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Teacher versus Tutor

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Most of us have the same experience with teachers, whether our own or something we've witnessed in so many TV shows and movies. It's the teacher who stands at the front of the room, lectures some, reads a bit, asks questions that will only be answered by raised hands, and usually ends up making students feel pretty bad about getting them wrong.

While this may not always be the case, teachers are under pressure to teach the same material to groups of 20 students or more. 20 personalities, 20 different learning styles, 20 varied backgrounds, even 20 different levels of hunger (ever dealt with a hungry kid?). It's not easy to have everybody reach the same end result, and it can be heartbreaking to see the students who have tried their best and failed because they were thinking a little differently.

The little things add up. When a child spends most of their day at school or exposed to work they can't understand, they end up thinking that they're stupid, they can't do anything, and that there's no hope. I've heard these things from kids as young as 7. I have a couple of things to say about that. For one, these kids need hobbies to remind them that they CAN learn and achieve great things. Another thing is that these kids need tutors to make their school material easier to understand, and also to make themselves easier to understand.

Tutors serve not only to reteach, remediate, or expose students to new material, but also to help students see where their thought pattern went awry or when they did something out of habit instead of thoughtfulness. Students are taught material at school, but not taught how to study or to teach themselves. Knowledge is power, of course, and a tutor's responsibility is to empower students with knowledge of skills, material, and self.

Furthermore, a tutor serves as another resource for parents and students. For students, the tutor is somewhere between the teacher and the parent in terms of knowledge and authority. I have heard many parents concerned that their child doesn't understand the teacher, and won't listen to their parent when it comes to homework, because well, they're the parent. So why not just delegate that homework help and rid yourself of the stress? Tutors, many also being teachers, are often familiar with the school system and can help parents access the online gradebooks and keep better track of their child's education. As a tutor, I've even called and emailed my students' teachers on parents' behalf.

So while tutors do teach, they do so much more, too. Individual attention is so important with students, and that alone can create leaps in learning. Couple that with skills and strategies given to students to help them achieve on their own, you've got a recipe for a happy, adaptable, and successful child.

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