If I’m honest, my politics have always leaned towards socialism. There are some things in life that I firmly believe that everyone should be able to access. I also believe that there are times in the lives of most people, when things don’t quite go to plan and if someone needs a bit of a helping hand through a difficult patch, then that’s what a society should be doing. In short, I see nothing wrong in everyone being able to access a decent education, healthcare when they really need it, and somewhere safe to live. And that’s where my own politics fall short. I see an education system that is creaking under demand and is unable to provide that decent education for all.
So, if schools were able to provide that decent education for all, private tutors would be obsolete – and I would need a career change.
However, we currently have a shortage of science teachers. We also have an education system that is unable to effectively control bad behaviour in many schools. This leads to disengaged children and teachers who are firefighting to control disruption during lessons, rather than getting on with the task of teaching the curriculum.
Every parent wants the best for their own child. Every parent wants their own child to have the best education possible, because that in turn affects their career choices and their aspirations. A private tutor is able to offer that support to individual children. Sometimes a tutor supplies factual information that is lacking following a string of supply teachers propping up a vacancy that is proving impossible to fill. Sometimes a tutor adds confidence to a quiet child who doesn’t want to speak up in class and thus is overlooked.
I’ve now worked as a private tutor for 12 years. I see the enormous benefits that private tuition brings to the children I see myself, and I’ve seen the benefits that seeing a private tutor has brought to the achievements of my own children. My children have seen language tutors and maths tutors – one thing that I have learnt over the years is that specialist tutors are much more effective, even if a little more costly than generic tutors.
For now, private tuition is only available to children who are lucky enough to come from a family with a certain level of income. While this rubs against my socialist principles somewhat, until education in this country undergoes something of a revolution, I think I will remain gainfully in employment.