How to Hire the Right Tutor in 10 Easy Steps
Aug 9, 2009 Tutoring/Home School 1854 Views
You've already decided that you want to get some extra help for your child, and are considering exactly what kind and how much extra help would be perfect. First of all, if hiring a tutor or finding extra resources has crossed your mind you should follow through and see what's available; actively searching for educational resources is what really defines the academically successful family. Go see what's available!
1. Talk to your teacher - Your child's teacher is hopefully the person that best knows what kind of help would really change your child's performance in class. Maybe the school has resources you're not taking full advantage of. If the teacher can tutor your child themselves they'll have yet another reason to be invested in their success. They also probably have great connections with tutors outside school. They'll know you're looking for extra help and will appreciate it!
2. Talk to your friends - Getting a tutor for your child is a decision you should feel proud of. Kids that get help are simply more successful. It's a fact. Period. Your friends probably have similar standards and may have experience with great tutors and teachers.
3. Talk to your child - Make sure that your child is an active participant and partner in their own success. Kids are successful when they're on board. And why shouldn't they be on board? If they're young, a tutor means extra, fun attention. If they're older it means the end of school frustration. Make them part of the process.
4. Consider your needs - After talking to your child's teacher and through your own experience consider the kind of help you'll need. Is your child only struggling with one subject? Is it an organization or general academic behavior issue? Is it a learning or processing problem? Are you simply trying to structure homework time? The answer to these will help you when you:
5. Consider the Big 3 - Your choice will fall in one of these 3 big categories. A one-on-one relationship with a private tutor you found through a contact or online. A small boutique tutoring company serving your area that will send you a tutor and become your partner in the process. Or a large national tutoring company with learning centers and pre-planned lessons but less personalized attention.
6. Consider and Practice What You'll Say - Before you begin to email or call the prospective tutors, sit down with a friend or spouse and verbalize what it is that you want out of tutoring. Explain what brought you to consider hiring a tutor, and also explain the academic and personal strengths of your child. You want a service that understands the importance of these strengths.
7. Call 2 of the Big 3 - After you've narrowed down your search through research and recommendations don't limit yourself to only one approach. Tutoring services and professionals that are interested in being partners for success will let you discover their services at no cost. You'll find that calling professionals to discuss your child is rewarding and you'll get a wide array of suggestions and opinions to consider and choose from.
8. Adult Interview - Choose 5-10 of your favorite applicants and have a second interview with them. Your child should be present, but you should ask important questions about experience and education. You need a tutor that masters their subject matter. Teaching and tutoring are tough enough on their own; you don't want someone working with your child that is unsure of what they're teaching. A tutor should be passionate and fun, able to hold your child's interest and transform their relationship with difficult material. Don't hire anyone that doesn't love what they do!
9. Child Interview - Whether you ask your child or the tutor to take the reins on this, sit back and have them interact without you. Have them socialize about school and different interests and have them work on something academic. This is the work that the tutor will be hired to perform, so don't be afraid to watch them go to work. If the tutoring service is worth hiring, they'll be comfortable enough to show you what a tutoring session would be like. Plus, this is really where your child will begin to form their opinion of the tutoring service.
10. Decisions, decisions - Make sure that at the end of this process you are deciding between qualified applicants that are affordable for your family. There are plenty of amazing tutoring services and professionals out there and your final choice should be a personal one that compares only qualified candidates. Make your choice with your family, and have the major stakeholder (your child) be an active participant in the conversation and decision. Include your child's teachers as much as you can, make them feel a part of this process as well.
Partnerships that you form towards your child's academic success really pay off, make sure to include important people in their school life and bring them into the team!