Don't knock tutors for helping children to aim high

2nd September 2011 at 01:00

"My life as a private tutor" does not reflect my experience. I have tutored in many types of residence, from stately homes to social housing. I have met people from a wide variety of backgrounds: some are wealthy; others struggle to pay me. I am usually paid by parents, but sometimes students earn the money to pay me themselves. That is dedication to a personal goal that no one could query.

Every student and parent has the right to pay for help. Inequality is part of life. Either try to get what you want - hence tutoring - or accept your limitations.

I teach business studies at A-level and above. I am passionate about my subject and have lived and breathed it for 30 years. I cannot express how much happiness I feel when one of my disenchanted, failing students achieves a good grade.

Our school system does not prepare students for failure when exams become harder. I can help them accept failure and work out how they can improve.

I stopped teaching in schools in part because I could not do the best for my students. The fact that last year I had more students from state schools than public schools is indicative of the situation in today's state-sector sixth-forms. As a former sixth-form teacher, I had already observed what this year's students have told me: there are discipline problems.

We are told we can't send disruptive pupils out of the classroom, but that the other students have the right to learn in a peaceful environment. One minute we are told disruptive students have the right to leave if they want to; the next we must keep them in class.

Between the demands of staff, students and senior management, I never had enough time to do quality lesson preparation. Eventually, after being on the receiving end of an extreme insult from a student, I decided I had the right not to be treated like that.

The students I tutor have respect for my age, knowledge and wisdom. They know I get them where they want to go, and I don't see why they should be criticised for paying for this. They enjoy learning and I enjoy teaching.

Name and address supplied.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now