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Archive for February, 2012

Do tutors just help people pass exams?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

At 121 Home Tutors we get all kinds of calls and emails asking for private tutoring help – from the parents of a primary school child already falling behind with Maths to 11 plus tutoring and A Level one on one tuition. Most people come to us because they have an end goal in mind – to pass an exam, get better at a subject or overcome a problem with a topic.

What we hear at the end of the tutoring process might surprise you. Our students (and their parents) and thrilled we’ve helped them pass exams, gain entrance to a grammar school or get to grips with a difficult subject. But we also regularly hear that private tutoring has given them so much more than an exam certificate. It’s boosted their confidence, help them improve in other subject areas that they aren’t been tutored in and changed their attitude to school and learning.

In the last couple of years we have seen parents and children place less emphasis on these areas and more on just passing the exam and we think that’s a missed opportunity.

As we move beyond school and college we require a vast set of core skills – from planning to research skills, creativity and adaptability. These skills are best taught and embedded at a young age to encourage versatile, confident and talented adults. Passing exams is important but they are no guarantee to landing the right job or progressing in a career.

One of our tutors has recently returned from several years teaching overseas and has seen firsthand how many students (especially in the Far East) are using private tutoring to develop core skills that will see them succeed many years after they leave education.

We are working with our students to encourage them to use their tutors as a resource rather than just a means to pass an exam so their overseas competitors don’t leave them behind.

If you’d like to know more about private tutoring at primary and secondary level in Manchester (Hale, Stretford and Trafford) then contact 121 Home Tutors today.

Writing CVs and tutoring

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

This month we’re concentrating on hunting for and finding jobs. We receive lots of CVs from people looking for tutoring work and we also handle enquiries from people wanting general help with their English skills for job applications. Private tutors aren’t just for school age students. We have a number of tutors in the Manchester area who specialise in writing skills and helping people find jobs. So whether you are applying for your first job out of university or well established in your career, how do you make sure your CV will get your noticed in all the right ways?

There are no hard and fast rules about CVs but there are some things that make CVs easier to read and absorb and some things that should be avoided.

  • If you are writing a CV from scratch, then try and stick to two sides of A4 paper. Make sure you pick an easy to read font in a reasonable size and choose good quality white or cream paper.
  •  Don’t use coloured paper, fancy looking (but hard to read) fonts or pages and pages of information. A CV is a snapshot of who you are and is intended to get you an interview, not to tell someone every fact about you.
  •  Only put relevant information on your CV, this is particularly important if you have changed career. Don’t include unnecessary detail such as months with a previous employer or every GCSE you have passed.
  • Use bullet points and keep the language you use professional but upbeat – you want a prospective employer to know you were an active participant in the tasks you have on your CV.
  • Your CV is your shop window. Keep it positive, include the good bits and play down the bad bits (for example if you have a poor degree class then just list your degree).
  •  If you include interests and activities then keep them brief and truthful! If you can, then make them relevant to the application.
  •  You don’t need to include references on your CV but do make sure you have them to hand when you are asked.

If you need help writing a CV or job application or general English and writing skills in Manchester including areas such as Levenshulme, Trafford and Urmston then contact 121 Home Tutors.

Applying for tutoring jobs

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

This month we’re focussing on job applications. You might wonder why a tutoring company like 121 Home Tutors is writing about jobs but we receive lots of applications for tutoring positions and a surprising amount of enquiries from people who need help with writing applications and CVs. Sometimes people come to us because English isn’t their first language or they are unsure of how to structure an application correctly. We have a number of English and professional services tutors who can help if you want to put together an application that really shines and will ensure you secure the job you want.

But for a moment let’s go back to those people who apply to 121 Home Tutors for jobs. In the last few months we’ve seen a gradual increase in the number of applications we receive. The job market (and tutoring hasn’t escaped) is tough and we are receiving applications from people who have lost their jobs in many different fields and want to try their hand at tutoring. Unfortunately, we see the same mistakes again and again in applications so we’ve come up with some top tips for those who want to apply to become tutors.

  •  If you are applying by email then treat it exactly the same way as you would a letter. This is a job application, not a quick message to a friend. Keep it friendly but formal. And make sure you spell check before you send.
  •  If you are applying to multiple companies for tutoring then don’t cut and paste your application, think about why you are applying to that particular company and tailor your application and covering email. What we often see is applications that have details of another tutoring company included!
  •  If you are asked to complete a form which says ‘summary of relevant experience’ then complete the page. Do what the application asks, don’t direct someone to an attached sheet of A4 or a CV.
  •  Take your time to fill in an application. If you return it minutes after you receive it then it doesn’t demonstrate that you’ve put a lot of thought into the application or job.
  • Before you send your application check for spelling mistakes and grammar. If you aren’t sure then get a friend to check for you. Spell check doesn’t catch every mistake so read it aloud to double check. It looks incredibly sloppy if you are applying to be an English tutor and have spelling mistakes in the first line.
  •  Make sure your application clearly shows why you would be a good tutor. A list of qualifications is great but there is so much more to tutoring – think about how you would connect with a child, how would you manage with parents around, how would you plan tutoring sessions.

You can apply to be a tutor with 121 Home Tutors here. We are looking for primary and secondary private tutors in Maths and English in Didsbury, Sale and Altrincham. If you have skills in other areas do complete our application form and we will be in touch.