How to Hire a Tutor

As you embark on your journey of hiring the perfect tutor for your child, keep these 12 considerations in mind: 

How much is the tutor suggesting you budget for?

Tutoring can be costly. It’s best to get clear on the costs, as well as how much tutoring your family should budget for.

Is the tutor teaching skills that can extend beyond their sessions with your child?

It’s great that your child has success while working with the tutor! But it’s important that your child can use the strategies the tutor is teaching even when the tutor isn’t there. Most of the time, the life skills a tutor teaches are more valuable than the subject-specific skills.

Is the tutor approachable?

One of the most common problems for a student who’s having difficulty with a certain subject is the “fear” of the subject and the subject teacher. You need to look for a tutor who can ease these fears and renew the student’s interest. A tutor needs to have a thorough understanding of child psychology in order to develop a fearless, healthy, and communicative relationship with their student.

Does the tutor have the ability to teach the subject matter in a fun, engaging way?

There are tutors who are excellent at a certain subject matter but may not have the ability to teach it. The best tutors are the ones who are not only knowledgeable but also those who can make learning quick and fun! Hence, hiring a math genius is not a surefire way of boosting your child’s grade in algebra. The genius may understand the theory, but is that math genius capable of breaking down a complicated theory so that a 12-year old child can understand it?

Check the tutor’s academic credentials and teaching experience by asking for referrals and a transcript of records. You can also interview other parents who hired the tutor for their children – you want to know if the tutor indeed helped in boosting a child’s academic performance.

If you already have a prospective tutor in mind, ask them for their teaching philosophy and method and their knowledge of specific curriculum expectations within the subject for which you are looking to have tutoring.  Behind every school and every teacher is a set of related beliefs—a philosophy of education—that influences what and how students are taught. A philosophy of education represents answers to questions about the purpose of schooling, a tutor’s role, and what should be taught and by what methods. Keep in mind that a tutor who hasn’t planned out their methodology of covering a subject or isn’t sure of their philosophy or the topics that require extra attention might not be able to help your child.

Should I consider using an online tutor?

This is an option to consider if you want a more flexible learning schedule for your child. You can select an online tutor from reputable companies that employ top-notch tutors who can help your child anytime. This will also fit your busy schedule as you can always check on your child’s progress by simply checking it online via your smartphone or computer.

What is the tutor’s process and plan for tutoring?

A tutor should have an orientation meeting for parents and learners to present an overview of their teaching methods and process. The method and process must be able to “diagnose” your child’s strengths and weaknesses and devise a tutoring plan that will offer solutions for your child’s success.

How will the tutor communicate with you about your child’s progress? Will they let you know what you can be doing at home to support your child?

It’s important to reinforce what’s being done with the tutor at home. It’s key to know what methods and materials they are using, as well as what progression they are seeing. Therefore, a tutor should provide reports on a monthly basis.

Will the tutor communicate with your child’s teacher?

A tutor willing to communicate with your child’s teacher is one of the best indications! The teacher is somebody who can be seen as the expert in the situation and can be one of the best advocates for exactly what help will be beneficial. Also, it is the best glimpse into your child’s world at that moment in time. And finally, getting the teacher involved will ensure everyone is working on the same team for your child’s success.

Is the tutor able to work with someone with a learning style different than their own?

An amazing tutor is able to instill in your child the belief that they can learn anything. That means they should be able to teach the subject however the child needs to learn it. So, be sure to choose a tutor who understands all learning styles and has methods to teach each style.

Is this going to be solely homework-based tutoring or is the tutor going to go above and beyond into skills such as organization?

Make sure the tutor you hire won’t pile more work onto the already drowning child. Instead, look to hire someone who understands that a massive part of completing homework is figuring out how to organize and prioritize.

What is your child’s initial and ongoing reaction to the tutor? Does your child get to evaluate the tutor?

Your child has to be engaged in the process and with the tutor. Give them a voice and a choice in the matter! Even better, give your child the opportunity to use their voice during the tutoring process to essentially “grade” their tutor.

Does your child relate to their teacher?

Let’s face it: sometimes personalities clash or the styles of different learners and teachers don’t quite match up.  We are all human! If your child is suggesting that either of those situations are happening with their teacher, see if the school will engage in a conversation and work out a solution. If it’s not something that can be rectified at the school level, then a tutor might be necessary. In this situation, it would be crucial to hire a tutoring agency as opposed to an individual tutor. An agency will have many tutors to choose from, and this freedom of choice will give your child the opportunity to feel like they have a say in their education.

We would be happy to send this to you in a PDF so you can use it yourself when hiring a tutor.  Call us at: 1-866-977-4433 or  fill out our detailed form online.