The Tutor

What is a tutor?

A tutor is a staff member who supports the Housemaster/Housemistress by caring for a small group of students within the House. Tutors have scheduled time to meet regularly and talk through topics related to daily life, character education, or any other matters they and their students may wish to discuss. Tutors are the primary interface between students and their parents. Tutors also communicate closely with the Housemaster/Housemistress, teachers, coaches, and other Pao School staff. Many students view their tutor as their primary role model and develop close relationships with this person, and all students see their tutor as another caring adult in their life.


Why do we have tutors?

The tutor*, as it is known at Pao School, is a ubiquitous role at most US and UK boarding schools. Parents entrust their child to a boarding school by 'sending them away,' and in doing so they delegate local responsibility for their child to the school. At a boarding school, the tutor role is most like that of a parent. Boarding school environments are busy and complex: Tutors guide students through the peaks and valleys of the experience. Like a parent, the tutor is the reliable figure in the child’s life at school and builds a relationship through daily interaction, ideally over many years.

* The title of tutor is commonly used in UK boarding schools, whereas the term advisor or mentor is more commonly used in US boarding schools. In Chinese public schools, they are called ban zhu ren (班主任). An equivalent title at our primary school is the homeroom teacher.

Who is a tutor?

Most tutors at Pao School are teachers who live and work in our boarding Houses. Living in the Houses provides students and tutors additional opportunities to interact both in a residential and academic setting. The additional time students and tutors share in the boarding Houses often means tutors come to know our students best. Additionally, several outstanding Pao School veteran teachers who live off-campus tutor students in our day program and Senior Secondary Houses.