We Can Learn A Lot From Each Other

Learning One-on-One: 8 Unique Skills You Can Learn From Your Private Teacher


By Patricia Guth

If you’ve been a parent to a student in a traditional school setting – especially in the last decade or so – you know that schools and teachers have particular curriculums they must follow and that even the most creative teacher can have a difficult time pulling in other topics that they know will help students make their way through life and their chosen careers. Given all the standardized testing requirements imposed upon our schools and the specifics of “common core curriculum”, it’s tough to stray from the teaching track imposed by districts.

However, if you or your child is involved in one-on-one learning with a gifted academic professional, there are many unique skills that can be included in what’s likely to be a much less-structured – though equally successful – curriculum.

Below is a list of skills necessary for proceeding through life with fewer bumps and bruises. These are skills that most one-on-one teachers are qualified to teach (and can teach online from anywhere in the world). Your student will benefit from any or all of these.

  • Managing your finances – Many students make it through high school and four years of college without having any knowledge about how to balance a checkbook, stay out of debt, or save for the future. With the help of a teacher (check out a few here) and a wealth of great money management apps, this knowledge is easily imparted. 

  • Survival skills – Even if you never plan to go camping in the wilderness, you might someday find yourself in a situation where your life (and that of others) depends on your survival savvy. Skills like building a fire and knowing how to find water or food can mean the difference between life and death – literally. Learning life-saving techniques like CPR is also essential.

  • Learn a musical instrument – Studies show that learning and practicing a musical instrument promotes discipline and triggers a reduction in stress. Good one-on-one instruction (finding the right teacher for you is important) will have you playing a concerto or your favorite jazz riff in no time at all.

  • Job interview techniques – Ever see someone walk into an interview wearing jeans and a t-shirt? That’s not cool, but few schools take the time to teach proper decorum for a job interview. In this casual society we live in, it’s important to understand that job interviews demand a totally different vibe than a meeting with your friends. Students should also be taught how to properly fill out a job application, how to craft a resume, how to shake hands, and how to have a sincere conversation with a prospective employer.

  • Basic household repairs – Male or female, we all need to learn how to do basic repairs or quick fixes around the house. Things like replacing fuses, changing the oil in your car, or plunging a toilet seem like odd subjects for “school”, but they are tasks that will save lots of money in the long run when adulthood comes along.

  • Study Skills – In school, teachers lecture and students are expected to take notes. Or perhaps students are assigned large chunks of reading in heavy textbooks and are expected to retain that information. However, being able to transfer all that information to successful test-taking involves learning how to study…and many schools skip that step. A one-on-one instructor can make this an essential part of the curriculum from the start, making what comes after much easier to grasp.

  • Time management – Like study skills, good time management is essential not only for a successful academic career but also for any career that follows. Poor time management is often the downfall of many individuals, both in college and in the workforce, but if the proper skills are learned during adolescence, issues like procrastination can be addressed earlier rather than when they might affect an individual’s livelihood.

  • Stress management techniques – The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about one-fourth of all American children have anxiety disorder and about 6 percent suffer from “severe” anxiety problems. Most often, the anxiety is caused by school and the pressure to produce perfection and be better than one’s peers. Not only will one-on-one instruction decrease the pressure to compete but private teachers can also include “mental health” instruction in their curriculum including meditation or other such techniques to reduce stress. The more we talk about mental health issues, the easier they are to conquer.

Countless other topics can be interspersed in a one-on-one curriculum, which is why sites like Savvy have hudreds of vetted teachers available online for one-on-one lessons. If your child has a private instructor, take to him or her about subjects you might like to see included in that instruction.