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Academic Support: When the Teacher Adapts to the Student

By Joseph, published on 28/06/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Parents > Private Tutoring: How to Give Personalised and Customised Support

While academic support is becoming increasingly popular, it can never be standardised.

Why offer the same academic support tutorials when all the students are different?

They’re different in terms of their personality as well as their ability.

Academic support tutorials have to be tailored to the students.

How and where can you find the right tutor for the job?

What questions do I need to ask?

What exactly is academic support?

How Do You Choose the Right Academic Support Tutor?

As a parent, you’ll obviously want to get the best one on one private tutoring you can for your child. Whether they’re in primary school, secondary school, college, or university, there are plenty of tutoring services available to them.

You can find both home tutoring and online tutoring on Superprof, for example.

Got a big language exam coming up, for example?

It might be time to get in touch with a French tutor.

How do you choose the right private tutor? Make sure you pick your private tutor carefully. (Source: Aymanjed)

Where Can You Find the Right Academic Support Tutor?

Now that you know what the solution is, where can you find a tutor?

If you’re not familiar with the profession, the answers aren’t that obvious. We recommend asking around first.

Have a look round your neighbourhood. There are probably a lot of tutors living near you. You could always check out the bulletin boards in local businesses.

You can also post your own adverts on them, too. It’s that simple to get started with academic tutoring!

You should also head online. It’s easy to find homework help and academic support tutors online. On Superprof, there are tutors from all over the country and from around the world.

A huge advantage of Superprof is that you can search by subject and by place. In just a few clicks, you’ll find dozens of tutors near you.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Private Tutor?

Once you’ve found some tutors, you’ll need to ask them a few things. This will help you find the best academic support tutor for your child.

The interview is an important step because each tutor is different. Some may have experience teaching in state schools or qualified teacher status, for example. Some may be better at helping students catch up while others may be best for homework help.

So what questions should you ask?

Here are a few examples:

  • What subjects do you teach?
  • What are the benefits of academic support?
  • What’s your speciality?
  • What experience have you got?
  • What experience have you got as an academic support tutor?
  • Are you familiar with academic support?
  • What’s your approach?
  • What tools do you use?
  • What are your hourly rates?
  • Are you available in the long term?
  • Can you improve my child’s grades?

The goal of this interview is simple: quickly understand who the tutor is and what they can do for you.

Can they help your child?

Could they teach maths if necessary? International business, foreign languages, chemistry, physics, history, maths, geography, etc.?

The best tutors offer one to one tuition for students. This means that every lesson, exercise, and activity is tailored to the students. They can help students to succeed by giving them the study skills they need, providing exam and test prep, and showing them how to correctly plan an essay. Put simply, they offer academic coaching.

If you still can’t wrap your head around algebra, calculus, geometry, or trigonometry, a mathematics tutor is what you’re after!

The Interview

Now it’s time for the roles to be reversed.

Where can you find the best tutors? While you should interview your potential private tutor, you needn’t record it! (Source: Pexels)

If the tutor you’re looking at is any good, they’ll probably want to conduct their own interview.

Why?

It’ll help them know exactly how to help you and your child. It might be a case of just helping the student with their homework or they might need regular study sessions. They might need a completely different teaching approach.

The objective of these questions isn’t just to work out what their goals are. They can also establish the teaching approaches. An experienced tutor will know that they can’t teach each student in exactly the same way. Their approach has to be tailored to the student.

In fact, tailoring the lessons is key to being a tutor.

What Questions Should the Tutor Ask You?

Here are some of the questions you should expect from your potential tutor:

  • How is your child doing at school?
  • What are their grades like?
  • Can I see their results and their report?

If they’re struggling at school:

  • How long have they struggled with this subject?
  • When did they start to struggle?
  • Is it a behavioural problem or a comprehension problem?
  • How would you like them to improve their grades?
  • If it’s just a case of them catching up:
  • What subjects in school are they struggling with?
  • Would they just like help with their homework or complete tuition?
  • Do they need new learning techniques or revision techniques in order to improve?
  • Would you like me to teach them some new approaches?
  • What methods did you have in mind?

If they’re a good student:

  • What subjects would you like them to improve?
  • What would they like to do when they’re older?
  • Do they need ongoing academic support or just help revising for exams?

As you’ve probably gathered, the goal of this academic support interview to work out what your needs are and which solutions will work best for you.

Private Tutorials Tailored to a Student’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Tutorials Tailored to a Student’s Needs

Tutors offering academic support tutorials are among the most common.

How can you help a student who's failing? Don’t hesitate to get academic support for a struggling student. (Source: Wokandapix)

Since parents aren’t present in class, they often find it difficult to truly understand why their child is struggling. This means the problem can get increasingly worse. Everyone wants to avoid this. Tutors, therefore, need to tailor their tutorials to each student and their needs.

For one reason or another, they’re struggling with a certain lesson. The academic support tutor can’t take the same approach as they would with other students.

Tailored Tutorials

Tailored tutorials adapt to a student’s personality. That’s one of the biggest benefits of one on one tutoring.

Not every student has the same needs and neither does every student learn in the same way. Private tutorials are often seen as a punishment and the tutor needs to provide a relaxed environment.

Some students won’t feel like making an effort. The tutor’s role is to make sure that they do.

Other students might be quite shy. Of course, they can’t be as shy in private tutorials as they can in class. In tutorials, they have to make an effort. The tutor needs to encourage them to participate.

Put simply, there are plenty of different types of students. There are also plenty of different types of tutorials.

Long-term Academic Support

Academic support isn’t a one-off. It’s only a way to improve a child’s grades. It can be a lengthy process. A child may need a tutor throughout the whole academic year.

How long should a student have a private tutor for? Academic support can take time. (Source: geralt)

We could talk about either homework help or academic support. Continued tutorials can help the tutor to establish themselves as a proper private tutor.

A tutor who will, bit by bit, familiarise themselves with your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Their goal might be to help the child progress to the next level, help them catch up with their classmates, or help them with their homework.

Is Online Academic Support Effective?

On Superprof, we also offer online academic support tutorials.

Sometimes tutors can’t meet up with their students in person for a number of reasons. Online tutorials can be a great solution.

You can get tutorials via webcam. Thanks to Skype and other video conferencing programmes, any student with an internet connection can get private tutorials. While this method may seem a bit impersonal, it’s actually quite effective.

Have a think about it. Since the tutor doesn’t have to pay for transport or as many materials, a lot of online private tutorials are actually cheaper than their physical counterparts.

Struggling with calculating moles?

You can always hire a chemistry tutor.

Hiring Private Tutors

If you’re looking for private tutors or just an academic advisor, don’t forget that a lot of the tutors on Superprof offer free tutoring for the first hour. While they probably won’t provide much academic coaching or tuition during this hour, it can be useful to see what kind of tutor they are and whether it’s worth scheduling more in the future.

If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring private tutors, you could also consider getting a tutor to do a group tutorial or a workshop for several students at once. While these sessions will be more like a seminar at college or university, students can get far more out of them than they otherwise would in the larger classes they’re used to at school.

Whether they’re at primary school, secondary school, sixth form, college, or university (undergraduate and postgraduate), any student can benefit from having someone there to assist them with their studies during the academic year and the holidays.

Of course, don’t forget that you don’t have to be studying for exams to get a tutor. You can also learn new skills with a gifted educator. You might just want to improve your grammar in preparation for a new job. You could get tutored by writing tutors. You can also learn to dance, paint, sew, or knit with private tutors.

The possibilities are endless!

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