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How do I get the best out of my tuition sessions?

You may think this is a fairly straightforward question with a very obvious answer, right? Well, you may be surprised to know then, that in our 17 years of experience, we have found that a lot of students and even parents, are not quite sure how to make the most of their tuition sessions and knowledgeable tutor.

Sometimes, between recognising that your child needs a tutor, contacting us, establishing tuition needs through our assessment process, and having a tutor attend your home can feel like you’re ‘turning up’ so to speak, and therefore your child can begin to absorb information and be ‘tutored’.

But, we can suggest a couple of scenarios for you to ponder while we look particularly at two different ways to approach tuition in secondary levels (we will tackle primary levels in our next blog post!).

Let’s take two students in year 10 English, for example, who have similar learning and tuition needs. We will call them Jack and Jill (yes, I have two little ones that are loving nursery rhymes at the moment so that’s what popped into my head first… hehehe).

Jack and Jill have come to APTUTORING for additional English support, and they really want to focus on being better prepared for VCE English that is fast approaching them.

Scenario A: Jill’s approach to tuition

Jill is organised for sessions with appropriate materials and when her tutor arrives she engages willingly.  At times, Jill spends most of her session jumping from topic to topic trying to remember her ideas and what she needs help with.  When she has a SAC due, Jill often realises last minute that she isn’t as prepared as she thought.

Jill asked her tutor for a list of novels  she could read to further her reading and responding skills.  In addition, Jill needs to extend her knowledge of the themes in her key school English texts so her tutor gave her a list of practice essay questions to develop her understanding and further her skills in essay writing.  Unfortunately, Jill has been unable to organise her time efficiently and isn’t engaging in writing practice essays for her school text or reading any additional novels.  Sometimes Jill struggles to motivate herself and unfortunately she has come to rely on tuition to be her main motivator.

Lastly, Jill has a tendency to be passive during tuition. She does ask questions occasionally but she lacks the motivation and initiative to think deeper and more critically about the information provided to her.

Scenario B: Jack’s approach to tuition

Before Jack’s tutor attends his home he reviews his class work to get a bigger picture of what he has learnt that week in class and what areas he has struggled with.  Sometimes that is an assessment task/SAC, a question about the study text, a question or a point his teacher has raised that he hasn’t had time to clarify in class.  Jack has a good understanding of what he needs from each tuition session to be able to work through his class work and develop his skills further.

During the assessment stage, Jack expressed a willingness to read a variety of supplementary novels to expose him to different genres of writing and extend his essay writing skills.  Jack was given a list of possible essay questions for his chosen texts and encouraged to submit practice essay responses to which he would be provided feedback and further direction.

Jack organised himself so that on weekends he could read some of the chosen texts.  Afterwards he worked with his tutor to develop his critical thinking and responses in essay format.  Jack often initiated further study on textual themes,  independent of his tutors set tasks and was able to formulate thoughtful questions to discuss with his tutor, further developing his knowledge of the texts.

So, having looked at these two year 10 students’ approach to English tuition, let’s bring the discussion back to our original focus question with a quick checklist of how you can best utilise tuition sessions:

How to get the best out of your tuition sessions?

Do:

  • Be prepared —obviously have all your information with you (eg. SAC dates/details, all study texts and novels, any additional work you have completed during the week).  Also, be like Jack and review your week before your tutor arrives.  Have a good idea of what you would like to work on with your tutor based on what you found challenging during the week.
  • Ask questions — not only does your tutor welcome your questions but they will also encourage you to think critically not just accept ideas at face value without challenge.  This is a key step in developing critical thinking skills to enable you to   respond to texts with depth in your analysis.
  • Communicate with your tutor — had a challenging or busy week at school and you couldn’t get through supplementary set work? Talk to your tutor and use your initiative to review goals and organisation skills to better assist you in completing set tasks.  Remember, teachers are human too, and they definitely understand the pressures of school life.  Maybe they can suggest a strategy that you may have overlooked?
  • Take initiative with tuition and your learning —what do I mean? Well, take ownership over your own learning.  Be the driver in achieving your learning goals and don’t wait for your tutor to always set tasks for you or tell you what to do.
  • Complete practice questions and review notes —going over your class work and tuition notes from the previous session before your tutor arrives will really help you keep track of areas of study you are understanding and reveal where more work may be required.

Don’t:

  • Only absorb information at face value without challenging content with further questions.
  • Suffer in silence. APTUTORING tutors are extraordinary people but they’re not mind readers. If you’re not understanding something, ask a question! If you’re struggling with organisation, motivation or workload… speak up! Tutors are human with a lot of useful life experience and suggestions that might help!
  • Sail through tuition as a passenger! To get all the benefits from tuition you need to participate, show initiative and take ownership over your learning.
  • Expect your brain to remember everything you worked on in previous sessions without giving it a helping hand! Regular reviews and study before seeing your tutor will help consolidate your knowledge and allow tuition to move you towards achieving your learning goals.
  • Cancel your sessions regularly! (Obviously we are not talking about ill health here or circumstances out of your control). Having one hour a week with your tutor is a drop in the ocean in comparison to school time.  It’s 60 minutes to cover a lot of curriculum and answer questions.  If you cancel regularly, you will find that tuition becomes a catch-up game and not much time is left to cover areas in the depth and detail you need.

So, as you can see, getting the most out of tuition, especially in secondary levels, involves so much more than just being ‘tutored’ or ‘taught’.  We hope it’s given you some food for thought and some ideas to discuss with your secondary school aged child.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we look at tuition in primary years  and ways you can support your child to get the most from their tuition experience and their tutor!

Like what you’ve read? Have suggestions for future blogs? We would love to hear from you so, write a comment below, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/APTUTORING, or email us info@aptutoring.com.au.

Happy learning!

Education is our passport to the future

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Meet Our Teachers

Welcome back to the next instalment in bringing to you a snapshot of the faces and many talents that make APTUTORING such a professional and individually tailored tuition service.

To really love teaching, to embody passion, commitment, dedication and drive is ultimately infectious. When teaching is carried out in a manner that is supportive and focused on meeting students needs, then an amazing love of learning can ensue in a child.

We value great teachers. Not just teachers who know their stuff (clearly that’s pretty important), but teachers who can effectively reach their students. Teachers that can not only impart their messages but also plant the seeds for further learning and growth.

So why does APTUTORING only employ teachers as tutors? Well, because the teachers that we engage love teaching, and in turn, the ability to teach a love of learning to their students can become a natural inevitable result of their work.

All of our exceptional teachers embody a passion for teaching, they give a minimum commitment to APTUTORING to encourage a long term tutor/student working relationship, they have relatable personal skills and bucket loads of patience. Every teacher on our team has experience in working with students at varying stages of learning including those with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning difficulties right through to students undertaking accelerated learning programs.

When we select teachers from our many applicants we actually do background and professional reference checks. So, when we send you a high quality and friendly tutor, you welcome into your home a professional Victorian Institute of Teaching teacher who as a result also comes with a Working With Children Check too.

We are very fortunate at APTUTORING, to be able to offer both male and female teachers across all subjects from the early years all the way to VCE right throughout the Melbourne Metro area. As a collective group of teachers with a large subject knowledge base here is what’s on offer…

  • Primary levels English
  • Primary levels Mathematics
  • Secondary levels English
  • Secondary levels Mathematics
  • Secondary levels science
  • Secondary levels History
  • VCE English & Foundation English
  • VCE English Literature
  • VCE Mathematics
  • VCE Psychology
  • VCE Physics
  • VCE Chemistry
  • VCE Specialist Mathematics
  • VCE Mathematical Methods
  • Grade 3 to Year 9 English & Mathematics Scholarship Preparation for selective school entry
  • APTUTORING trained prep-12 assessors
  • APTUTORING in-house Professional Development offered by senior staff

…I told you they were a talented bunch, didn’t I?!?

As a parent, you can rest assured that our tutors not only have a handle on the curriculum content to support your child’s learning but also are well skilled in teaching core areas of study. If your child is falling behind in the curriculum at school, you can be certain that APTUTORING tutors are both capable and confident in bridging your child’s gaps in knowledge and even consolidating them further.

So before I sign off this blog entry, let’s take a quick simplified look at how we match these awesome tutors with your child’s individual needs. How do we confidently select your child’s tutor to best match the myriad of needs that they might have? What steps do we take in order to reach the best working relationship between student and tutor? Take a look at the little flowchart below…

flow chart week 2 blog aptutoring

So, there you have it. A profile of our awesome tutors and a quick rundown of just how that wonderful tutor is selected to support your child in their education needs.

Have more questions? Or….
Have brilliant suggestions for future blog topics?
Then connect with us via email or Facebook, or contact us today… we would love to hear from you!!!!

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Our New Blog

Welcome to APTUTORING’s first blog, in what has been a long time coming plan of ours to reach out to you all; wonderful parents, students and very dedicated teachers.  Every fortnight we will be coming direct to your inbox with what interests you (read on a little further for the details).

Some of you maybe thinking… this isn’t their first blog?!? But seeing as it’s been a while we are starting a fresh. We have some wonderful ideas brewing in the background for how to make the best of this space but what is most important to us is that we use it to meet your needs.  So tell us on our Facebook page or drop us an email  if that’s more your thing.

We would love to know what topics you would most like to read about? Some examples that come to mind are:

  •  Study and organisational tips for your child
  • Discussion on education news/hot topics
  • How to’s (e.g. ‘How to get your tutor to do your homework?’ Lol just kidding! …more like ‘How to prepare my child for undertaking their VCE’ or ‘How to support my child in getting the most out of their tuition sessions’).

We are open to all your suggestions so let us know what YOU want to see!

So, to start the ball rolling we thought we would start our first ‘real’ blog with a little about the people behind the scenes…namely behind the screens, on the other end of the phones and in the office crazily coordinating each student and teachers day/time/schedule preferences (which mind you is a monumental task requiring a lot of coffee…haha).  Some of you have been with us for sometime and others are fairly new on the scene.

The voice you will be hearing in this blog is me, Allison.  So who am I? I’m the AP in APTUTORING.  Without giving my age away (hehe) about 17 years ago I began APTUTORING as a one woman show after I discovered that students all around me were really struggling both in the classroom and at home with homework. What I noticed was that so many students, for various reasons, were falling through the cracks in our primary education system and reaching secondary college without the skills needed to reach their academic goals.  Secondly, I identified with students  who like myself, were from non-English speaking families, whose parents didn’t have a natural flair in the English language that could support them in their curriculum understanding and consolidation.  So, off I begun on the wild adventure of starting APTUTORING and taking my passion for education out into the world.

Now, let’s fast forward about 13 years… where together with my partner, Mark (the business brains of APTUTORING), we welcomed our first baby 4 years ago and then our second little one 19 months ago.  It’s been a busy time where I have mostly been a quiet observer watching and listening in the wings.  In this time he has done an amazing job at solidifying  APTUTORING as the family based business that it is and catering tuition to the needs of each and every student that we meet.

As I mentioned before, Mark is the very hardworking business brains behind APTUTORING. He loves finding ways to personalise your experience with APTUTORING and to make our service interactive for you across our website and student portal system. But as talented as he is, he simply couldn’t do all this alone.  Anthea, our knowledgeable business manager and fantastic English teacher too, works alongside Mark to coordinate everything that goes on behind the scenes to bring your tutor to your home every week.  Together, they work tirelessly in meeting your family’s needs.  They manage and support our expert teaching staff to provide your child with a tuition service that helps them achieve their academic goals.

So, on that note…we will say thank you. Thank you for supporting APTUTORING whether you have been with us for a term or many years.  Thank you for entrusting us to support your child in their academic journey and thank you for giving your time in reading this blog.

We look forward to introducing you to our teachers in our next blog post, they are an amazing group of education professionals!

In the meantime, please help us make this blog serve you and your child’s needs by commenting on our Facebook page or sending us an email with what you would love to see or read in this space!!!

Until next time,
Happy learning!

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Why choose tuition?

With decreasing class sizes and an emphasis on differentiation within the classroom, why would anyone choose tuition? That’s an excellent question that has a variety of answers. Tuition is not one size fits all and people choose it for many different reasons. In the same way, education is not one size fits all and students have a variety of needs that should be met.

Sometimes a student has a diagnosed or undiagnosed learning difficulty and requires extra assistance. This assistance is generally provided through the school. Tutors can work with the teacher and the family to further aid the student and support them in their learning. The aim is to maintain contact between teacher and tutor to ensure that everybody working with the student is going in the same direction and not working at cross purposes.

All students learn at different rates. This is one of the reasons that many families choose to support their child’s learning through tuition. Whether the student is below standard, at standard or above standard, tuition can be specifically tailored to their needs. It means that a topic or learning area can be worked on for as long as the student needs so that they have completely understood what is required. It also means that a student can be extended in areas where they show particular ability.

Some families seek tuition because they have a child who wishes to enter a school through a scholarship or join a select entry school or program. APTUTORING has a specific course that has been designed to prepare students for the areas that are covered on scholarship tests. It is comprehensive and quite rigorous. Students benefit most when scholarship preparation classes are undertaken for a twelve-month period.

At APTUTORING:

  • all staff are qualified and registered teachers
  • before a student is placed with a tutor an educational assessment is conducted
  • as part of the assessment, parents and child are interviewed to discern areas of concern, strengths and weaknesses
  • we offer individual tuition, or scholarship preparation
  • tuition is tailored to each student

To find out more about our services you can call 03 9707 2761 or contact us online now: aptutoring.com.au/contact

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Welcome to the new APTUTORING Blog!

Welcome to APTUTORING’s Blog! We’re very excited to start this new feature on our website, and glad to have you with us for what we hope will be an interesting bloggy journey through the education world.

This blog will explore the issues and ideas of the day by analysing new educational research, discussing debates in the media, providing updates about curriculum, explaining how the school system and testing programs work, and linking to useful academic websites that will complement your child’s tuition.

All our blogs will be written by experienced and passionate education professions, and you can look forward to reading them once a month. New blogs will be posted around the 15th of each calendar month all year, and Facebook posts will be made when one is up so that you are guaranteed not to miss a thing!

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