Make yourself a good tutor

An article on math education in the NY Times (July 23, 2014) wrote this about our teacher quality and resulting education: " In addition to misunderstanding math, American students also, on average, write weakly, read poorly, think unscientifically and grasp history only superficially." I would like to focus on my area of English: writing and reading. The article discussed teacher training and techniques to improve teaching results. I would like to add that for us tutors also, techniques to present our subjects are critical to help students. Some tutors are former or current professional teachers; others may be retired people from business, housewives earning extra money, college students, or even working professionals in various fields. It's fine to teach business skills to graduate students if you are an executive, swimming to children if you are a swimming coach, or history to high schoolers if your major is history. Yet, simply tutoring in your major field may not be enough to provide you the tools to actually "impart" the knowledge in an effective way. As a former teacher trainer in ESL, I urge tutors to consider both their skill set (knowledge base) for academic subjects and methods to successfully engage pupils in actively acquiring the information base required. Be cautious in marketing your tutoring skills based solely on your own education or major. And parents, don't think that simply hiring a college student who will work for cheaper rates is always the most effective way to support your child's study. There are professional teachers who do tutoring, though they may charge more, and you should consider a tutor's skill in engaging your child, not just his/her major field. If we don't consider teaching skills, even for tutoring, along with subject matter expertise, we may be perpetuating the problems mentioned in the Times article.


I don't need to tell you that even a horrible teacher, but with a solid knowledge base, can help a truly willing and hard working student.  And a wonderful teacher is limited in what he can teach if he has an inadequate knowledge base.  Finally, the paradigm is a wonderful teacher, with a solid knowledge base, and an eager student.  How these variables mix is the world in which we educators live.
Hello, I am a tutor new to this tutoring agency. I have set my rate to $35 an hour but the Parents couldn't afford the rate. So I reduced it to $25 an hour. I am not getting more students nor more hours. I am having trouble paying for transporation.


Emily S.

Retired English Teacher for Adults

3500+ hours
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