The Benefits of Employing a Governess
10th July 2018
From Jane Austin times to modern day life, we explore why having a governess to guide and teach your children can give them a head start.
by Natasha Lahmadi from Burlington Nannies
Employing a governess became popular during the Victorian era where privileged families lived in remote areas. Schools were not up to standard leading parents to employ a governess to teach and train their children.
During this time, a governess was a middle class, educated woman who moved into the family home to teach older boys and girls. English, French, maths and music were common subjects along with manners and deportment. Once the children grew up, the governess was either dismissed to find new employment, or more often the eldest daughter would employ the governess as a companion.
It could at times be a rather lonely and isolated life, as they were not seen as part of the family nor as a servant. When not with the children, they were mainly alone in their room and expected to eat solely too. The women were often pitied by others, as it usually meant they would go into old age single and childless. However, to be a governess was one of the very few ways a single woman could legitimately support herself financially.
A MODERN DAY GOVERNESS
Fast forward to 2018 and the role and treatment of a governess is completely different. It is not only the upper class who hire a governess or families that live in remote towns. Many parents now employ a governess even though their children attend full time school. A present-day governess is usually a qualified teacher who began their career in a school environment. They step out of the classroom due to the changes in the education system, to focus on one to one teaching without the distractions and paperwork now required in schools.
A governess, however does not need to be a qualified teacher. Many people who are degree educated and confident to teach choose this career path too. A governess is also treated with a lot more respect compared to the Victorian era and are much more involved with the household. They travel internationally with the children and sometimes join the family at the dinner table. Along with the educational aspect of the role, a governess will focus on additional areas of child development which include emotional and physical development.
A MALE PERSPECTIVE
It is becoming more and more common for males to become governors. A governor is usually employed by a family with boys who have a keen interest in sports such as football and rugby. Often when the father is absent for most of the year, due to work travel commitments, families decide to employ a governor to have a male influence for the children.
Modern-day governors and governesses cover all subjects that are taught within a primary school and most are confident to teach children up to 11 years old. They usually follow the British curriculum, especially for overseas families who plan to send their children to a British school. Once children are at secondary school, specialised tutors are usually employed to see children through their GCSE’s and A Levels.
BENEFITS OF EMPLOYING A GOVERNESS FOR YOUR CHILDREN
In the last 10 years we have found that there has been a definite rise in families employing a governess for their children. This is fuelled by the competition and pressure to get children into the most popular schools. A governess will use techniques and strategies to aide the exam process helping with homework and will ensure children are prepared and confident to complete entrance exams to the top schools.
Every child learns and absorbs information differently. In a school setting however, limited resources mean the class teacher cannot teach each child differently. Whilst their style may work for some, it will not work for others. When you employ a governess, they tailor their teaching style based upon your child’s learning needs and academic level.
With a governess a lot of learning happens outside the class environment. Day trips to museums, galleries, nature trails, events and exhibitions will immerse your child into the community of arts, culture and learning about the world we live in. You simply cannot compare hands on exploration to merely learning from a book. A governess will not just focus on your child’s educational needs. They will help shape your child into well grounded, confident and independent little people. They will look at your children’s emotional and physical well-being and above all be a good role model. Instilling strong moral values and teaching respect to others.
The world we live in is surrounded by technology and social media. This stops people interacting face to face on a daily basis. A governess will use as little technology as possible, teaching children to build and hold on to lasting relationships with their peers. Teaching politeness, etiquette and empathy for others.
It is important as a parent that you feel confident that your child is in safe hands. Their working environment is mainly in your home, a comfortable and reassuring setting from which your child can learn. She will create a supporting environment for your child to take on new challenges and to discover a variety of wonders.
With 15 years’ experience in the recruitment of professional child carers we are proud to say that we have a very large success rate in finding the most suitable governesses and tutors for many of our clients both in the UK and overseas.
To discuss your governess requirement please speak to your lifestyle manager today.