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 Post subject: Shocked by these tutors
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:39 pm 
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I am really shocked by some tutors. I am talking about a well known group tutor centre in North London. I know there are lots of excellent teachers and tutors out there but this rant is about one incompetent group only.

A child who was with them just started taking lessons with me and we were going over all the corrections in her homework. When we came to the story she was really shocked I had not crossed it out completely. She asked me what I thought of it and I told her it was not the best I'd seen but we would work on it. She asked me whether it was so bad that I could not even be bothered to strike it out. I showed her all my annotations in the margins and told her we would have to work very hard on her story-writing and English in general.

Then she told me the most shocking thing of all - her tutor in the group lessons had told her that her stories were 'rubbish' and just put a big line across each one. She was told to re-do each one but was not shown how to improve her story or what was wrong with it!

I explained to her that I did not expect perfection in my students and my job was to help her improve her skills and it did not matter what level she was at because we would work up from that level.

English is this child's second language and it is very weak - each sentence has lots of grammatical errors but the child is keen and willing to learn. I spent most of the lesson talking to her, explaining how we could improve the story she had written. Minor changes in grammar and her story was much more readable, which really pleased her. I also told her I would be correcting her as she talks as well, to help her with her language skills, which she did not mind and started talking a lot more as a result.

We went over how to write 1 sentence correctly at a time - think, say, write and read it back to see if it makes sense - I told her to follow this rule to start with.

I spoke to her mother after the lesson and she told me that they were not expecting 11+ success but they just wanted their child to be confident and have a good foundation. The group tutors had told them the child would be ready for the 11+ after assessing the her - the child is in year 5 with English skills of a year 2 child.

I her group tuition centre, she was just working through a set of books available from most shops and there was hardly any input from the tutors. They had young students marking the work from answers sheets that come with the books - some corrections were explained but not all.

I could not understand how 11+ success was in the horizon for this child with the non-existent level of input from the tutor centre. The parents are also not able to help because of language barriers. 11+ success is not impossible with the right attitude, determination and a lot of hard work but definitely not if the child is not shown what to do to improve their basic skills!

As a parent myself, I was amazed at the level of incompetency out there in the name of 11+ tuition!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:20 pm 
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leanmeamum wrote:
I could not understand how 11+ success was in the horizon for this child with the non-existent level of input from the tutor centre. The parents are also not able to help because of language barriers. 11+ success is not impossible with the right attitude, determination and a lot of hard work but definitely not if the child is not shown what to do to improve their basic skills!


It's a perfect storm. Parents who don't have strong skills in English education, either in terms of content or in terms of the structure and process, who are for whatever reason convinced that a grammar school is absolutely essential. Tutors who want to make money, and are in a sheltered position where there's no easy way to evaluate the value they add. Teachers in the children's school who want no part of the process, and are unwilling to say "this child will never pass the 11+" even if it's true.

So the parents can't assess the quality of what the tutor's doing, or help their own child, and have no way to evaluate the likelihood of their child passing. They can, however, write cheques. The tutors may or may not know the standard that's required, and may or may not have any way to work towards it. They can, however, cash cheques.

My impression in my city is that there is a major business in taking money off first-generation immigrant families for worthless group tutoring of low to zero value aimed at children who are highly unlikely to pass the 11+.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:08 pm 
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It just annoys me that these people are willing to take money from parents under false pretenses knowing that an honest answer will result in the loss a new customer. Having taken on the child onto their books, they are not willing to improve the child's knowledge base.

That child can just as easily sit at home, do those papers & check them herself without help from parents and still be in exactly the same boat as she was with those tutors. What are they actually charging for - few ticks and few strikes through pages?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Like you leanonmemum I am also in the business of mopping up the messes made by tutors who do not know what they are doing in English. The past papers do not include answers so parents have no way of checking what is being done. The way to check is by results and references. Buyer beware. Ask for results and references and do not go to anyone who cannot provide you with detailed recent results, in terms of marks or rankings for each subject, for the school you want to go to. Also ask for an assessment which includes a Sats level for English Reading, Writing and Maths. DG


Last edited by Daogroupie on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:32 pm
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This topic is really a burning issue.
I am mum of DD and tried lot many classes and tutors.
I have come across very recognised tuition in my area who charges fortune for English.teacher is young girl who will mark the work. No make up lesson if at all child miss the class, very rude language.

Other guy take maths ...40/50 kids in a group ,no feedback,no communication.

somethime i feel they are in a moneymaking business only.

its kind of helpless situation.

Omum
*****************


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Location: Herts
So why do people go to this young girl who charges a fortune for English? There are rip off merchants in every field. I have been told twice my boiler is beyond repair only to have a third plumber get it back to working order for a part that cost thirty pounds. I did not believe the first and second plumbers and went for a third opinion. Why do parents not shop around for tutors? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:22 pm 
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All the more reason to have TUTOR PROOF tests! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
A propos of which, yesterday DS2 said he had overheard a local yr7 GS girl saying that she was really good at verbal reasoning but not so good at Maths or English.

Our 11+ consists of a VR paper, an English paper and a Maths paper. I have no idea because none of ours will have had any contact with a "professional" tutor, but with the VR carrying "double weighting", I would hazard a guess as to what tutors would concentrate on. Also having looked at some of the Maths / English scores accompanying high VR scores in Essex Region posts :shock: It has occurred to me that if VR is meant to indicate potential (DD obviously has none as she bombed on VR despite respectable M / E scores; probably the 6B assessment she just had in Maths - 1st term yr7 - isn't a real one because she is only at a semi-selective or something), how come these kids hadn't managed to fulfil that much of it by the time they got to taking the 11+?

Sorry, cruel thought, I know, before everyone leaps on me for it...

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 8:30 am
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omismum wrote:
Other guy take maths ...40/50 kids in a group ,no feedback,no communication.


First lines of Annie Hall:

Woody Allen wrote:
There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions."


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 625
Always go for recommended tutors as far as possible - you can ask to sit in for a trial lesson as well with your child to see what is being taught and how. Always check your child's work and homework assignments to see what they are being taught and how they are being marked, etc.

I always do that with my children and recommend my students to do this as well - show an interest in what you are paying for.


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