There are two students – a boy, aged 11, and currently in year 7, and his sister, aged 9 and in year 5. He currently attends an International school in Hong Kong. He is relatively open and chatty on the way to school, at home, with his friends during holidays etc., but can be quiet and reserved at school. There are a range of possible causes of this, mostly anxiety-related, and it is clear that in more relaxed or familiar settings symptoms subside. 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 gives a clear indication of the kind of approach that has worked well for him. The ideal Tutor should therefore probably have a solid grounding in scientific and engineering developments, but with a clear strength and with an extremely high knowledge of the English language. He or she should be at ease when discussing school topics and able to devise interesting experimental and experiential play-learning activities that captivate the student.
At the moment there is no concrete information regarding 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 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.
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, especially in the English language, and should have an exceptional track record in preparing students for the 11+ and 13+ exams and a knowledge of the IB syllabus. The Tutor must be comfortable working at the standards expected by the best London private schools and have proven experience in the IB school curriculum, ideally to IBDP level as that is the preferred long term pathway.
Given the boy’s unique learning differences, the Tutor must also have a proven track record of working with children who need careful nurturing to build a trusting relationship with the boy 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 the student’s confidence both academically and socially.
The Tutor should expect to spend part of their afternoon helping the student 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 with excellent record-keeping skills. He or she must be able to build good working relationships with both of 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 spend some time working with his sister occasionally, helping the Tutors 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 Tutor must be energetic, sporty (i.e. good at basketball and football) and open-minded. The Tutor is expected to participate actively in the students’ extra-curricular activities and accompany the students to attend school events, if necessary.
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 in the Asian market in any context. EFL or international experience would also useful.
The Tutor is expected to have good computer skills and word processing skills and be able to communicate effectively with the Client and the students through electronic means, such as e-mails and phone text messages.
Whilst the hours of work to be performed by the Tutor shall remain 40 hours or fewer per week, the Tutor is expected to provide casual training on spoken English to the Client and/or other family members (who are not the students) when requested. The Tutor will not be requested to prepare teaching materials in this aspect.
The Tutor is expected to work with both students 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.
This likely to be made up as follows: Saturday/Sunday (8-12 hours), 3x weekdays (6 hours per day), 7.15am - 8am taking children to school, 3pm - 8pm 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. In turn, the Tutor must understand this notice will not always be possible.
The Tutor will be entitled to 45 working days paid vacation per annum in addition to statutory holidays. The 45 days off should be taken at times convenient to the Client. Untaken ‘weekends’, paid vacation, or statutory holiday that have accrued will also be compensated by a pro-rated payment in lieu at the end of the contract, or by extra annual leave.
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 his or her own car while in Hong Kong, since the public transport is very efficient. However, they will have access to a car whenever necessary for work.
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.
Start: As soon as possible
Duration: Initial term of 12 months, with renewals possible
Hours: An average of up to 40 hours per week
Salary: $198,000 USD pa
Car: Available for use during tuition time
Vacation: 45 days per year
As soon as possible