Who Makes the Best Tutors: Professional Teachers or Professional Tutors?
The landscape of private tutoring is becoming increasingly diverse with the emergence of full-time professional tutors, individuals who dedicate their work hours solely to offering tutoring services. While the services of these tutors are without question valuable to many, many tutoring sites have professional tutors charging some extremely high hourly rates far in excess of the ones charged by full-time teachers looking to supplement their income with a little extra private tuition in the evening. In this article we will weigh up the relative merits of both and see if this trend is justified.
- The Value of Full-Time School Teachers
1.1 Holistic Training and Experience
Let’s acknowledge the holistic training and profound experience that school teachers bring to their roles. Teachers are necessitated to undertake a challenging academic journey, including securing an undergraduate degree, a Master in Education, and finally achieving the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through active engagement in a school environment. This challenging trajectory ensures that teachers develop a robust base in both their subject matter and pedagogical methodologies.
1.2 Academic Journey and Qualifications
School teachers are also dedicated to continuous professional development (CPD), partaking in regular training sessions, exam board meetings, and diverse educational seminars. This commitment to perpetual learning guarantees their familiarity with the latest teaching methods, curriculum alterations, and student assessment procedures.
1.3 Accountability and Assessment
Being integral parts of a school structure, teachers are regularly assessed by their line managers and independent entities such as OFSTED. This type of scrutiny ensures high standards of teaching practice, holding teachers accountable for the educational progression of their students.
1.4 Experience in Managing Diverse Students
In addition, school teachers amass a wealth of practical experience, typically managing classes of around 30 students, grading assignments and examinations, and offering personalised feedback. Such experience in managing a broad range of student abilities makes the transition to private, one-on-one tutoring significantly less complex.
- Challenges for School Teachers
2.1 Tech Savviness and Online Learning
However, there are challenges for school teachers as well. They may not always be as tech-savvy as some tutors, particularly when it comes to using online learning platforms. Their packed schedules can limit their availability for private tutoring. Moreover, their professional responsibility towards their large student base in school may affect their ability to prioritise private students.
- The Expertise of Professional Tutors
3.1 Impressive Degrees and Specialisation
As for professional tutors, they often boast impressive degrees from esteemed universities and may specialise in one-on-one sessions. This expertise enables them to provide personalised attention and create a flexible learning plan customised to a student’s unique needs. Given their smaller client base, tutors can potentially provide more time and attention to each individual learner.
3.2 Qualification Criteria and Training
Yet, it’s key to acknowledge that tutors are not obliged to meet the same stringent qualification criteria as teachers. They may not have been subjected to the same rigorous training or ongoing professional scrutiny that school teachers have. Their understanding of the curriculum might not be as comprehensive, and their repertoire of teaching strategies may be limited in comparison.
- Weighing the Strengths
4.1 Benefits of School Teachers
Weighing the strengths of school teachers and tutors in private tutoring reveals distinct benefits on both sides. Teachers offer a wealth of experience, in-depth training, and an intricate understanding of the curriculum. They are equipped with a foundation of knowledge and practical skills that enable them to effectively cater to students’ educational needs.
4.2 Advantages of Professional Tutors
Tutors, on the other hand, can provide individualised attention and potentially greater scheduling flexibility.
- Recognising the Importance of Teachers
6.1 Foundation of Knowledge and Experience
It is worth noting that the teaching world includes both exceptional professional tutors and mediocre school teachers. However, even an average school teacher possesses a foundation of knowledge and experience that can prove vital in facilitating a child’s academic growth. The rigorous training, comprehensive subject knowledge, and vast experience that professional teachers provide reinforce their pivotal role in education.
In conclusion, the debate over who makes the best tutors—professional teachers or professional tutors—relies on various factors. School teachers bring comprehensive training, experience, and accountability, while professional tutors offer personalised attention and flexibility. Ultimately, the best tutor may be one that connects with and inspires your child, making trial and error an essential part of the process. It’s crucial to find a tutor who resonates with your child’s learning style and can ignite a spark of enthusiasm for the subject. The ultimate goal is to find a tutor who can foster a supportive learning environment for your child and effectively guide them on their academic journey.
This guide could help you with that process.
Why doesn’t ECMtutors have any professional tutors on the site?
At ECMtutors, we are driven by a strong vision of fostering an interconnected school community and delivering high-quality education. As a social enterprise, our focus is on supporting the international school community, including teachers, students, and former students. That’s why we have made a deliberate decision to exclusively feature professional teachers on our platform.
One of our primary goals is to reward those who have already made significant contributions to the international school community. This includes individuals who, during their time as sixth formers, volunteered as tutors and have now become paid “senior tutors.” We believe in acknowledging their dedication and the valuable experience they bring to the table.
We also recognize the immense value that full-time teachers bring to the education landscape. These passionate educators work tirelessly, often going above and beyond their contractual obligations. They invest their time and effort in school trips, sports events, parent-teacher meetings, and other additional responsibilities without receiving any extra compensation. By connecting students with professional teachers, ECMtutors aims to support these educators financially, enabling them to continue their dedicated work while also earning extra income through tutoring.
Furthermore, we understand the financial challenges faced by former students who are pursuing further education. The earnings generated through tutoring provide them with a valuable opportunity to contribute to their educational pursuits. By engaging with ECMtutors, these former students can leverage their academic skills and knowledge to support their ongoing educational journey.
In summary, ECMtutors’ decision to exclusively feature professional teachers aligns with our mission to create a strong and interconnected school community. By supporting full-time teachers and former students, we not only prioritize the needs of these individuals but also contribute to the overall growth and sustainability of the international school community.