Olivia Wareham, Educational Lead for Cognita Tutoring, gives her advice on choosing the right tutor for your child

A new year is the perfect time to reflect and set new goals and, as we enter a new academic term, it’s the ideal time to reset and look at what support your child needs for the year ahead. The last two years have been extremely challenging for children, says Olivia Wareham, Educational Lead for Cognita Tutoring, and she adds that finding the right tutor for a child can often be fraught with challenges. “Children have individual needs and what is right for one child isn’t necessary right for another”.

Tailoring the tutoring to the child becomes critical. She adds: “From high achievers to children with low confidence and awkward social skills – children are all different and require a tutor who can recognise their needs and adapt their lessons and style accordingly.” The fast-growing tutoring market is currently unregulated, which means anyone can set themselves up as a tutor regardless of qualifications. Olivia Wareham says: “You may decide to opt for a student, which is cheaper, but understand that they don’t have experience and that increases the risk of sending your child in the wrong direction”. Here are the key points she suggests you consider when looking for the right tutor for your child.

Professional qualifications – Is your tutor qualified and experienced enough to deliver tutoring to the right standard? “At Cognita Tutoring each tutor is trained to deliver online lessons that inspire and engage, and which balance academic attainment with wellbeing and confidence building,” says Olivia Wareham. Ensuring your child’s tutor is a qualified teacher and experienced in their chosen subject matter offers reassurance. A good tutor should not only be capable in their particular subject matter, but should also know how to motivate and inspire your child. Teachers who have passion for their subject make excellent tutors. Passion and enthusiasm is contagious and this in turn creates a much more enjoyable learning environment. 

“It’s important that child and tutor have a good rapport – ask about complimentary or introductory sessions as not only will this help you get to know the tutor, but these help determine if your child and the tutor will work well together”

Rapport – Besides qualifications and experience, it’s important that the child and tutor have a good rapport.  You should expect background information about the teacher so you can find out more. For instance, Cognita Tutoring ‘Find a Tutor’ section contains mini biographies to allow you to learn more about each teacher. It’s also a good idea to try before you buy. Ask about complimentary or introductory sessions. Not only will this help you get to know the tutor, but also help determine if your child and the tutor will work well together and get along – their relationship is very important to the success of the tutoring. At Cognita, the first complimentary session allows children the opportunity to ask the tutor lots of questions – it’s important for children to be as open-minded and honest as possible. This enables the tutor to ascertain what their real learning needs are and plan accordingly.

Technology – The other key ingredient for success of online tutoring is the technology that powers it. Cognita Tutoring partnered with CENTURY – award winners in the EdTech space. The AI-driven ‘intelligent’ platform combines the very latest research in neuroscience with a highly personalised learning system that can define strengths and weaknesses in your child’s knowledge and tailor their learning accordingly. Complementing online tutoring sessions are additional micro lessons, known as ‘nuggets’, that provide a customised learning path for students between lessons and enable the tutor to hone in on areas that are a struggle or where further development would be useful.  The platform is particularly beneficial in promoting and nurturing self-confidence and independence by ensuring that the child learns in an individual, focused and rewarding way.

Cognita Tutoring cognitatutoring.com

Further reading: A parents’ guide to online schools