British Family Searches for Tutor to Role-Play as a Story Character

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. peculiar / pɪˈkyul yər / (adj) – strange or unusual

    I saw a peculiar job advertisement looking for a chef who can dance.

  2. portray / pɔrˈtreɪ / (v) – to act as a character, especially in a film or a play  

    Mark was the one who portrayed Robin Hood in our school play.

  3. neglected / nɪˈglɛktɪd / (adj) – not cared for or given enough attention

    The social workers came to help some neglected children in the orphanage.

  4. get along with / gɛt əˈlɔŋ wɪθ / (idiom) – to have a friendly relationship with someone

    Although Rica was a new student, she had no difficulty getting along with her classmates because of her outgoing personality.

  5. resemble / rɪˈzɛm bəl / (v) – to look like someone

    The students were surprised to see that their new teacher resembled a famous actress.


Read the text below.

A British family posted a peculiar job advertisement for a tutor who can portray Miss Honey from the story Matilda.

Matilda is about the friendship between a neglected but gifted girl and her kind teacher, Miss Honey. The family who advertised the job has an 8-year-old daughter who loves Matilda. According to the parents, their daughter has watched the film and read the book several times. The girl told her parents about wanting Miss Honey for her teacher.

The job comes with a huge pay. According to the online agency Tutor House, which the parents asked for help for the job posting, the tutor will be paid £60 or about $73 an hour. This salary is higher than the average wage of around £15 to £35, or roughly $18 to $43.

However, the job also has very specific requirements. Aside from a three-year experience in teaching math, the tutor must also be able to imitate Miss Honey’s gentleness. The tutor must also copy the character’s physical appearance in the 1996 movie, including her hairstyle, clothes, and eyeglasses. The parents said that they are willing to pay for the successful applicant’s costume.

The parents explained that these very specific requirements are intended to help their daughter feel at ease while learning. The girl lacks confidence and has difficulty getting along with teachers. The parents hope that their child’s math grades will improve with the help of a tutor who resembles Miss Honey.

Tutor House founder Alex Dyer was impressed by the parents’ efforts to help their daughter. The tutor agency promised to help them find the tutor that they need.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with the parents’ decision to hire a tutor that resembles a character from their daughter’s favorite story? Why or why not?
• If you were a parent, what steps would you take to ensure that your child’s learning needs are met? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Aside from teaching experience, what other factors should parents consider when hiring private tutors? Discuss.
• Do you think that there is a downside to having a private tutor? Why or why not?