Tuition Beyond School Years - Mar '18

By Natasha Saed, MTA

When most people think of the word ‘tutor’, an image springs to mind of schoolwork, and the daunting landscape of exams that make up school life. While this is by no means an inaccurate picture, tuition is far from a one-dimensional profession; it has a role beyond school years that is often obvious neither to tutors nor to parents. With this in mind, it is about time tuition’s other faces had their share of the spotlight.

School’s Out

During the years dominated by the 11+, GCSEs and A-Levels, tuition’s role is clear – support students through their exams and supplement their school time. When students head off to university, it is often thought that studying becomes something that is solely ‘independent’, and that school or college will have prepared them to stand on their own two feet (educationally, at least). However, this is not always the case. With contact time between students and university tutors being, in general, very low, it can be hard to adjust to the level of work required by a degree, and have enough support to complete it successfully.

This is where tuition comes to the fore. Just as a tutor provides extra help during school years, so they can help a university student to have that extra contact, or ‘teaching’, time needed to be able to fully grasp their university syllabus. Often, as tutors, we focus on teaching and revising the fundamentals of our subject area, and forget that we have the skills and ability to help students through the more advanced aspects of our field of study, too. Doing so also allows for a more challenging variety of work, and can really aid university students, especially during their first year of study.

Tutors can play a helpful role for the parents of university students, too. It can often be hard to know how to support stressed students who are no longer under your roof, and who are struggling with a university-level workload. Suggesting a tutor, or continuing to work with a tutor who helped your child through school can be very valuable, and can provide some educational continuity between A-Levels and university exams. Most tutors will have been through a very similar university career to your child, so will be in an excellent position to help them through their coursework and exams.

Adult Education

Another string to tuition’s bow is the ability to help adult learners. There are many adults who are looking to learn a new skill outside the workplace, and who would prefer face-to-face interaction to looking at a screen. In a world dominated by all things virtual, it can be easy to forget that you can learn with a real person, not just an app – and this is where tutors come in. Subjects such as languages are particular popular for adult learners, both for recreational purposes, and for business.

The business world is another arena where tuition can be overlooked, but where it can prove extremely beneficial. Whether in a corporate setting, where you may be teaching a group of employees, rather than being one-on-one, tuition can be the boost they need in areas such as foreign languages or even coding. Many employers now actively encourage their employees to expand their skillset, so tuition has the potential to be a great aid in the corporate field.

Parents, too, can often see tutors - and tuition in general - as a tool reserved for children or teenagers, but this is not the case. Tutors are available to help anyone who may need it, and they possess the skills to teach all ages and abilities. Moreover, they are often flexible with their time, and happy to fit around your schedule. To that end, more and more tutors are now also offering online tuition, making it even easier to have lessons at a time that suits you, and from the comfort of your own home.

Talented Tuition

It is (hopefully) easy to see that tuition is a multi-faceted profession that has the proud ability to help a wide range of people. Far from being reserved for homework and exams, tuition has a strong role beyond school years, with skilled tutors who are able to guide you through everything from university coursework, to developing your expertise in a corporate setting. So next time you need an educational boost, consider trying a tutor, rather than tapping an app!

Natasha Saed is a French, Spanish and ESL tutor in Surrey. She can be contacted at www.tutorinsurrey.co.uk, and has over 2 years experience teaching both children and adults of all ages and abilities.


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