The decision to employ a full-time live-in tutor can have a monumental impact on family life. Perhaps the tutor is being hired to help remedy academic problems, or maintain a consistent education for your child when your family travels extensively. Perhaps conventional schooling has failed your child and the time has come to step away from the traditional school system. Having a reputable tutor agency find and screen candidates is essential. Not only because of the background and reference checks, but also because they know the qualities to look for in the best full-time tutors, and how to ensure a candidate genuinely has those qualities. As parents, awareness of some of the core abilities and characteristics the agency will be looking for can give you confidence when making your final selection from the shortlisted candidates.
The best tutor agencies will carry out a great deal of research on the final tutor candidates before you meet them, to ensure that there are no previous convictions. Check that the tutor agency also carries out background research that is sufficiently in-depth to uncover serious accusations that may fall below the radar of a normal criminal record check. Not all tutor agencies do this, and as the live-in tutor will become a member of your household staff and have daily contact with your children, the expertise in this area that the best agencies offer cannot be underestimated.
Of course, any candidate under consideration must have an outstanding academic career, one which demonstrates a superlative academic track record throughout school and an excellent degree from a top university. This is critical, as the interaction between the tutor and student tends to be more intellectually challenging when the tutor is the single point of call for all academic questions. The speed at which topics can be introduced is faster than when managing a class, therefore the depth of tuition can exceed a standard school curriculum.
Ideally a private live-in tutor will be skilled in a wide range of subjects - they may have a degree in a language but studied one or more of the sciences at A-level for example. This variety of knowledge is necessary in order to be able to deal with the intensity of tutoring one or two students full time, not only because the tutor is responsible for educating in multiple disciplines, but also because student questions can cover a wide variety of topics at varying depths.
The very best private tutors can demonstrate that they have passions - for learning and for interests that they have pursued beyond school and university. Professional qualifications are a good indicator of this, but also leisure activities. Many of the best live-in tutors have done extraordinary things; cycled across Europe for example, or enjoy things like parachuting, travelling, activities that are challenging and broaden the mind. Not only can this be inspirational for your child, but also demonstrates that the live-in tutor has a character that is above average; an individual who is adventurous and able to deal with challenges.
Some personality types are better suited to being a live-in tutor than others
The ideal live-in tutor also has a particular type of personality; whilst that person can demonstrate extraordinarily high achievement, they should also have humility. Arrogance and self-absorption are not good qualities for a full-time live-in tutor! Imagine a wonderful physics tutor who also mountain climbs. On paper that sounds great, but if that person is so egocentric that they can't fit into your family, or have dinner conversations that don't center on their great Everest experience, they won't be a good live-in tutor.
A live-in tutor is also a role model
Another question to consider is whether the candidate would make an exemplary role model - after all, he or she is likely to become a major influence in your child's life. Being a role model ranges from not smoking to being responsible in society. It's having an unblemished professional record, and demonstrating total engagement in everything the tutor does, both professionally and in leisure time. A full-time private tutor will be spending so much time with your children that it will be hard to hide any bad habits they might have.
Ultimately, the ideal live-in tutor has to be responsible, resourceful, and someone that you know will be able to deal with any kind of problem that may arise. After all, the tutor will be trusted to care for your child, not only in a study or library, but also when out on visits to galleries, museums and other events. Once the tutor agency has identified the best candidates; individuals with all of these core qualities and more, you can make your final selection with confidence.
About Adam Caller
Adam Caller has been directly involved in education for the entirety of his career, and has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder and is very sensitive to children's educational difficulties. As founder of Tutors International, a worldwide organization providing experienced private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, Adam has turned his expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors to help families.
Tutors International specializes in providing tutors for a wide variety of situations, from helping students re-take critical exams, helping pupils with the transition of moving between international school systems, and supporting youngsters with AD/HD and dyslexia. They provide a bespoke service to find the right tutor that suits the child's needs and aspirations, and if a full-time live-in tutor is required, Adam personally ensures that the assigned tutor is the right match for the family and fits in the environment.
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