An Undergrad tutor’s experience

I have taught private home tuition for about two years and counting. To date, more than fifteen students have been subjected to my close supervision and spoon feeding. It is not an easy job as the Singapore education system is solely based on merit and can be elitist at times. There are many obstacles that I face during these years down the road of imparting knowledge.
Being a tuition teacher can be glamorous at times as after all, teaching has been seen as quite a professional job and is able to garner respect from friends and relatives. However, there are many obstacles that we do face and the most brain-wrecking of all would be the failure to deliver results (Most parents would expect their children to score the high As after spending much time and effort in employing a tutor) This might be due to many varying factors  including the students’ lack of motivation to revise the theory taught, failure to apply theory to context and stress from high achieving peers.
A sharing on some of my students and the methods which I employ to deal with the difficult situation I face during teaching. I have a student whom I have been teaching since last year who simply lacks the motivation to study as he constantly face challenges to apply the concept taught to the questions. Not a very bright student but has a strong passion for science and a thirst for general knowledge. I remembered the time when he asked me what a googol was. I was brought aback by his sudden question but calmly replied that I do not know the answer. If only he could have this love for mathematics! My job would have been much easier. (Currently secondary 3 – A and E Maths) I enjoy teaching him as he would always listen attentively to what I have to say and try his best to attempt all the homework I set each week. Being strict might do some help but no student would fancy a fierce teacher.
I once had 2 students whom I taught only for 1 month as they were looking for someone who could offer supervised help to prepare them for their O levels. This was the easiest time as they have very low expectation of me and just hoped that I can explain the concepts which they do not understand during their course of revision. Perhaps coming from rich families, they didn’t bother to make full use of tuition time to learn and revise as much as they can and even waste time in eating during lesson time and chatting amongst themselves. I have to agree that I would love these assignments since I can just relax my mind and get paid to be entertained by the jokes they shared and chat with them. In doing so, professionalism and work ethics have to be put aside.
I had a father who would eavesdrop during every lesson and interrupt to see if his son can grasp the Maths concept.
Saarbrücken, HTW, Mathematics Workshop

Coming from a prestigious school, he made no mistake in expecting the same for his son but added additional stress for me as I have to package every lesson into a short summary for the parent and have to be careful with what I say during lesson.

I didn’t regret teaching tuition as it exposes me to many challenges and job satisfaction derived from the happy faces when I see them with their end results. It has helped me to see through my expenses and learn to be independent. Of course there will always be disappointment to deal with but we should always persevere to succeed. No job can be too easy or too difficult. It is how we maintain a positive attitude and deal with the challenges.

Jeff is a private tutor with

Education Recalibration

The latest address from the Minister of Education Mister Heng Swee Keat goes a greater depth than the usual arguments in regards to the benefits and drawbacks associated with existing education system. 1 crucial term that he pointed out in his address is “fundamental”. We have to return to the fundamentals of education. An education system does the most effective when it very best meets its fundamental goals. Every single society has common expectations in addition to ideals shared by virtually all members of the community. To guarantee the continuity of these fundamental spirits, education of your new generation turns into an indispensable instrument. Hence we are able to greater evaluate the Singapore education system in light of the basic principles as a more useful method of evaluation.

Very first, the society places a premium on justness. In addition to people built in sense of fairness, Singaporeans value the crucial purpose of justness in operating a racially-diverse culture or maximizing the effective use of qualified persons in a small population. Consequently, it suffices to say the concept of equity has become nailed into the mind of Singaporeans. This kind of a concept is also reflected in Singapore’s education system. Irrespective the screaming for abolishing tests, especially the PSLE, such likelihood remains far off. Even minister of education does not endorse the move, as observed in his account of how a few nations that used to eliminate exams are returning to exam-based systems. Examinations, as nerve-racking as they are, established equitable standard of consideration. A score of Ninety is better than the grade of eighty nine. Though it can be arguable just how much difference does that one mark actually makes, the score-based evaluation based mostly on standardized exams has demonstrated to be far more trustworthy and just compared to any other alternative: the interview-based assessment, the talent-based evaluation where by fuzy evaluation is involved. The result assigned to a dance performance by a student candidate is basically arbitrary, and may differ spanning different assessors, who may possibly themselves be influenced by their particular notion of brilliance, their experiences and even their feelings on the day of evaluation. Consequently, exam score results carry much a lot more weight of credibility that appeals to person’s feeling of fairness. Consequently, it may not be wise to argue for scrapping exams when such a proposal infringes one of several basic values persons hold dear to.

Second of all, the skill sets and values educated in classes reflect the social demand for such attributes among the young people. The colleges tend to be typically tuned in to social demands because of the competition in appealing to the finest pupils. The individuals with the right set of qualities the society would like are much more likely to become successful right after they graduate. Graduating a flourishing batch of students enhances the popularity of colleges that can attract students with superior branding.

Therefore, the college will aim to equip college students with the socially desirable competencies and values. The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), featuring special IB curriculum that focuses on breath and autonomous analysis, is appealing to leading secondary school students. The Singapore Management University, because of its one of a kind seminar teaching style along with considerable presentation training, makes its college students remarkably marketable. Several naysayers feel concerned about the value learning and skill impartation which can be compromised by a strong emphasis on examinations. However as a result of competition among academic institutions for diversity as well as branding, the prospects of education landscape may not end up as bleak as some may predict. Colleges understand that by simply producing excellent scorers won’t make their students go far, and that will be reflected in testimonials from others like the graduate employment survey that moms and dads in addition to would-be students pay attention to annually. Consequently what the government ought to do may perhaps not be dictating value schooling from a top-down method, but instead encourage the diversity and competition among schools whilst enhancing a series of graduate surveys and study to boost the data circulation, which in the end incentivizes colleges to respond to what society truly desires.

Exam Result Oriented Society

Positives and negatives of Examination Outcome Oriented Teaching
Exam result oriented teaching is essentially a notion by which the teacher understands the exam contents extremely well and heads the class with the coursework, all the whilst always keeping his/her attention about the idea that the sole purpose would be to assist the student achieve high grades in the exam itself , irregardless of the syllabus material.
There are usually several arguments both in support of and also against this specific technique of teaching. The instructor will have got to find out which concepts should be weighted more as well as less when compared with others and then direct the students down an exceptionally rigorously constructed path of precise education – with one intention – high examination success.
Whilst there may be no disagreeing that this educating approach accomplishes the purpose of making sure that the vast bulk of individuals will score very well at the exams, one need to question once again – is this the ideal strategy to teach our youngsters?
In most cases, the system that comes with an examination outcome oriented approach of teaching is creating a fictitious condition of “easy testing.” This could easily cause a student who transfers from this school and into one in which a much more traditional philosophy is practiced to suffer miserably because there’s no longer a really concise and clear knowing of specifically what to be prepared for when it comes time for exams. In parallel, when a pupil graduates from high school and gets into higher education, if they happen to go to a college, or possibly a class, where exam result oriented teaching is just not the typical approach, they’ll find it inevitably much more demanding to succeed in that testing environment. Yet still, in addition to immersing in an exams-oriented schooling environment, pupils can embrace ways to perform well in exams.
Exam outcome oriented teaching brings about a fictitious sense of security as well as confidence in life itself. A student that has gone through an exam outcome oriented education doesn’t have a clue how to recover when they end up with a misstep on an examination; nor do they know how to study intensely for any “unknown” of not really ready to assert with guarantee they already know each of the answers to all the inquiries in life to every one of the questions that could be on the exam.
Although the pros are heavily weighted during the very good for that college; for retention of crucial funding and for that general ease of the cookie-cutter curriculum that becomes stale and repeatable, the cons are significantly additional ominous for our children that are not studying the invaluable talent of the best way to understand on their very own, or tips on how to study really hard for something they want or should attain.
When these young ones join the employed pool as well as the real world they could find that the paradise they are really used to, this overall perception of entitlement, brings with it a harsh realization that world is not equitable. That life is not simple and easy. And regrettably, that they are ill-prepared. This may cause depression symptoms, confusion, and hopelessness. This could possibly lead to an otherwise average individual to perform sub-par in their employment, and therefore create a lifelong path of underachieving; only because they were not made clear to all through their formative period how to work hard to obtain what they want, instead of needing everything essentially handed to them.
Even so, it is also possible that the self-confidence that was instilled by a somewhat “straightforward” education practice will serve to give a young grownup the confidence to triumph in more difficult situations. When presented with a new variable, they’ll feel confident they can handle it with grace and ease, because – after all – they have normally been able to do so. Therefore, the moment they join the workforce and society as a grownup, they tend to be a go-getter, because they recognize they’ll be able to be successful. It’s been a proven fact of their whole life until adult years that they carry with them right through just about every challenge they face in life.
The jury may be out over the actual effect to society of exam result oriented teaching, nevertheless it is apparent that we’re teaching our small children a lesson – regardless of whether it is a positive lesson or even a detrimental lesson may not however be crystal clear.


The writer has been a tutor for 5 years with