Want a Tutor? What You Need to Ask Before You Hire a Tutor
It is always surprising to me how often parents allow me to start tutoring their student without asking any questions. It is crucial to know what is going on with your child; some tutoring methods are a little weird and people can be very, very strange.
You need to know the logistics:
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How Much
1. Who will be tutoring the student?
2. What are their qualifications?
3. How much experience do they have in this field?
4. What level of education do they have?
4. Are the tutors independent contractors or employees? Be sure to inquire about how the tutoring business works so you can give your business to companies that follow ethical business models. Just like any other business, what happens behind the scenes does matter.
5. Are there any lesson plans or any way you as the parent can see what the tutor covered?
1. What exactly will be covered?
2. Will the tutor being giving out worksheets and teaching lessons? Or will the tutor work with the student through structured, but individualized lesson plans?
3. Will there be homework? If so, how much and how often?
4. If you’re online, will you be seeing an instructor or just hearing a voice or watching a hand?
5. Is the footage live or recorded (synchronous or asynchronous)?
1. When will the student and tutor meet? For how long? How often? For how many weeks or months? (We recommend 2-8 sessions per month for around 2-3 months for most students; more frequent for more severe needs)
2. How will you know when tutoring can end?
3. How long will each session last? I recommend two to three sessions of one to 1.5 hours each. For older students, you can go up to 2 hours, but that’s usually tiring for all parties involved. If you want to do shorter sessions during the week and one longer one on the weekend, you need to make sure you are working with a flexible company.
1. If tutoring will be in person, get the complete details.
Who will be with your child and when? Will your child be left alone with the tutor?
Where will the sessions occur? The tutor should opt for a safe and quiet location, like a public library or your own home. It is a waste of time for all involved if crucial tutoring time is lost due to fighting against distracting environments or traffic delays.
2. If you go the online tutoring route, you have much more flexibility, which you should take advantage of. You still want to find a somewhat secluded, quiet area, but you have the ability to overhear and oversee everything that’s going on without being in the way. Plus, your child will be able to learn in the most comfortable environment: their own home.
1. Why should you hire this tutor in particular?
In the end, a lot of tutoring comes down to the people involved. If you do not feel comfortable with the tutor made available to you, you should not continue with them.
At times, it takes a few sessions to know for sure if someone’s different approach is right for you or not, but often that first instinct is best. The person may have all the qualifications and experience, but if your student dreads their sessions or you don’t feel comfortable with the individual, you are better off seeking out a more personable tutor.
One crucial element of the tutoring decision is, of course, price. You should always look around for the most reasonable price for your budget and ask the important questions.
i. Do you pay up front?
ii. Do they hold onto your card?
iii. Are you charged per the tutor’s invoice?
iv. Are you signing up for recurring payments?
Only sign up for a financial plan you’re comfortable with and make sure you aren’t locked into any automatic plans or subscriptions without reading the fine print!
*If the company avoids discussing cost or gives different prices, you might be dealing with a scam. Always trust your judgment before giving anyone any money.*
What You Need to Know
A great tutor will engage students of all different learning types and backgrounds. There should not be problems with discomfort regarding specific tutors because tutoring agencies should be hiring welcoming, friendly tutors. Great tutors also require fewer tutoring sessions because they tend to be more effective. If the tutor seems great, you might be able to save money in the long run by working with a more competent individual.
At the very least, be sure to sign up with a company that allows you to change tutors if you feel uncomfortable. Be sure to meet or chat with the tutor before arranging any payments! Please let us know if you have any more tips to add!
Have you worked with a tutor before?
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