What Are the Differences Between Teaching and Tutoring?

Before we explore the differences that exist between a teacher and a tutor, our staff at The Da Vinci Collaborative recognizes the formidable challenges that both professionals encounter with the ongoing health crisis and the obstacles faced in a hybrid, live, or remote model. We are here to ease the burden on families and students with our tutoring services delivered both remotely and in person. 

Now, we’re looking to settle the discussion regarding the differences between teaching and tutoring, to make it easier for parents to understand why their children might benefit from the help of both. Let’s start with the main differences.

1. Target focus


A teacher has the awesome and challenging responsibility of delivering a specific curriculum in a whole or group setting to students of varying abilities and needs. Teachers are focused on specific academic standards and skills based on a particular grade level taught within a specified time frame. The teacher strives to provide their students with the materials and methods that meet the needs of different learning styles.


The tutor provides individualized instruction that can be customized to meet the student’s needs in regard to skill development and learning styles. Tutoring is mostly facilitated in a one-to-one setting and is conducted outside of the school day. A tutor’s focus is to build skills and assist in strategy development in an effort to tackle concepts not easily understood.  

At Da Vinci, we take the time to carefully assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses in multiple ways, so we can develop a tailored plan to target deficit areas. A student is thoughtfully matched to an educational therapist who possesses the training and experience required to deliver instruction with fidelity.

2. Programs and pacing


The teacher provides his/her students with instruction from the specific programs/tools endorsed in their district. Many teachers supplement current programs with their own unique methods and style they have acquired along their journey, but they often do not have the flexibility to change programs and curriculum set by their administration. Teachers also have a limited amount of time to cover areas of study and provide scaffolding practice to assist students who are experiencing difficulty with a particular concept.


The tutor has the enviable flexibility to tailor instruction and methods in an individualized setting and help learners understand the way they learn best. Tasks can be scaffolded and differentiated to increase retention and application. A tutor can select the materials and programs they will use to target a specific weakness or skill. 

Our educational therapists at the Da Vinci clinic are trained in a multitude of research-based programs and multisensory techniques/methods to help students retain and apply new concepts explicitly taught. Careful monitoring and data collection allow for adjustments and modifications based on student response.  

3. Flexibility


Teachers work from a set schedule determined by the school district in which they are employed. Their employment is considered a 10-month position and those who have the desire and flexibility may pursue tutoring over the summer months. 


Tutors have the flexibility to set their own hours within the availability of the students that instruct. A seasoned tutor has worked with students of varying age groups and abilities and can be flexible in differentiating instruction based on the learner’s response and needs. The individualized setting allows for the development of a strong rapport. 

Challenges for Both Roles

In our new virtual reaching world, both tutors and teachers have had to rise to the occasion and become adept at delivering remote instruction with effective digital tools and resources. At Da Vinci, our tutors are equipped and ready to offer both remote and in-person instruction “thinking out of the box” with engaging multisensory methods and resources.  

Feel free to reach out to us if your child needs academic support during these unprecedented times.

Share this post


Monthly Newsletter

Get our tips directly into your inbox.

Every month get a free tip!

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter