The Best Tutors in the UK.
“Minerva was the third agency we looked at, and hit the nail on the head for me – didn’t want to push my son too much and is now seeing fantastic benefits...Ellora, Minerva 7+ Parent
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How To Find The Best Tutors For Your Child.
Finding a tutor is straightforward enough, but finding the best tutors for your child is a whole other story.
The ‘best tutors’ may have thousands of hours of experience. They may have helped their students achieve places at top, competitive independent schools. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best tutors for you.
Finding the best tutors is about finding those who can connect with their students, identify and work on their weaknesses and act as a positive mentor as well as an academic support.
While connecting with students is important, the best tutors will always remain professional and never let the relationship get too friendly. Many tutors have stories of some of their earliest students, when they would too easily befriend a student, who would then gradually refuse to focus on work. The best tutors can build a rapport with students, without letting it become overly casual.
However, more often than not tutors benefit from not being over-formal and fitting into the model of being the same as a student’s school teachers. The personal nature of tutoring means the best tutors can also be a sounding board and positive adult mentor for their students, while maintaining professionalism.
The best tutors aren’t necessarily those with a PhD or first class degree, but those who want to engage their students, and have thoroughly researched and prepared what they’re teaching.
This means knowing the syllabus, exam dates and structure, and where to find the appropriate resources. Or, for homeschooling students and those requiring general help, it’s about identifying which areas to focus on, setting goals and motivating the student to develop a love for what they are learning.
There are vast numbers of tutors who have done a few hours here and there for a long time (or a short time). Many of them are fantastic tutors, but often the best tutors are those who have chosen it as more of a full-time profession, and fill their weeks with helping all manner of different students.
The best tutors are also those who have undergone training in different areas, such as SEN or teaching the 11 Plus, and will be used to adapting to the needs of different students. They are more likely to be well-prepared, have easy access to all the resources they may need, and have experience of teaching the material.
Equally, it’s important for tutors to be flexible, and be able to abandon something that was planned or switch it up mid-lesson because something’s not working. The best tutors will always be flexible, adapt to the student’s needs and find the right formula.
The best tutors will always find a creative way to make the material engaging, even if this seems unlikely at first.
In getting to know a student, the best tutors will always eventually find a way to make the material at least somewhat more appealing, however disengaged or unmotivated a student may be. This might mean videos, board games, in depth comparisons to Eastenders plotlines, Beyoncé lyrics or Arsene Wenger’s decision to step down, field trips or science experiments, but many students are surprised to find something they connect to about a subject they thought they hated.
It goes without saying that the best tutors love what they’re doing, and find the experience of helping students to achieve their goals, while being a positive, confidence-boosting influence, exceptionally rewarding. Tutoring can be a lucrative business, but working with children and teens can also be frustrating and exhausting. The best tutors do it because they love it.
What does Minerva do?
Minerva are careful about which tutors we select to have on our books, as we generally operate a ‘fewer tutors, more hours’ policy. We like to know our tutors a little better, and prefer those who are keen to commit a significant number of hours, and quickly improve their craft so they can swiftly become some of the best tutors around.
Pro Tutor scheme.
There is something of a ‘wild west’ nature about the tutoring industry. It can be fairly unregulated, and there are many out there only in it for the short term, and with relatively little experience. We wanted to change that.
Two years ago Minerva piloted a scheme of full-time, salaried ‘Pro Tutors’ who were fully a part of the company, and enjoyed all the benefits, including guaranteed tutoring hours, while taking on additional responsibilities.
As of now, we have six full-time pros who have been swiftly gaining experience with a variety of students, and expertise in many different subject areas. Indeed, they’re already some of our best tutors. As well as face-to-face tutoring, our pros deliver bespoke homeschooling packages, online tutoring and tutoring abroad. They also help deliver EFL courses for international tennis camps, help run London’s best summer school (Minerva Me Club, now in its third year), teach coding and write blogs.
Minerva offers regular training for Pro Tutors. This has ranged from how to help students with a variety of learning difficulties; delivering online tutoring; safeguarding; preparing the 11 Plus for independent girls’ schools; the different strategies and requirements for tutoring Common Entrance, GCSE and A Level syllabuses.
However, the most important training we offer to all of our tutors is the ‘Minerva Method’, our own guidance on the theory, aims, objectives and outcomes of tutoring. We believe that it is always about far more than just getting a certain grade, or a student getting into a certain school. Of course this is often an important end-goal, but the best tutors incorporate this goal into an appropriate, engaging and well-structured manner that benefits the student overall. We emphasise the importance of a tutor not just teaching the material, but also being a positive impact on a student’s confidence, academic achievement and overall wellbeing.
It’s important to know that a tutor is doing what’s required with a student. Temple, Minerva’s online lesson reporting software, lets tutors fill in a full report of what was done in the lesson, and any other comments. You’ll get an alert when one has been filled in, and can track your child’s progress week-by-week.
More importantly, every lesson is ranked by four measures – confidence, motivation, ability and improvement. This offers parents an accurate picture of a student’s development, over weeks and months, in a more holistic sense that stretches beyond just improved academic results.
Crucially, Minerva always works hard to find the best tutors for you. We don’t just send someone with the right qualifications and experience, but find out as much as we can about the student so we can find the ideal tutor. There are huge numbers of freelance tutors, agencies, and part-timers who may well provide a suitable match, but striving to find the best tutors for a particular student’s needs is much more difficult.
However, if it’s not the right fit, the team are on hand in the office every day to offer help, advice or support to parents.
Although Minerva is a small team, there is a reason we are one of the fastest growing education companies in the UK. We pride ourselves not just on our enthusiasm and professionalism, but always working to find the best tutors for every student.
We were enthusiastically reviewed by the Good Schools Guide in 2017, and runners-up at the 2016 Education Investor Awards for Best Education Company.
If you want help finding the best tutors for your children, call the Temple of Minerva on 0208 819 3276, or email us at email@example.com