Horror Stories of Tutors are all around.
Ask any Parent or student, and they will surely have experienced/heard a few stories of nasty tutors, or just tutors that can’t teach in general.
We, as Parents, all want to avoid engaging that tutor that is unable to produce results.
However, there are many factors outside tuition that affect the child’s ability to produce results:
– Whether they Self-Study (effectively)
– Constant Practice outside of tuition
– Exam Stress, the list goes on.
For this article, we will be focusing on reasons why Tutors are unable to produce results – excluding external factors mentioned above.
For most cases, the reason would be quite simple: Tutor is Underqualified.
Check the Tutor’s grades for the subject(s) they are teaching. Did they get a Distinction?
One of our main philosophies is that: If the Tutor did not get a Distinction, how capable are they to teach others to get a Distinction?
More often than not, it is true especially for Part-time Tutors.
The tutor will not know the intensity and rigour needed to get a Distinction, nor have any valuable study tips/skills to impart to the tutee.
i.e Tutor Ben himself got a B3 for O Level AMath. How capable is Tutor Ben to teach the tutee to get an A1 for AMath? Tutor Ben is missing something crucial that A1 AMath tutors can provide.
Of course, there are a few exceptions (mentioned further below) to this rule, but in general – Tutors that did not get a Distinction are not fit to be a Tutor.
At CocoTutors, we only send Tutor Profiles with Distinctions for subjects they teach (some exceptions mentioned below).
Most of our tutors have multiple Distinctions, some are Top Students (more than 6 Distinctions in OLevels, perfect 90 Rank Points in ALevels).
We believe that Tutors have to set a good example – Distinction, for the subject(s) they would like to teach.
Obtaining a Distinction for a subject, means that you possess the content mastery and expertise required for the syllabus:
A basic requirement of ours before you can teach someone officially. Whether you are effective or not, that comes later.
However, here are some exceptions whereby Tutors are fit to teach despite not getting a Distinction:
– Many years of tutoring experience
– Good track record of producing results
– Parent’s goal is to improve from fail to pass, not to get a Distinction
Different Parents have different requirements, some want their child to get an A* for PSLE, some just want to pass for OLevels.
1. Years of Tutoring Experience
Tutors with over 5 years of tutoring experience are more than fit to be tutors.
Usually tutors in this category are either University Graduates, or Full-time Tutors specialists. (See: Part-time Tutors, Full-time Tutors or MOE teachers)
Over their extensive period in tutoring, they have taught many students which provides them with the credibility that they are able to teach well.
2. Good Track Record
Effective tutors are the ones most Parents are looking for – ones that have produced results in the past.
Despite having their grades not backing them up, their past track record of students under their guidance proves otherwise.
With testimonials from their students such as:
“From Pass to A within 3 months”, or “80% of my students get a Distinction”; surely you can trust their guidance and teaching methods.
It must be due to exam stress, or other external issues that have caused them the Distinction, in the past. (See: How to Request for Tutors)
3. Goal is not a Distinction
Quite a few Parents get a tutor only at the last minute.
Their son/daughter usually is in a very bad shape academically – borderline/failing, and it is only a few months left to PSLE/O Levels/A Levels.
Many of them understand that grades will not miraculously improve to a Distinction within the short period. (See: How Much Does a Tutor Cost?)
With so much knowledge/content gaps to fill, the Parents’ goal for tuition would usually be to pass, or to improve to a B.
For this case, tutors that did well but did not get an A, would be qualified to teach as well. Responsibility on the tutor is especially high, since often times we receive comments from Parents that they struggle with the harder questions.
Don’t Be a Tutor, If You Did Not Get a Distinction
In general, if you did not get a Distinction for the subject you would like to teach, do not be a Tutor.
Chances are, you will have a very hard time getting a tuition assignment as you will be competing with tutors that have Distinctions.
And more often than not, Parents will pick the Distinction tutors over you.