Five steps to choose the right tutor

The Straits Times, 20 May 2017

With the many tuition options available nowadays, it might be difficult to decide which tutor is best suited fo your child. Here are several things to look out for when selecting a tutor:


Producing a set of notes Filled with original ideas and passion is no easy task. Some tutors might take shortcuts by “cutting-and-pasting” from other sources. These notes usually lack coherence and a comprehensive coverage of the syllabus. So, it is advisable to place more emphasis on the teaching materials when choosing a tutor. Much like judging a chef, one should evaluate the food first, rather than the flamboyant design of the restaurant.


Claiming to be good is easy. Proving it, however, requires rigorous examination from the established authorities as far as teaching is concerned. You should be wary of tutors who make such claims but fail to produce any supporting evidence. Those who label themselves National Institute of Education-trained tutors should hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Programmes qualification, which you can request to check.


To optimise the benefits of having tuition, students should take an active role in learning and fully utilise the tutor’s presence. A sincere tutor must be willing to go the extra mile to assist students beyond the lesson time. As a parent, you may wish to observe if the tutor is able to stay back after class to answer your child’s individual queries. The right tutor should also provide consultations via email or WhatsApp messaging.


As the famous saying goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” If a student learns the proper skills and develops a genuine interest in the subject, the effects will be long-lasting and the results will naturally follow later on. To check if your tutor has succeeded in this, check if your child has put in his best efforts to complete the worksheets or assignments given by the tutor. The right tutor should be able to help your child accomplish this.


A good partnership between a tutor and your child needs some form of inherent chemistry. Your child should first be fond of the tutor before affnity towards the subject can be solidly developed. However, if the tutor lacks this sort of natural ingredient, perhaps you should consider finding another tutor. Wishing you all the best in your search for the right tutor!

Jackie Lee

About Jackie Lee

Mr Jackie Lee is an icon in the fields of primary, secondary and junior college (JC) Maths and is well-liked by many students. He has 20+ years of experience in private tuition teaching maths, both online and in a classroom and was also formerly teaching Mathematics in Nan Hua High School, Anderson Junior College, Raffles Institution (JC) and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).
His teaching philosophy is that there is no shortcut way of success.

Find our more about Jackie at

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