“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Xun Kuang
Private tutorials are recommended for pupils who are struggling in a variety of subjects: languages, music, science, humanities, etc.
The tutoring market in the UK is estimated at £2bn per year and has been growing in recent years with over 40% of pupils in London having received tutoring in some form.
This can make teaching private tutorials very appealing to aspiring tutors. Home tutoring is becoming increasingly popular for test prep, helping students with their homework or an assignment, and providing academic support for a semester or throughout the whole academic year.
In our final article in our series on teaching group tutorials, we’re looking at the advantages of teaching multiple students in private tutorials.
Individual Private Tutorials or Group Private Tutorials?
To help a struggling student, finding a private tutor to teach them is one of the best solutions available to parents.
Private tutorials are an opportunity for a student to go back over something they didn’t understand in class in a relaxed environment where they won’t be scared of giving a wrong answer or being judged by the peers.
Sociologists have noted that it’s normally the upper classes who can afford private tutorials for struggling students. Additionally, the children of the upper classes are statistically less likely to fail at school than those from the working classes, which you might think isn’t really fair.
Private tutorials are a significant expense for some families and can put a bigger strain on those with lower household incomes. That said, academic support can still help close the gap between the classes in terms of education as students can get help with subjects they might be having trouble with at school.
Private tutorials and academic support provide students with a number of benefits: some children prefer to work in a group tutorial as they work better than they do in class at school.
Let’s have a look at the two options available to parents and students: individual private tutorials and group private tutorials.
A group class will have the costs divvied up between all the students. Group classes provide learning in a friendly environment where students are encouraged to share learning with each other.
The classes normally include a group no larger than 10 (though this will vary depending on age and subject) and students are supposed to learn from both the tutor and one another.
Some subjects are better for group lessons than others, especially subjects like languages, music, sport and fitness, and maths. On the other hand, group sewing classes or group exam prep classes aren’t really as good.
It completely depends on what the objectives of the tutorials are...
How Should Group Tutorials Be Conducted?
You’ll read that you can get group classes in any subject you like for students in primary school, secondary school, and beyond.
There are different types of group classes such as intensive tutorials, catchup tutorials during the school holidays, and preparation classes for the upcoming school year. The main benefit is that the tutors and students can develop a better rapport with one another than they can in individual private tutorials.
They can also learn at a quicker rate than in class as their tutor can spend more time with them, adapt to their learning style, and help them achieve the grades that they really deserve.
Another difference with group tutorial is that they tend to take place at a dedicated classroom rather than a student’s home. Flexibility is essential for private tutors. The more tutees the private tutor has, the more flexible they’ll need to be, both in class and when they plan their lessons.
Private tutorials can take place in the evenings and during the school holidays. This is especially true for the tutors on Superprof, who often offer tutorials to individual students and to groups of students in dedicated classrooms either at their home or elsewhere.
Can you really teach all subjects to groups at any level?
Even for the best tutors, there are some subjects that can’t be taught in groups. A guitar lesson tends to be better with individuals whereas language lessons and subjects which require discussion are much better in groups.
Group Tutorials: Why Learn in a Group?
Learning in a group is a great way for some students to catch up with what they’re struggling with at school.
There are plenty of other advantages to private group tutorials.Firstly, the law of supply and demand can help: The more students in a class, the less per person that each student has to pay.
Generally, a private tutorial costs between £15 and £30 per hour. In a group class, a tutor could charge £30 per student for a two-hour tutorial.
The student can learn twice as much for less.
The tutor can also earn more. For example, £150 for two hours of classes with 5 students rather than £60 for two hours with a single student.
Group classes can be more effective than individual classes: students learn together and share. They also create social bonds with other students. This can help students rebuild their confidence after a bad year at school or when their confidence is knocked when they start struggling in a certain subject.
Let’s consider a Spanish lesson, for example: having the group discuss a Spanish text and speaking to one another than encourage students to learn. Another advantage is that most teachers in state schools have to plan a class for dozens of students at once.
Even with the best intentions and a myriad of teaching approaches, they can’t always teach in exactly the way they’d like. Instead, they may have to digress, focus on a particular point, and make sure every student is on the same page before advancing.
Let’s go back to our example of a Spanish class. Rather than doing a list of irregular verbs, a private tutor could make Spanish conjugation into a game.
By incorporating the verb conjugations into simple phrases in a conversation with the students. Thus, they’ll improve their speaking and listening skills without realising they’re even studying.
Private tutorials are an opportunity for students to catch up, consolidate their studies, and feel equal to their peers by being helped academically in the heart of a group experiencing the same difficulties as them.
What Are the Disadvantages of Group Lessons?
It’s not all good, though. Everything has its pros and cons.
A private group tutor summed it up perfectly:
“One of the disadvantage of group classes is that certain students are more advanced than others, which can demotivate those who don’t have the resources to catch up with them.”
The problem is that not every student advances at the same rate, just like in primary school or secondary school.
There’s also geography. If students need to travel across town by car, bus, tram, or metro to get to the classroom, they can get demotivated on the way. In some cases, parents just don’t have the time to take their kids to another class.
Not bothered by the disadvantages?
You can find a tutor on Superprof easily by searching your subject and where you live. This will provide you with a list of tutors providing academic tutoring in your area. If you select “via webcam” when you search, you can find an online tutor.
If you're worried about the cost or getting the wrong tutor, don't forget that most of the tutors on Superprof offer free tutoring for the first hour so you can see if you or our child get along with them and whether the tuition they're offering is for you.
Interesting in providing your own private tutoring services?
If you create your profile on Superprof, you can offer instruction in plenty of subjects including physics, mathematics (calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc.), chemistry, biology, English, French, Spanish, etc.
You just have to create your profile and state what you teach and where you teach it. You have the option of offering individual tutorials or group tutorials.
As we mentioned earlier, you can also offer online teaching jobs via webcam. However, unless you and all your students have a really good internet connection, this is much better for one on one tutoring than for group tutoring jobs.
With all that said, nothing's impossible and since you're your own boss, it's up to you to decide to a solution that works for you and what you want to teach!