Generally, consumers want a lot of bang for their buck!
Stated differently, they want a good return on their investment. They expect a sustainable option which is high quality, yet cost effective and meets their needs. This also applies to private tutoring.
Home tutoring is growing exponentially in South Africa, with parents and guardians seeking to provide their children with a good, quality, affordable way to flourish academically.
Geography tuition is, however, a different kettle of fish.
The subject goes far beyond mere geography landforms and population geography. Geography is critical in terms of the world’s sustainable future, yet it is lagging behind other subjects, such as languages, mathematics and sciences (biology and physics).
At primary school level, teachers are not necessarily subject specialists, being required to teach a range of subjects and only specialising, to a limited degree, at grade six or seven level. So, they may not be able to explain a whole lot more about the earth's physical structure than what is shown on a world map.
Even at high school, the learner may only encounter an actual geography subject specialist in a classroom in grades 11 and 12.
Learners at both primary and high school will benefit from working with a skilled geography tutor.
Below we consider why a parent or student may want to find a geography tutor, and assist you in establishing what a reasonable price would be for that service.
Why Should I Hire a Geography Tutor?
There are many reasons for seeking a tutor in any subject, but it all boils down to one thing: enhanced academic achievement.
This kind of success is largely established by passing exams with high marks, so tutors are often engaged to assist learners in preparing for a test or an examination.
Examinations may have to be faced at the end of each term at university, secondary or primary school level. They could be matric exams or varsity admission exams.
A parent may also engage a tutor for a child who has a learning impairment or disability.
Nearly nine hundred thousand learners in South Africa require education that makes allowance for special needs. A large number of these learners would flourish, to a far greater degree, if they were provided with one-on-one tutoring in geography.
Their particular tuition would be in the form of continuous academic help, with preparation for exams being supplemental.
What about English Second Language (ESL) learners?
These learners, whose mother-tongue is not English, would progress at a much quicker rate, if they had private tuition.
The particular set of circumstances which each ESL learner presents may, however, raise the cost of home-based tutoring as the tutor must have a specific set of skills and credentials.
Tutors of ESL students must, of necessity, be fluent in a second language. For a good fit, that language should be the learner’s mother tongue.
For learners with special educational needs (SEN), the tutor would require additional skills in terms of teaching strategies and test preparation, which would infer that he or she is conversant with the specific requirements of that exam.
So, how does geography fit into all of the above?
Unless the learner is an ESL or SEN learner, the greater percentage of the learners who study geography as part of their daily school curriculum, would seek the assistance of a tutor to hone their study and revision skills.
If, however, that avid matric learner intends exiting varsity with a degree in geography, he or she would benefit tremendously from working closely with a home tutor.
The fee for such tutoring would, no doubt, be a bit more than, for example, online tutoring.
Establishing the Cost of a Geography Tutor
Besides what’s referred to above, which considerations should influence how much you pay a private geography tutor?
- The learner’s level: Young children can pay attention for short periods, so their tutoring sessions should be short and the explanation of concepts should be simplified. For more advanced learners the tutor must have a greater degree of competence in the subject to be able to explain concepts which are more complex.
- The kind of tutoring required: With ongoing academic and homework support; the tutor is a learning coach rather than an instructor. Preparation for an exam requires particular knowledge and maybe a greater deal of time, while an under-graduate would require his or her tutor to possess superior academic qualifications.
- The method of delivery: Online tutoring can be much more cost-effective than home tuition, where the tutor has to travel to the student. A tutoring centre, is a different option, but might even be costlier than a tutor who visits your home!
- Small group or individual tuition: The top teachers often grant a small discount for students who are willing to work within a small group (3 – 4 participants). Via a tutoring company, you could have a tutor add you to one of his study groups.
- Location: there are far more tutors available in larger cities than in smaller ones or in rural towns.
- Scheduling: Several geography teachers hold down second jobs as geography tutors on weekends, as well as weeknights, when charges might be at a premium.
Another factor to consider, is that your tutor may make available a wider selection of resources, maybe at an additional cost, besides the material, like learning materials and textbooks, they have to work with.
Lastly, we must consider the tutor’s educational pedigree.
If a tutor has spent several years at university working towards a doctoral degree and then several years doing fieldwork, he or she would have immaculate credentials, but won't work cheaply! Under-graduates, paying off varisty fees or earning extra pocket-money, tutor students who are in lower classes, often at reasonable prices … so, consider enlisting their help.
Some may question why it’s necessary to study geography to an advanced level, but they understand it.
The Price of Geography Tutoring for Matrics
We start with this specific group, as these learners, more than any others, are crucially in need of direction, motivation and of having someone to keep them focused.
With so much going on in their personal lives, teens often struggle to remain focused on what is important, especially as regards to schoolwork. The concern is that they may forsake their yearning to become practising geographers.
That would really be a pity since, although this job segment is small relative to other sciences, job growth in this career field in the next decade is set at around 35%.
How does that strike you as a reason to ace that geography degree?
On average, you can expect to pay less for one hour of tutoring in Geography (around R150) than for tutoring in English (about R175) or Maths (anywhere between R100 to R300).
Also, if you live in Cape Town, you could expect to pay around R150 per hour. Compare that to the rate charged per hour by tutors in Port Elizabeth, which sits at anywhere between R30 and R50 all the way up to R150 max, with a fee of R100 and R200 being most commonly charged.
These are, of course, only guidelines; they don’t take cognisance of the extent of the tutor’s background knowledge or their level of study. All fees quoted also do not take into consideration any travelling costs tutors may charge, which may be around R100.
If it was your intention to hire a university geography professor, you would have to expect to pay a premium for his or her services, which would be in excess of anything mentioned above.
Alternately, you could also consider utilising the services of a matriculant or, maybe, a first-year varsity student. They come far cheaper; anywhere between R30 and R100 per hour.
These tutors, who have recently experienced the same trials you confront, have the additional benefit of costing you less.
A tutor, who has recently matriculated, may have solid test-taking strategies to share, as well as assist you come to grips with in-depth details of human and physical geography.
Your tutor, close to your own age, may be easier to relate to and you may just accomplish far more than with an older, more experienced person.
Finally, although he or she may have no formal training, this young tutor may be totally in sync with your learning style and offer you a singular and memorable learning encounter.
The best needn’t be the most expensive; often, what we recognise as perfect is what suits us best.
Since geography tutoring prices are now at your fingertips, let’s get shopping. You need to find a geography mentor or tutor who works best for you and lead you to the outcomes you have set for yourself … and that may be the best possible mark for your exam, which may become your springboard to geography studies at university and, possibly, way into the future!
Now, find out what jobs are out there waiting for you and your geography degree …