Human nature dictates that we only seek help when we need it: seldom do we have the anticipation of craving assistance until crunch time, and then we're caught out!
Don't let this happen to you. Follow this guide in order to quickly find the best tutors who has the exact knowledge, skills and ability to help you in your time of need.
Why all the Urgency?
Your child has ongoing difficulties in English, maths, science etc.
A-Levels are looming and your child does not feel confident about test preparation.
You have been tasked with giving a major presentation at work and wish to perfect your graphic design abilities.
Your parents' silver anniversary party is a few months away: you need to recover that marvelous singing voice you had in the school choir.
All of these instances have one common element: urgency!
Our advice to you: forget anxiety. Be proactive in finding the teacher you need.
Taking Action: Step One
Finding the academic tutoring your child needs can be as easy as launching your web browser.
Online you will find all manner of tutoring services and in home tutors eager to guide you to academic success. In fact, the selection of one on one private tutors can be a bit overwhelming, but it really doesn't have to be.
Superprof is a great site to start your enquiry. There you will find one to one tutors for virtually any discipline, ordered by:
Area of specialty – academic courses, arts, crafts, music (guitar, piano, voice and others) language, and more.
- some tutors specialize exclusively in test prep and others help develop study skills
Geographic location, and whether home tutoring or online tutoring is offered.
Level of instruction – basic, intermediate, college level, expert, adult or professional
A Simple Solution to Finding a Tutor
Superprof provides a simple way to identify tutors and tutoring programs that would be most apt to deliver the supplemental instruction every tutee needs.
On individual profile pages, at a glance you will find criteria that might sway your decision to one tutor over another:
Toward the bottom right of the page is a useful information box that tells you when this tutor last logged in.
For quickest response, look for a tutor who has logged in within the last week.
To the left of the page is a credentials box that, among other things, indicates how quickly you should receive a reply.
You should target tutors who have a proven track record of replying within hours; at the most a half-day.
Considering the pressure you face, it would be well worth sacrificing sufficient time to find those teachers who are most active on the site and respond quickly to queries.
However, Superprof helps you save time in other ways. At the bottom of each page, you will find profiles for other teachers of the same discipline, eliminating the need for constantly returning to your search page.
You can also read testimonials left by previous students to help you determine if this is the best tutor for you.
When you find a tutor whose abilities match your need, be sure to 'click' the heart next to his/her picture. That profile will then show up in the favourites tab at the top of the page.
This step is a vital time saver for the next stage of the process.
Initiating Contact With Your Home Tutor
Now that you have collected a selection of potentially suitable tutors on the 'favourites' page, it is time to draft your request.
Explain what motivates you to seek help. Highlight when you are available for learning and touch on your preferred method of instruction – one on one in your home or at theirs, online, or any combination thereof.
Do not hesitate to express the urgency of your situation!
Obviously, time is of the essence. Writing multiple requests can be quickly done by first drafting a template, and then copying it to each prospective professor, amending details as necessary.
Feel free to contact several tutors at once. Receiving multiple responses means that you get to choose the cream of the crop!
Suggestions to Help Ensure Results
In spite of your best efforts, you may run into a few dead-ends in your search for the best tutor of the subject you require individualized instruction on.
Perhaps all of the tutors in question already have full schedules and are not accepting any new students, even for the short-term.
- Try broadening your search to a larger radius. Perhaps your ideal tutor is just a few miles out of town.
- Instead of in home tutoring, consider online tutoring. Private tuition online has proven effective in all but the most physical of studies, such as dancing or swimming.
Your schedule is too restrictive to permit any sessions outside of what you have already planned on.
- Here, flexibility is key. You might be able to shift some of your other obligations, at least for the time that you will be in learning mode.
No teacher is available to instruct you in your home.
- Declaring a willingness to meet in the teacher's home would remove that stumbling block. Or perhaps you could agree to meet in a public area equidistant to both of you.
- Online learning would be a good solution to this challenge, too.
Diversifying Your Tutor Search
In spite of your best efforts, you've found no satisfaction with online results. Or perhaps interfacing with a computer doesn't sit well with you when your need is so specific.
It is time to consider other strategies.
Does your pre-teen need homework help? Is your primary school student struggling with grammar, reading or writing?
A college or higher level student might fit the bill.
The great advantage of a (relatively) young tutor coaching your learner is that they are likely to understand each other and possibly bond - a proven benefit to successful learning.
How to recruit such help: Word of mouth is a quick, easy way, especially if you live in a community with a lot of school-aged children. Who knows? Your neighbor's child might be your child's new Chemistry tutor!
You can also post notices on bulletin boards at grocery stores, libraries and on college campuses.
Is your teen sweating the upcoming GCSE or fretting over his A-Level?
Engaging the services of a certified professor for standardized tests prep is not out of the question.
The advantage of this arrangement is that such educators are well-versed in the subject material and perhaps even know what to expect on exam day.
How to recruit such help: visit local schools. Math and science teachers routinely dedicate their evenings and weekends to providing supplementary education to pupils with learning weaknesses.
You could also cast a glance at your local paper's classifieds section. It is not uncommon for a certified teacher who wishes to transition to one on one tutoring full-time to test the waters locally by placing an advert.
In fact, it wouldn't hurt for you to place an ad yourself, announcing that you are looking for private tutoring.
What about that big presentation you're due to give?
Head directly to the Continuing Education Center nearest you!
Universities all over the UK, even renown ones such as Cambridge and Oxford offer continuing education and 'short classes' – intensive sessions that last from one to only a few days. Perhaps your local institute of higher learning also has such courses available?
The Learning and Work Institute, is making great strides in helping adults sharpen their professional skills. Perhaps they are active in your local community center?
And getting the rust off your golden pipes before your parents' big anniversary party?
Your local music school may well have an accomplished performer who can coach you through voice exercises.
Here, a note of caution. Hiring a tutor with tons of raw talent but little technique will certainly give you soaring vocals to aspire to. However, s/he might not be able to tell you how to attain the modulation you need for that delicate ballad you aim to sing.
That aside, the advantage of engaging an artist-in-training: initially driven by need, you might be bowled over by his/her sheer passion and find yourself carried away, without realizing how quickly you're improving.
As a last resort, whatever your educational need: if you have not a minute to spare, you can enroll at any of the multitude of tutoring centers whose purpose is to provide supplemental instruction.
Your cost will most likely be higher than if you work with a private tutor, especially an online tutor. However, these agency fees may be offset by a tax credit. Unfortunately, tax credits do not apply to you unless you are self-employed and can write the course off as a business expense. You might consider searching for free tuition with a number of charitable organisations.
It is difficult to anticipate needing help, especially if you are normally self-sufficient and assertive.
Isn't it nice to know that, when confronted with a learning situation demanding a hasty solution, there are literally legions of people prepared to leap to your aid?
Now you know where and how to announce your urgent need for private lessons.