As admission into institutions of higher learning becomes increasingly competitive, parents are looking for more and more ways to get their children a leg-up on the competition; whether this means investing in a test prep course, hiring a “college concierge” to help their child navigate the admissions process or sending them to a college admissions essay writing boot camp. While these are all certainly worthwhile investments of time and money to ensure admission to a university of their liking, MyGuru would argue that an investment in private tutoring could be the single most important decision a parent, graduate or professional student could make in preparing for their academic career. Here are 5 ways to maximize your investment in a private tutor.
1. Reinforce Core Concepts + Study skills
When hiring a private tutor, think beyond solely receiving a crash course in whatever subject matter you require tutoring in. Use this opportunity to pick your tutor’s brain about study and organizational skills that will serve you throughout your academic endeavors. Change the way you think about studying and learning. Rather than cramming for an exam in the last days or hours before the test, learn strategies to study and retain information over time. For example, when receiving test prep tutoring, if your tutor identifies you have a weakness in foundational Mathematics, instead of working on strategies just to pick the right answer on the exam, take some time to strengthen those basic math skills where you are deficient. Remember, most private tutors are experts in the subject matter they teach. At MyGuru, most of our tutors have advanced degrees in the subjects they teach or have taught them at the university level.
2. 1-on-1 attention, smaller student to teacher ratio
Perhaps the most unique and valuable aspect of hiring a private tutor is the 1-on 1 attention a student can receive. In a classroom environment, even the best instructor will not be able to get across to every student. Students learn at different paces and many require repetition and other strategies to reinforce lessons. When working 1-on-1 with a private tutor, the student can ask the tutor to stop and repeat something they’ve missed or provide alternative examples when they’re unable to digest a lesson the first time.
3. Flexibility – in your home, outside, online
One of the best ways to maximize your investment in private tutoring is by taking advantage of its flexibility. When you employ a private tutor, you can request to meet with the tutor at a time and in a place which is most convenient for you. Today, as students are involved in more and more extracurricular activities inside and outside of school, it can be hard to travel to a tutoring center or class times may conflict with your schedule. When employing a private tutor, you can schedule tutoring in a location and time convenient to you. In some instances, online tutoring could also be an option, offering the most flexible and cost-effective solution for both the student and the tutor.
4. Safe environment for open discussion
Aside from flexibility, working with a private tutor provides a safe environment for open discussion. Many times, students struggling in school are hesitant to speak up in class or ask questions because they are afraid of being judged by their peers or appearing “stupid.” Working with a private tutor allows a student to develop a personal relationship and the trust necessary to ensure an open teaching/learning relationship. This is important as, many students view teachers only as interested in grading or judging their work, something that comes with a negative connotation, rather than as a guide and a mentor.
5. Adaptive to different learning styles
When working with a private tutor, as the tutor develops a closer relationship with the student, they become more adept to the ways the student learns. We all learn differently; either visually, audibly, through reading/writing or kinesthetically. Once your tutor has identified which teaching and learning methods work best for you, they can incorporate activities into your lessons using these approaches. Thus, making it easier for you to digest new material. In a larger classroom environment or test-prep course, each student doesn’t have the luxury of direct interaction with an instructor so that they may recognize each individual learning style and incorporate it into their lesson plans.
Written by Lisa Alvarado
MyGuru is a recognized leader in 1-1 tutoring and test prep.