I was a teacher for two years. I taught human rights to adults from Myanmar. I have recently transitioned into tutoring and am currently a GMAT Tutor. In some ways, I like it better, because I get to give such personalized attention. On the other hand I do miss the energy of classroom discussions. Each has different benefits for both the teachers and students, so I wanted to take the time to compare them.
In certain ways, as a tutor, my job has become much easier. I can tailor everything to that one specific student. I only have to create curriculum for one student, instead of creating varying materials that fit the different learning levels of students. The pace of the learning is also much easier and no one gets left behind, because it is done for only one student. My tutees and I can also experiment with different techniques and study skills until we find the right one for that student.
I think there are definitely significant benefits for the students who get the one on one attention from tutoring. For example, I think students are more likely to express when they don't understand something if it is in a tutoring environment rather than a classroom with their peers. Because of this, they don't get left behind, which can have sever consequences especially if they miss something that is a foundation of their learning.
However, I think that students also benefit from a classroom environment, where they can learn from each other through class discussion. Students don't just learn from the teacher's instruction, but they also learn valuable lessons about group dynamics from group work and the social nature of the classroom.
Furthermore, as a teacher teaching in a classroom has its merits as well. For example, it is more rewarding knowing you are helping so many students. I also feel like I learn a lot from the students as well and they constantly challenge me to be a better educator, so having more voices of feedback helps me learn more.
Both forms of learning are important, and I think that students would benefit from a balance of both. I also think that teachers can also benefit from a greater balance of both, because while the energy of the classroom is great it can also be very exhausting. I think in general if schools could afford to create an environment that allows for both classroom learning and one-on-one attention, everyone would benefit.