Saturday, 12 October 2013

Private tutoring! ;-)

Well, it seems that private tutoring is all the rage, nowadays, as many people - teachers, students and even those unqualified - are jumping on the 'tutoring band wagon!'

I felt mildly irritated when I answered the phone, recently, and after a lengthy conversation, the prospective customer said, 'Well, you are more expensive than another tutor I rang. He is half the price (yet a mere university student and an unqualified teacher at that!)  and with him, I'll get more lessons for my money, won't I?
'Fine,' I uttered, 'Goodbye'.
'Half the price will get you half the service that I give!' I muttered to myself as I put down the phone.
( 'Have a nice life, dumbing down!!' ;-) ;-)

Anyway, this week, I read this article, with interest:

And, when I had finished reading it..I read it again!

Yes... a very clever title to draw in the reader! Not one that I particularly like though. It has connotations which don't sit well with me.
But then, what really got me, was the reference to pizza!!
That made me hoot! When I think of all of my lovely customers, I am pretty sure that they would hardly
put their children's lessons on a par with a weekly visit to the local Pizza Express.
(I love it when journalists try to get clever with their opinions too!)
Neither do I like the reference to private tutoring, 'operating completely underground and spoken about
with embarrassment by those who use it.' (Another use of 'opinion' being put forward as 'fact'!)
Ask any of my customers - they are hardly embarrassed about using my service!

And then the article goes on to say that someone has set up an association for tutors.
Well..initially I thought ok, not a bad idea...until I looked at the fee that they want and the list of, 'I understand... and I undertake to...etc etc. And that got me thinking...hang on a minute..I do all of that anyway. I don't need to sign up to a group and pay them a subscription just for them to dictate to me the things that I already know... and do automatically in my working life as a tutor. I have exceedingly high standards; I do a very good job and I am confident in my own abilities to show this to any prospective

I moved on and read about the 11+ 'circus' which now takes place in this country!

This really is a BIG one to debate! And I mean BIG!
I have to say that I am thankful that, although I do tutor for the 11+, I am usually too full up
with either GCSE English students or younger pupils who are struggling to read and write, to take on
too many prospective 11+ pupils. Three or four pupils a year is enough for me, thank you very much!
I agree with pushing children, if they are very capable... but in my very honest opinion, in my own area
we have some excellent comprehensive schools to which many children are better suited. Sometimes, parents forget that! If I don't think that a child has a chance of passing, then I say so. 

I've been tutoring for a good many years now and before that, I taught for a long time in state schools. I have always enjoyed teaching and I love my job. I am all for private tutoring if it is done well and if it is done by qualified teachers. When I started private tutoring, there were very few others doing
the job. Nowadays, there are thousands of private tutors, who have sprung up all over the place!
I have to say that I am a bit worried by this and I do wonder what sort of service some of these tutors offer. It has taken me a long time to build up my business; build up a wealth of resources and build up a good reputation. So, when I read articles about the private tutoring 'industry', as it now is, I am always interested...especially when the writers do not work in the ' industry' yet are very good at offering their own opinions. I would challenge any of them to visit my workplace and see what my customers get for their money... oh and my children do get a drink, occasionally a biscuit...

but never any pizza! ;-) 

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