Last week, a parent of one of our students was asking about our tutors. He wanted to know whether we hired any high school students to teach our classes. He was surprised when I told him that, at Spectrum Tuition, we only hire current university students. He told me that he had been to several centres that hire high school students, and was less than pleased with the results. This conversation got me thinking about what it is that makes a good tutor, and why it is that we believe that university students are best suited for this role. So, I decided to give you my top 5 reasons why university students make some of the most effective tutors. Have a read, and let me know your thoughts on this topic.
1. They are top performers
At Spectrum, we firmly believe that, in order to be a great teacher, you have to be a great learner. As such, we only hire high achieving university students. Our tutors have worked extremely hard in year 12, achieved ATAR scores in the high 90s, received offers from leading universities, and have gone on to be immensely successful in their tertiary studies. Our talented tutors are studying to become Australia’s next generation of successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, accountants and academics, and are enthusiastic about passing on their passion and knowledge to your child.
2. They are enthusiastic about what they teach
What’s the difference between a high school biology student, and a university student who is working hard to pursue their dreams of becoming a pediatric surgeon? What’s the difference between a high school English student, and a university student writing a doctoral dissertation of early 20th century American poetry? The answer is passion. Our tutors love what they teach, whether it be biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry or English. And there’s nothing they love more than sharing their enthusiasm with their students.
3. Their knowledge is current
There’s nothing worse than a teacher or tutor who is stuck in their old ways, who hasn’t learnt anything knew for the past decade and just repeats the same old information year after year. One of the greatest advantages of hiring university students as tutors is that they are always learning. Because they are immersed within the academic world of their chosen field, they are always up to date with the latest ideas and developments. And because they have all completed their secondary education within the last 5 years, you can be sure that they have a current and up to date understanding of what is required of VCE students today.
Not only are our tutors top performers in their chosen field, at Spectrum Tuition, they are required to undergo regular and ongoing teaching training and development to improve specific skills relating to structuring effective classes, crafting explanations, organisation, record keeping and classroom management. They are open to learning and are determined to make their classes engaging, challenging and fun.
4. They are becoming experts in their field
Good students are full of questions. No matter what you tell them, they will always want to know “why?” A bad tutor will shrug their shoulders and change the subject; an average tutor will consult a textbook for answers; a great tutor will always have an answer. University students make great tutors because they are becoming experts in their chosen field. Not only do they know everything there is to know about the VCE curriculum, they have a wealth of extended knowledge, making it easier to answer any difficult question that they might be faced with.
5. They can relate to students
Being university students, our tutors have been through a lot over the past few years: exams, assignments, essays, tutoring, deadlines, pressure and many late nights. Most importantly, our tutors have been through all of this and have come out successfully. They have achieved excellent scores and learned how to find a productive balance between work, study and relaxation. Not only can our tutors relate to everything your child is going through, they can help to show that, they can provide a positive example of how hard work and dedication can truly pay off in the long term.
There is no doubt that, in the media, young adults are often portrayed as unmotivated, selfish and self-entitled. From our experience, this stereotype could not be further from the truth. We believe that today’s generation of university students are highly motivated, hard working and passionate about learning. The tutors that we hire see tertiary education, not just as a means for getting a high paying job, but as a valuable environment for developing their skills and knowledge. And, most importantly, we find that they are all enthusiastic about the possibility of passing on their knowledge, work ethic and passion for education onto the next generation of students. And that, really, is what tutoring should be about.
But what are your thoughts? What do you think makes a good tutor? Let me know!