We all wish to attain success, irrespective of the field. But there’s always a price to pay. Whatever you want to achieve, you need dedication, hard work, patience, perseverance, and most importantly, tuition. The greatest music composers, past and present, had teachers despite possessing innate abilities. There comes a time in our lives when we require an expert’s help to hone and perfect our craft. Even though it may be expensive, the end justifies the means.
Many people intend hiring private tutors but have conflicting opinions about the process. While some think hiring a tutor would cost a fortune, others believe it is impossible finding an outstanding home tutor. This article seeks to cover how to get free and affordable tuition, and how to request for private tuition.
"We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square."
– Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, American Attorney and Author.
How to Contact a Prospective Tutor
Many tutees make the mistake of assuming their prospective tutor knows their needs. This makes them give little to no information about their challenges and objectives. Beyond that, they also generalise their tuition needs, thus making it almost impossible for the tutor to comprehend and help achieve their needs.
Imagine messaging many private tutors by just stating “I need music lessons”. This request format is common amongst new tutees searching for tutors. From the request, you cannot infer whether a piano tutor is needed, a sight-reader, or a vocalist. Specifying your needs and stating your level of experience will help your tutor tailor his sessions towards strengthening your flaws. Analyse this request:
“Hi, I’m a beginner-level guitarist in need of weekly home tuition.”
From the latter request, your prospective tutor will know your level of instruction and what musical instrument you wish to learn. There are three levels of instruction: beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
- Beginner-level competency: at this level, you are considered a novice in the field. You would have to begin with the basics and fundamental aspects. Finding a tutor at this level is very easy and affordable, as beginner-level tutors are numerous. In language learning, for instance, a new language speaker will find it difficult identifying, distinguishing, and pronouncing sounds of the new language.
- Intermediate-level competency: at this stage, you are half-baked. You have mastered the basics and have foundational knowledge required to learn complex theories and concepts. For a language speaker with an intermediate level of competence, you know how to construct simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.
- Advanced-level competency: here, you are a professional in the field. If you need home tutoring at this phase, then you intend improving on a specific area. This level of language learning equates native competence. At this level, you are well versed in morphology, phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics of the language.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
– Dr. Seuss, American Author and Filmmaker.
What Is Your Objective?
Do you need a one-time revision class or multiple weekly sessions?
Are you looking to pass a professional examination?
Do you have an upcoming music competition and need a piano tutor to help improve your skills?
Are you new to coding and require a step-by-step guide on how to improve on a programming language?
Explicitly state what your objective is and how you think your tutor can be of help. Knowing what you want will help you distinguish productive tutors from time wasters.
Stating your availability to prospective tutors helps tutors know how best to work with you. Rigidity won't yield the best of results when searching for a tutor. As against scheduling classes on weekdays, agreeing to weekend classes can better your chances of getting more tutor options. Besides stating your availability, including your preferred medium of tuition is just as important. You don't want to waste your time interviewing an online tutor for a face-to-face tuition position.
What is Your Proposed Tuition Cost?
Expensive tuition cost is often the reason many students refuse the need for extra academic help. Nevertheless, you should know that several factors affect and determine the price a tutor charges and they include the following:
- Tuition Medium: be it online tutoring or face to face lessons, private tuition comes at a cost. For one on one lessons, you must factor the cost of transportation, commuting time, and distance to your home. These factors contribute to how much you will be charged per hour of tuition. Expensive physical lessons make tutees opt for online classes that are more affordable.
- Subject Area: some fields are more complex than others and require a higher level of expertise from tutors. For this reason, they charge more than the regular fee for something complex. Coding classes, for instance, are always more expensive than spoken word poetry tuition. Thus, you must research the field you require tuition in before quoting how much you intend paying a tutor.
- Residence: where you live determines the average amount tutors charge per hour of tuition. Some locations are more expensive than others. For instance, in Nigeria, Abuja and Port-Harcourt have higher tuition fees in comparison to Ibadan and Kano.
- Length of Tuition: an urgent one-time lesson can be more expensive than an extended session expected to span for months. Some tutors give discounts for long-term face-to-face tuition agreements as a market strategy to encourage continuous long-term patronage.
Finding a Tutor Instantly
Urgent situations call for swift actions. But tutees often make wrong tutor choices because of their haste to get help. Due to technological advancement, there are umpteen tutoring websites that offer private lessons. However, the majority of these platforms have unverified and unqualified tutors who are either unavailable when needed or unproductive. Many of these rip-offs try to capitalise on your desperation by charging exorbitant fees yet wasting your precious time.
For emergency tuition and other tutoring services, an ever productive and affordable platform such as Superprof is the solution. In addition to its easy navigation system, Superprof offers highly qualified and verified tutors in every major field. When surfing this tutoring website, you can breeze through your prospective tutor’s response time, location, tuition medium, portfolio, cost per tuition hour, and reviews.
You've Found the Perfect Tutor
Once you’ve found one that fits your requirements, scheduling meetings and arranging a tuition location is next. While this sounds like a piece of cake, reaching an agreement is often difficult as both parties are often unwilling to be flexible. Having a tutor-tutee agreement is important before resuming home tutoring. Should you get past this stage with your tutor, congratulations! Next, providing your tutor with an outline of what needs to be taught will help save time and simplify learning.
Free Private Lessons
Although many believe that there’s no free lunch in Freetown, free lunch exists in the form of free tuition. In Nigeria, you can take free online courses that are just as educative and effective as premium courses. Besides watching Youtube tutorials on your device, there are Nigerian websites that offer free tuition.
Another platform that offers free online tutoring is Coursepedia. Here, you can take both free and premium online courses in almost every niche. With each of the twenty-eight niches having more free courses, you will find those that pique your interest. If you are business-oriented, a tech-savvy, or art enthusiast, there’s something for you.
ClassNotes is another for-profit platform that uploads curriculum-based notes for primary and secondary school students for just ₦299 a month. For students who wish to access subject materials they have and haven’t been taught in class, this website provides supplementary notes. It’s not a tutoring website, but an online library for notebooks.
Wish to Learn a New Language?
Are you a monoglot or polyglot wishing to add a new language to your repertoire? Duolingo is an online language learning platform that offers free language lessons in an engaging way. Here, you will learn how to listen, speak, read, and write using gaming patterns to make learning comprehensive and entertaining. According to a study, thirty-four hours on this site equal one semester of language learning. However, you should note that if you wish to attain native competence, you’ll need supplementary education.
Not Interested in Online Classes?
Despite the global acceptance of e-learning, some people still prefer the conventional method of learning. If you fall within this category, rest assured that we’ve got you covered. Since we’ve established that face to face lessons are more expensive, finding a home tutor within your area may require extra effort.
If your online search isn’t productive, take a walk to a university close-by to post your request on notice boards. Don’t stop there! Feel free to make your request known to colleagues at work, neighbours, and family friends. Perhaps, your friend knows someone who knows someone who’s a tutor.
Flexibility is the key to finding a tutor but never settle for less.