Since W Tutors launched late 2019, I have had the opportunity to review many CVs, or résumés as some might like to call them. Perhaps many is an understatement and not the right word because they were in the tens of thousands in the few months that we started operation! The response was phenomenal but I digress.
I feel compelled to write this post to give prospective tutors, parents and students an insight into the thought process that we go through when reviewing tutor applications.
Before I move on to the vital question of how we choose a tutor, I have to mention that W Tutors was created with the objective of bringing together tutors and students anywhere in the world to learn a language or an academic subject to help with studies. Many tutors have asked to teach other area of interests, such as musical instruments, arts, computer science or even architecture, but we have been reluctant to offer them because we want to focus on students improving their grades first. Furthermore, we are not a believer that learning a musical instrument on the Internet is in the best interest of students. A face to face approach is more appropriate to getting the right posture, fingering, positioning and such, when mastering a delicate instrument. It is the same reasoning for arts.
That leads us to the question - how do we select our tutors?
This is the number one criteria to choosing a tutor. He/she must have graduated or is attending a reputable institution. Exceptions are made for some younger applicants who have outstanding grades in their studies before university. We will not approve tutors who omit their education, even for native speakers teaching languages. Yet, a good qualification is not the only criteria as I mention in the points below.
- Tutors with experience teaching will be considered, especially teachers. Nevertheless, a good qualification remains vital.
- Applicants who gave us chunks of experience in the corporate world, although remarkable achievements, give little value in the field of teaching. The millions they help their companies to earn does not equate to an ability to teach. Those who simply copied and pasted their CVs are very likely ignored.
- The ability to score well in exams is well regarded because that is the reason students need tutoring. Tell us how you learn and prepare for exams and pass on the skill to your students.
- There is a misconception that teaching a lot of subjects will help to get you more students. In reality, it is the DIRECT opposite. While some academically good tutors are capable of teaching multiple subjects, most do not. It would be good to concentrate only on subjects that you are really good at. It is little consolation to parents/students for tutors to simply offer a subject with no mention of their ability in it. Parents and students choose you because of your qualifications and experience.
- Do NOT offer subjects that we know you are not adept in. For example, Oxbridge Preparation is meant for tutors who went through and understand the process of preparing and applying for Oxford and Cambridge University entrance tests and interviews. A tutor who graduated from other universities will not have the knowledge to offer it, except perhaps for a very small number of education consultants.
- The same goes for exam preparations. Do NOT include them in your tutor profile if you do not have a clue what they are. For example, how is a US/UK tutor proficient in PSLE or HKDSE exams when they have never sat or heard about them? The truth is, no parents will engage you as their children's tutor.
These bullet points may sound harsh but they reflect the stark reality of how parents or students select tutors.
A tutor who is passionate about learning will influence his/her student to have the appetite to learn too. An enthusiastic tutor who wants to impart his/her knowledge will have a positive effect on students. I am sure everyone has come across a teacher who inspire him/her at some point in life. We want that kind of tutors!
Concluding all the four points above, we try to strike a balance between qualifications, experience, relevance and passion. Age is a factor but not the determining one. The only worry we have with older applicants is the ability to use technology to deliver a lesson and the energy to keep up with the young ones!
To tutors, I hope this will help you in applying for one of our tutoring position. We will ignore applicants with insufficient information in their applications.
To parents and students, I hope this post will also give you the confidence that we take the recruitment of tutors seriously.
Last, but not least, please stay safe and healthy. We do not know how long this COVID-19 pandemic is going to last.