Your child has been struggling with school work. You finally have decided to hire a tutor for your child, but how do you know who is the right tutor for your child's education? This isn't a decision you should take lightly and I will guide you through some questions you need to ask yourself, and potential tutors.
Most parents who are considering tutoring for their children start by looking at a tutoring company. There are many reasons why you SHOULD NOT use a tutoring company (but that's really another blog post). So when looking for a private tutor, how do you know what to look for? Luckily, I've got a list of things for you to consider on your journey to finding the perfect tutor for your child.
Matching Subject Area
You want to make sure that you find a tutor who specializes in the subject area your child needs. You want to find someone who is an expert in the field of tutoring that you need; you want someone with experience teaching the subject your child is struggling with. You may know someone who is an excellent math tutor, but that doesn't mean they are just as good at teaching reading as they are math. For example, I am a certified English as a Second Language teacher. I can teach reading skills and writing skills to kids in grades 2-10 confidently; however, I cannot teach them science.
Just like with any other service or professional, you want to find someone to work with your child who has good reviews. If you only trust doctors and dentists who are highly recommended, why wouldn't a tutor be the same? You can find reviews for tutors in many ways. Many tutors have a Google Business page where you can see client reviews. Others may feature testimonials in their print materials or their websites. If you are having trouble finding reviews, and you are definitely interested in a tutor, you can reach out to that tutor to ask for client testimonials and/or references.
Any time I look for ANYONE to work with my children, I assess their level of professionalism. I personally have a list of things that are important to me when considering what level of professionalism I expect people to have. What is important to me may not be what is important to you; however, there are some standard things I suggest when looking for a tutor. You want a tutor who acts like they know what they are talking about. This could mean they ask you questions, tell you their policies, or can answer all of your questions. You want a tutor who is confident and sure of themselves. If you are going to be giving them your money, you want them to know what they are doing. Lastly, you want a tutor who will not cancel on you. Ask about their cancellation policy and ask how that translates to if the tutor cancels. Reflect on the questions and answers a tutor has for you to see if they have your required degree of professionalism. You want to find the best tutor for your child, so your list will look different from everyone else's.
Another part of professionalism is having an interview or consultation with your clients. I personally offer a free assessment and consultation which occurs shortly after it. Some people offer only one thing, some charge, and some don't offer it at all. If I am looking for someone to be my child's tutor, I want them to meet me before I begin paying them full-time for tutoring. I want to ask my questions and determine if they are a good fit for my child. If a tutor does not offer a consultation automatically, I suggest requesting one or an interview (they are the same thing really) to discuss your child with the tutor.