An experienced and capable educator is required for a home schooling assignment, working primarily with a boy aged 10 and partly with a girl age 8. This is a full time position which will see the Tutor working up to an average of 40 hours a week, providing after school support for the children. The family aim to have both children accepted to top British private schools, but decisions are yet to be made as to which ones and when. The Tutor will be responsible for ensuring the children are fully prepared for both the entry exams and their academic lives thereafter. The Tutor will be one of three educators – a local Tutor is already working with the family on a part-time basis, and another Tutor from TI is being recruited to focus solely on the girl’s education. The role is predominantly based in Hong Kong, but there may be travel to other domestic and international locations.
There are two students – a boy, aged 10, and currently in year 6, and his sister, aged 8 and in year 4. The boy currently attends a school in Hong Kong, but for the last three years has been suffering from selective mutism while in attendance. He is relatively open and chatty on the way to school, at home, with his friends during holidays etc, but is quiet at school. There are a range of possible causes of this, all anxiety-related, and it is clear that in more relaxed or familiar settings symptoms subside – whether this improvement continues when returns to school after the summer break remains to be seen. Even so, his Tutor must be aware that the boy currently suffers from relatively low self-esteem and, at times, an unwillingness to try due to fear of failure. The Tutor will therefore need to have a positive and highly motivational demeanour to be effective in adjusting his behaviours for the better.
In the past, the boy had a Tutor who was an inventor and scientist and liked to use science games such as building experiments and models in his teaching. This approach really enthused him, and he very much enjoyed working with this Tutor. Unfortunately, this person is no longer available, but it is gives a clear indication of the kind of approach that has worked best for the boy. The ideal Tutor should therefore probably have a science or engineering background and be comfortable when discussing the sciences and able to devise interesting experimental and experiential play-learning activities that captivate the boy.
Alongside the investigation into his selective mutism, he has also seen an education psychologist, which has led to a full EP report. Certainly prior to the report, he displayed traits congruent with selective mutism – lack of eye contact and various behavioural issues etc. Given that the time spent with the EP was at the end of his summer break, his symptoms seem to have been drastically reduced in their severity, and while it was initially thought that there may be underlying conditions such as ADD, Asperger’s or Autism, these were not the findings of the specialist psychologist.
At the moment there is no concrete information as to the boy’s academic ability, but it is understood that his reading in English is approximately three years behind the standard of his British peers. Towards the end of the last academic year, he was not very cooperative and did not appear to engage with any school subject. Aside from an interest in computer games, he has recently discovered a passion for diving, and more frequently enjoys some playdates with friends from school. Apart from helping him to grow his social life, the main focus of this role is to re-engage him in the art of learning, helping him to ignite a passion for education for its own sake, as well as to ensure his health and wellbeing are monitored in relation to his experiences in the school environment. In an ideal world, he will be prepared for the 13+ Common Entrance exam, but at the moment it is not known how realistic this is, and entry at age 17 for A levels might be a more realistic target.
The girl is a very different child. She is bright and engaging, polite and can be quite charming when it suits her. She can be quite demanding, and really likes to challenge her teachers. Her Tutor therefore must be highly knowledgeable and able to answer her many questions patiently with ease, while remaining lively and fun and maintaining principles of discipline. If her Tutor is unable to demonstrate these qualities while keeping firm boundaries, she will easily take advantage of the situation.
The girl seems to be doing well in school, and has a fondness for fun and interesting teachers who can make lessons come alive. As is usual, she does not like teachers who are unfair, who pick on students with no reason and who don’t explain themselves clearly. She does not like to feel foolish. She really enjoys piano, ballet, art and equestrian sports, as well as outdoor activities in general. The ideal Tutor will share some or all of these interests.
This role calls for a broadly able, calm and well-qualified educator who has experience working in top level private schools and is up-to-date on teaching pedagogies and values. The Tutor must be able to deliver the full range of primary subjects, and should have an exceptional track record in preparing students for the 11+ and 13+ exams. The Tutor must be comfortable working at the standards expected by the best London private schools, and have proven experience in the British private school curricula.
Given the boy’s unique learning differences, the Tutor must also demonstrate a proven track record of working with children who need careful nurturing to build a trusting relationship with the boy in order to to help to motivate him and encourage him to put in the sustained effort required to get up to the level of his peers. The Tutor must also seek to build up his confidence both academically and socially.
The Tutor should expect to spend part of their afternoon helping the boy to go over his homework, ensuring it is completed to the highest standards and that the lessons from the day have been fully understood. Once the school work is competed, there is certainly room to explore other subjects at an appropriate level. The Tutor should aim to start slowly, spending time with both children and learning what motivates and entertains them before slowly introducing increasingly targeted tasks. Where possible, the Tutor should use local resources to extend the children’s range – perhaps a visit to an art exhibition could form the basis of work for that week, or maybe a trip to the local market or festival.
It is essential that the Tutor be highly organised and have excellent record-keeping skills. He or she must be able to build good working relationships with both the children, their parents and representatives, other Tutors, and with other members of the family’s staff. The boy is the clear focus of this assignment, but the Tutor should expect to also spend some time working with his sister, helping her Tutor to provide a balanced and varied education to both children.
The Tutor will not only be an excellent educator, but also a good role model: educated and polished, with excellent manners and personal values. The Tutor will also be partly responsible for the children’s character education, teaching manners alongside virtues such as gratitude, community mindedness, resilience and respect for others. Although not mandatory, it would be a bonus to find Tutors whose personal interests encompass art or sports that can be shared and enjoyed by the whole family to extend the role beyond just academics.
The ideal candidate will have a wide range of interests, and must be able to inspire a love of learning in the children. This role is best suited to someone who has a strong spirit of adventure and is not easily fazed by new cultures or situations. They should be happy to take advantage of their new location, embracing the opportunities that are presented to them perhaps by immersing themselves by learning the local language or a local instrument. It is important to the family that the Tutors have a wide range of interests in sports, music, arts and sciences and so are able to inspire the children beyond home teaching. The right candidates for this position should be as excited to explore the region and its history as they are enthused by their role.
The successful candidate will be able to offer more than the minimum requirements of this position, must have been raised in a socially appropriate background, and speak clear English without any discernible regional dialect as a mother tongue. The Tutor must be organised, efficient and have an excellent eye for detail. The Tutor must be a qualified teacher, with at least three years’ appropriate professional experience. It would be advantageous if he or she has prior experience teaching the Asian market in any context. EFL or international experience would also useful.
The Tutor is expected to work with both for an average of up to 40 hours a week, providing after school support for the children, with preparation completed in the Tutor’s own time during the day. The likely schedule will be 8-12 hours on Saturday/Sunday and three weekdays at 6 hours per day, including taking children to school and working after school.
The Tutor is entitled to two consecutive days off per week. These will be split evenly between either a Sunday/Monday or to consecutive weekdays (e.g. Monday/Tuesday).
Of course, the Tutor should expect to be flexible in this regard and the Client will try to give the Tutor at least a week’s notice of any variation to this. In turn, the Tutor will need to understand this notice will not always possible.
The Tutor will be entitled to a minimum of 45 working days paid vacation in addition to the statutory holidays. The 45 days off should be taken at times convenient to the Client. Untaken ‘weekends’, paid vacation, or public holiday that have accrued will also be compensated by a pro-rated payment in lieu at the end of the contract.
The Client will provide accommodation suitable for an individual Tutor (this role is not suited to tutoring couples or families) and will cover all bills on this accommodation, except for the Tutor’s personal phone bills. The Client will cover all travel expenses associated with this role, as well as meals and food during any periods of travel. During periods in Hong Kong, the Tutor is responsible for organising his or her own meals, for which they will be given a stipend of 500 HKD per day from the Client.
The Tutor should not expect to have their own car while in Hong Kong as the public transport is very efficient. However, they will have access to a car when necessary.
The Tutor must be fit and healthy, a non-smoker.
The Tutor must ensure that he or she has the requisite travel and health insurance, has received the required vaccinations, and has the necessary visas.