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5 Key Differences Between Teaching and Tutoring

5 Key Differences Between Teaching and Tutoring

2022-07-04 09:49:20 |    0


The Difference Between Teaching and Tutoring

Explained by an Experienced Qualified Classroom Teacher and Tutor. 


Being both a classroom teacher and a private tutor has allowed me to analyse and truly experience the difference between the two roles of teacher vs. tutor. Firstly, It is important to clarify that there is a big difference both in how we interact with the children and the resources and learning techniques at our disposal.  

Here are 5 main differences to consider:

  1. Differentiation

Classroom teachers have many things to consider when planning a lesson that private tutors don’t have to think about. The main thing is differentiation; that is, how we provide differentiated learning opportunities to learners of different abilities. A tutor having just one or a very small group of students in a session is, therefore, able to focus solely on the learner in front of them, create a lesson that centres around their weaknesses and employ learning methods and revision techniques that work for them as an individual. Thirty pupils (or more!) per class makes this an incredibly difficult job for a classroom educator and it is a boundary to learning that schools are continuously trying to overcome and improve upon. They may do this by increasing lesson duration, adding after-school clubs offering extra help and providing homework for the pupils. 

  1. Weekly responsibilities and expectations

A full-time teacher has 42 periods a fortnight to teach and therefore it makes it virtually impossible for them to provide individual feedback to pupils on a weekly perhaps even termly basis. A tutor however should be updating parents after every session, talking through what they have achieved in that lesson, noticing areas of strength and weakness and providing extension work for them to continue to do in the week between sessions to ensure their learning is consistent. This is something I would urge you as a parent or student to ask for from your tutor, as it is a luxury you are paying for and having individualised advice from a qualified, experienced teacher is rare.

  1. Student/ teacher relationships 

Building positive relationships in education is a bedrock on which we build our professional integrity. As a classroom teacher, you are given a clear set of rules by which to follow regarding how to behave in the classroom and processes to follow when dealing with children both academically and pastorally.

 As a tutor, these boundaries are set by the individual. Every child works differently and responds to positive or negative feedback in different ways. Having a tutor allows you to build a special, unique relationship, still based on a strong professional foundation that maintains 

a distance allowing you to both praise and reprimand students appropriately.




  1. Parent/ teacher relationships

As a classroom teacher, you have little surprisingly little contact with parents. You tend to only contact home for negative reasons which are frustrating and usually a waste of time. A form tutor may have more contact with individual parents, however, schools are phasing this out in favour of a more streamlined system whereby the head of year contacts home both for pastoral and academic matters. 

As a private tutor, every session, depending on the agreement you have, may end in a run down of what was completed in the session, the progress your child has made, and what they can work on between now and next week’s session. Tutors get a greater understanding of family dynamics, personalities, and parental wishes. While parents can build a level of trust and familiarity with their child’s tutor which they wouldn’t ordinarily have with a school teacher. Tutors become objective advisors about how parents can deal with in-school issues and are usually happy to impart advice to help in any way they can. Just Better Education’s tutors will have unparalleled experience being both qualified teachers (most likely still working in schools) and private tutors at the same time. 



  1. Flexibility

There are certain preconceptions about Tutoring agencies and how much flexibility they allow parents. However, most tutors who work privately these days have strict policies in place where payment is needed upfront for 4 sessions in advance, sessions cannot be cancelled within 48 hours otherwise the full price of the session will be charged, and so on. 

As a classroom teacher, your flexibility with lesson planning, and time, in general, are limited. You are also provided with certain resources and lesson plans which may not always be helpful for different kinds of learners. Classroom teachers do their best to support the learning of all pupils in their classes, but with the best will in the world, this is not always possible- there simply isn’t time. Classroom teachers try to support pupils outside of lesson time when possible. This might take the form of lunchtime or after-school revision session. However, with so many different extra-curricular activities drawing pupils' attention elsewhere, it can be hard to do it all!

Private tuition offers a luxury which is to have sessions for your children at times convenient to you. As Just Better Education is based exclusively online, you don’t even need to think about where these lessons will take place. No more driving children here, there and everywhere for tuition.

Equally, tutors with Just Better Education are able to clearly show you via their calendar when they have availability. You can message them within the platform to discuss convenient days and times for future sessions and you only have to pay beforehand per session. Because you maintain weekly contact with the tutor, you are always able to let them know in advance whether the next weekly organised session works for you or not. You can cancel free of charge as long as you give 24 hours' notice and this is not only to ensure the tutor has a secure income, but also that pupils remain committed to their lessons and make as much progress towards their goals as possible.