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Archive for May, 2013

Shorter school holidays make for more successful students

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Last month Michael Gove, Education Minister, argued that pupils in England should spend more hours in school each day and have shorter holidays.

Speaking at an education conference he said that the most successful education system (in East Asia) has both longer days and fewer holidays. He argues that our education system was designed to work around an ‘agricultural system’, maybe harking back to a time when children had to be in the fields helping their parents with the crops and animals. As we are now in more modern times Mr Gove thinks we need to have children in school more to compete with more academically successful countries. He also made the point that longer days combined with shorter holidays would make life easier for working parents.

And maybe in this respect Mr Gove has a point – in families with two full  time working parents early school finishes and long summer holidays can cause real childcare headaches and have a considerable financial impact. If you aren’t lucky enough to have friends or grandparents who can do the school pick ups or act as holiday cover then you can incur huge costs for after school clubs and holiday play schemes.

Many parents and teachers have objected to the idea of longer days because of the pressure many children already find themselves under, especially with the introduction of testing at a younger age (SATS).

Although there may be some benefits to what Mr Gove is suggesting at 121 Home Tutors we’d like to see some research done into the pros and cons for both students and teachers before these steps are taken.

If you’d like to know more about one to one private tutoring in Manchester, Didsbury, Sale, Chorlton and surrounding areas contact us today.

 

The Child Driven education

Monday, May 13th, 2013

TED is an organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It’s a fantastic resource for students (and teachers) to watch inspirational speakers talk about a variety of topics. We recently came across educational researcher Sugata Mitra talking at TED about children and teaching.

“There are places on earth, in every country, where, for various reasons, good schools cannot be built and good teachers cannot or do not want to go…”

http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html

There are some fascinating insights on why and how children learn. There’s a very powerful message about children being interested in something in order to be educated.

We frequently find students who come to us for tutoring aren’t interested in either the topic or the way it’s being taught in the classroom. It becomes our job to find new ways to engage a child, either by taking a different approach to learning (so  we might ditch the books and use videos, or turn off the computers and try drawing mind maps and using pens and paper). What we find, as Arthur C Clarke says in the video, is once a child is interested it becomes education.

If you’d like to know more about how one to one tutoring (covering Manchester, Hulme, Trafford, Heaton Mersey, Wilmslow and other areas) and how it can change your child’s approach to education call us today. 

How to become a private tutor

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

At 121 Home Tutors we regularly get calls and emails from people who are interested in becoming private tutors. Some of these people are already teachers, have teaching qualifications, have tutored in the past or have some sort of educational experience. However,  many have no teaching experience or qualifications at all and want to take the first step into tutoring. Here’s a quick guide for those who want to start a new career in tutoring.

  • You’ll need a specialist subject and usually at one level above those you are teaching. So if you want to teach A Level Maths you’ll need a degree in Maths (or a closely related subject).
  • If you only have industry experience you may still work as a tutor but it’s a good idea to try and get some work experience in tutoring or training.  One way is to offer to volunteer in schools.
  • You generally don’t need a PGCE (teaching qualification) to tutor but it may be worth exploring further qualifications to enhance your CV.
  • In general most tutors are self-employed so be prepared to find your own work and to have ups and downs in your income. Tutoring often happens in evenings and at weekends to fit around school times.
  • Many tutors work in their students’ homes so you’ll need transport and may have to pass a DBS (previously known as a CRB) check.
  • Depending on what you are teaching you will need to be aware of the syllabus for the subject you are teaching and any educational changes that impact on your tutoring.
  • Remember when you apply for a tutoring post to put together a well-composed CV and letter and proofread it very carefully.

If you’d like to know more about private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire you can contact us here or you can apply to be a private tutor through our website.