If you have been shopping around for O-level or A-level maths tuition for your child, you will undoubtedly have realised that there are simply too many options to pick from. What makes one tutor a better choice than another? Some parents choose to go by word-of-mouth and opt for the tutor that their friends have recommended. Others may prefer to select the most cost-effective option. Yet others may look at the smallest class size so that each student gets more interaction time with the teacher. Well, what are the best criteria to consider?
Tutor’s Qualifications, Experience and Suitability
One of the key considerations when looking for a suitable tuition class would be the experience and qualifications of the tutor. Surprisingly, this is an important aspect that not a lot of parents consider. They may simply trust in the tuition centre to match their child to the best tutor or go by others’ recommendations of a particular tutor.
However, every tutor has a different set of qualifications and experience. Some tutors may be more comfortable with handling students of a certain proficiency level or age group. For instance, there may be many positive reviews for a tutor used to teaching secondary-age students, but that same tutor may not be so effective in conducting A-level maths tuition.
Some tutors also have more qualifications than others. This is common in a tuition centre where the best tutors are always showcased, but when registering your child for a class, you may find them delegated to a less-qualified tutor. To ensure you get the best bargain for your child, always check the name, qualifications, and experience of the tutor before registering for a class.
Even if everything looks good on paper, it always helps if you can arrange an in-person meeting with the prospective tutor just to assess if they are compatible with your child. A tutor-student pair that does not gel well can become a massive frustration and demoralise your child from pursuing the subject further. To prepare for your meeting with the tutor, you can prepare one or two questions your child has had difficulty with and ask the tutor if they can explain the solution to your child in a manner your child can understand. It is also worth bringing up any potential areas the tutor should pay special attention to – for instance if your child is especially weak in a certain topic. Keep the meeting short – 10 to 15 minutes is a good duration – and thank the tutor for their time in the end.
How much interaction does your child get with the teacher? This can be affected by the class size, or in other words, the number of students your child’s tutor is handling in one session. Naturally, one-on-one sessions tend to be on the higher end of the scale in terms of cost because the tutor is dedicating their entire session to one student, and is only receiving payment from that one student. On the other hand, tutors taking on large class sizes tend to charge less than a one-on-one session because there are more students to share the lesson fees, but as a result, the tutor may have less time to personally help each student.
Whether your child fares better in a classroom or one-on-one setting depends largely on each individual. Classroom sessions can provide valuable opportunities for your child to develop interpersonal communication and teamwork and can be ideal if your child learns better with peers or is not struggling too much with their studies. However, if your child requires dedicated attention to improve their grades, you may want to consider a one-on-one session.
The costs of tuition classes these days vary widely based on the aforementioned factors, such as the tutor’s experience and class size. If you are tight on funds, try setting a budget and finding a tuition centre or tutor who can agree on a reasonable amount. Sometimes, you may find that individual tutors are more flexible with their pricing.
Of course, finding a suitable lesson time is also important. Some tutors, especially those teaching small groups or one-on-one, may be more flexible with timings. Generally, tuition centres and larger classes have fixed timings, and not every class may have the same tutor. Be sure to get a full list of all the available timeslots, their designated tutors, and the current class size for each slot. Additionally, remember to factor in your child’s travelling time to the tuition centre, so that attending the class will not be too rushed for them.
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