Tutoring has always been an expensive business. A tutor would cost a wealthy family a salary, room and board back in the old days. Nowadays it seems that a good tutor can receive up to £50 000 a year with room, board and a guaranteed career once the tuition is over. All of this to ensure that a child can gain entrance to a prestigious school. Even if the aim isn’t access to a public school, but only exam success, tuition can be prohibitively expensive. The going rate for tuition is now between £30 and £40 an hour. This means that for one subject alone, tuition can be in the range of £120 to £160 a month.
These prices put tutoring out of the reach of most families, given that the average wage is about £25 000 a year. There’s no doubt that tutoring can make a difference. People wouldn’t pay that amount of money if it didn’t, but there are other factors that are of equal importance.
‘Determination,’ was the word spoken by the greatest of American presidents, Abraham Lincoln, when asked by a young lawyer what was the secret to his success. Being determined to do well is the crucial factor. A determined individual can compensate for a tutor. Determination replaces the need to have fun, be cajoled or seek approval to do work, which are often sources of motivation when a tutor is involved. Determination is that slow burning fire that propels an individual towards their goal. Where a tutor is important for a determined individual is to help them not waste their time expending their energy on dead-ends.
You can teach yourself a lot, but you have to know what to teach yourself. You have to know what’s important and what is not- what methods are the right ones and which won’t work. A tutor can be crucial in this. I’ve no doubt that a determined individual will eventually get there, but they can get there quicker with some good advice. Something pretty important when a deadline like an exam is coming along.
Often, this doesn’t require a live-in tutor. Often, it doesn’t even require a tutor to visit every week. All it requires is help when it is required. This may be for a few minutes or a couple of hours. What happens is the determined individual does the rest. As long as they have the understanding, it can be left to themselves to develop the skills, in nearly all cases. This is why myetutor has added further flexibility to its tutoring sessions by offering half hour and one hour tuition as part of its myetutor 1-2-1 service. It allows parents to discuss the needs of their son or daughter in that subject and to provide the required amount of effective tuition, with no commitment; therefore, no onus to spend £160 a month for a tutor. This will be even more relevant as our Maths tuition becomes available, and students can have attention on only the particular areas of the course they are struggling with. A tutor can give the amount of mentoring required with this system, and only the amount required.
A tutor cannot make a determined individual. It cannot replace that desire. A tutor can facilitate the delivery of the knowledge a determined individual needs, helping them to understand priorities, skills, models and methods. This isn’t a full time job. In some ways, over-tutoring can be deleterious to a young person. It’s interesting to note how highly resourced pupils fall behind or produce no better then average grades once the resources are removed, whereas a person who has had to achieve based on their own responsibility, resourcefulness and determination never falls off.
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