How to recognize good tutoring?


Your child has had difficulties in one or more school subjects for a long time. It hardly learns, doesn't like to go to school and comes home with statements like "I hate maths". You have now decided to support your child with professional tutoring. But which private tutoring school should you choose? With the huge selection, it's a difficult decision. These 8 characteristics help you to recognize the professionalism of a private tutoring institution:

1. Transparency in prices and performance

The tutoring school must be transparent at all levels. You should know exactly what services you receive for what prices. How long does a lesson last? Is it individual or group tutoring? Are teaching materials included in the price? It is also important to know the background of the teachers at the school. Are they qualified teachers? Have they studied the subject? Do they have experience in dealing with children? The question of transparency also relates to the learning content taught. You should know exactly which topics were dealt with in tutoring so that you can keep track of them. So make sure they offer a transparent range of services!


2. Orientation on the curriculum

You can also recognise the professionalism of a tutor by the fact that he or she is familiar with the curriculum. The topics and competences that are learned and expected at a class level are set out in the curriculum. The teaching materials from school also take up the contents from the curriculum. You can find out which teaching materials are permitted and obligatory from the homepage of the Volksschulamt. For Zurich:

Check whether the tutoring is adapted to the current curriculum.


3. Suitable tutors

Ultimately, it is not the tutor's certificates that decide how well he or she can teach your child. It is important that the tutor can awaken your child's joy in learning and motivation for the subject again. The much quoted study by the famous education researcher John Hattie shows that the role of the tutor has the greatest effect on a child's learning behaviour. Without respect and appreciation, care and trust, learning cannot succeed. The right image of man and the right attitude towards young people are not (only) taught at the Pedagogical University, but are qualities that tutors and teachers acquire through practical experience and a healthy attitude to life. So do not (only) look for certificates!


4. Work according to a pedagogical concept

Every educational institution should have a concept according to which it works. Only on the basis of a concept can the pedagogical work be evaluated and impact-oriented action be made possible. Not every concept suits you and your child. So choose a school according to criteria that are essential for you. For example, it is important to many parents that their children are looked after individually and at the same time have the opportunity to learn in groups. A balance between individual learning guidance and cooperative forms of learning seems to be the right thing for many students. What does your tutoring school understand by the term "learning" is the crucial question you should ask at the beginning.


5. What does your child say?

The best indicator for the quality of a tutoring institution still is your child. How your child can best learn, what motivates him or her and whether he or she feels understood by the teacher is best known by your child. Before you arrange regular tutoring, you should register your child for 1-2 trial lessons. If the school passes this practical test, then you can send your child to the tutoring with a clear conscience.


6. Back-up instead of cancellation

As is the case at regular schools, tutors occasionally become ill. But it is important that the tutoring is not interrupted permanently. Otherwise, sustainable learning is hardly possible. A professional school always has a reserve for unexpected absences. So also pay attention to the size of the private tutoring institution. A school with 5 tutors can hardly cover the demand and unforeseeable absences. The size of the school is therefore an important quality criterion.


7. Continuity and reliability

As in any educational institution, reliable personnel also is of great importance here. Constantly changing teachers cannot establish a relationship of trust with your child. However, a good relationship with the teacher is important if your child is to talk about problems at school and difficulties in the subject. Be warned: High staff turnover speaks for a poor working atmosphere. Reliability must also exist with regard to teaching dates. Changing teaching days and times do not bring any continuity and also confuse your plans. So only register your child at a well-organised and well-structured school.


8. Proven seals of quality

But how good are the tutoring institutions really? By now, there are numerous quality seals that evaluate educational institutions in their work. Pay attention to the certificates and find out about their seriousness. A certificate of quality does not guarantee success, but makes it much more probable.