually, so they will generally grasp a topic more if there are some diagrams or if the teacher makes more gestures and movements.
I remember working with one particular student online during the lockdown and she struggled a lot more with the medium as I couldn’t be as demonstrative as I am in the classroom with hand gestures etc. Visual learners should also be encouraged to take detailed notes.
On the other hand, kinaesthetic learners like to learn from games and physical activities. They are probably the most challenging to teach in academic environments as they find it quite difficult to respond to traditional teaching approaches. Recently one of our science GCSE students said that he is having a difficult time learning because there are few experiments going on at school. Formal assessments are also quite challenging for kinesthetic learners, as traditional assessment does not involve much movement.
Quality #5: Ability to analyse and identify issues
With enough experience and knowledge, some tutors become skilled at analysing issues. For instance, a tutor may spot when a child has an undiagnosed learning difficulty, or there are problems at school. Having someone else who is experienced and backing your corner is valuable for parents.
Finding the best tuition centre for your child can be challenging, but it will be worth the wait. Always check out reviews and find tutors who have a track record of success. Go with your gut instinct and gauge your child’s reaction to the classes. If you follow these pieces of advice carefully, you will surely find the right place for your child to thrive.