Private Tutoring: 6 Myths You Should Ignore
Moby Dick was almost my downfall. I was in junior Advanced English and doing well. Until we read Moby Dick. Half the time I had no idea what was happening in the book, let alone the deeper meaning and symbols. Yet all my classmates seemed to know and understand. I remember thinking, “What is going on? Am I just stupid all of a sudden? Why don’t I get it?”
Looking back on it now, I can understand what went wrong. We were learning how to analyze texts in a way I had never done before; I simply needed more practice on that skill. Let’s not forget that Moby Dick is a tough text to read and understand, especially for a 16-year-old. Also, my classmates had gotten help in the form of Cliffs Notes. And eventually, I did too. (That little pamphlet saved me!)
Luckily, I figured out how to read and analyze fiction. However, if I had not been able to do it on my own, who would I have turned to? A tutor, that’s who. Someone who could help me with that specific book, but also continue to improve my analytical skills in other texts.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Who would my high school self turn to for help? A tutor, that’s who.” quote=”Who would my high school self turn to for help? A tutor, that’s who.”]
As a classroom teacher and now a tutor, I’ve heard lots of reasons to not get a tutor. Folks, most of them simply aren’t true! Let’s break down those persistent rumors and myths one-by-one:
6 Myths about Private Tutoring
Only struggling/ super smart/ little kids need private tutoring.
Everyone seems to think that only other kids get tutoring. Not true! All students can improve and grow. I’ve taught students who were really struggling and students with an A in the class. I was able to help each of them improve their knowledge and skills. Additionally, a lot of high school and college kids think they are too old for tutoring – wrong! Course content is so complex that you often need a specialist to help. And please don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help!
My child should improve immediately.
Sadly, nothing changes overnight. Except maybe the weather. Often, tutoring is filling in gaps in your child’s education. Those gaps formed over a long period of time and will take time to recover. It typically takes weeks and months to see significant progress. Look for upward momentum over time!
I only need a tutor right before exams.
Learning takes time. While a tutor may help with preparation for a major exam, such as the AP or IB, it’s more effective to work with a tutor for a longer period of time. You can’t learn all the content and test strategy in a just a few rushed sessions. (I know – students have tried. It never works out.) But if you spread those out over several months, it is more likely that your child will remember the content AND rock the strategies.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”You can’t learn all the test content and test strategies in a just a few rushed sessions.” quote=”You can’t learn all the test content and test strategies in a just a few rushed sessions.”]
In person is better than online tutoring.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but I have actually come to prefer online tutoring. It’s easier for your family and for the tutor – no traffic, no need to drop off and pick up, and very few distractions. Advances in technology allow for video conferencing, screen sharing, and editing of documents in real time. Honestly, online tutoring today is pretty dang close to in-person tutoring.
Private tutoring is too expensive.
This is often not the case. Yes, large tutoring firms, both in-person and online, tend to be more expensive. However, private tutors are more affordable and flexible than you might think. Also, please keep in mind that tutoring is an investment in your child’s education and future. Many parents will shell out big bucks for SAT or ACT prep (totally not necessary – read my post on cheap SAT prep), but don’t want to pay for a math tutor for their 7th grader. You will actually save money by investing in tutoring as soon as a problem arises.
There aren’t any qualified private tutors in my area.
There are tons of qualified tutors available! I’m talking about former and retired teachers, people with years of experience teaching kids and adults, not a high school or college kid looking to pick up some cash.
If you’re looking for a tutor, start with your school counselor and ask in your neighborhood FB group or on Nextdoor. And don’t forget everyone’s best friend, Google. Just search for “_____ tutor + your town”. Also, don’t worry if your child has a specific learning disability. There are many private tutors who are trained and specialize in specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or processing disorders.
Don’t let one of these myths get in the way of your child’s success!
PS – If you’re looking for a tutor for your teen in Social Studies, English, organization, or study skills, you can schedule a FREE 30-minute session with ME, no strings attached!
Related Posts: Becoming a Tutor: Why I Kissed My Gradebook Good-Bye, How to Know Your Teen Needs a Tutor, How to Find the Right Tutor for your Child, How to Work Successfully with a Tutor