How To Find The Right Tutor For Your Child
So you’ve made the decision to find a tutor for your child. Great. But how do you know when you’ve found the right tutor? As a professional tutor, I’ve seen the impact that strong rapport can have on a student’s learning outcomes. It’s not always enough that a tutor be knowledgeable and experienced; they must also be a person to whom your child can relate.
As you embark on your tutor search, keep the following questions in mind as you compare various tutoring agencies.
Who Chooses My Tutor?
Some agencies maintain open tutor directories that can be searched online. The advantage here is that you choose your tutor. You will usually have several qualified tutors to choose from, and you can read their profiles to get a sense of whether they will be a good match for your child.
Other agencies keep their tutors secret and do the matching for you (what I call a “placement agency”). The advantage here is that an expert does the matching for you, one who knows their tutors well; the disadvantage is that this expert does not know your child. Give them as much information about your child as is reasonable in order to help them find the right tutor for you. Then make sure they give you as much information about the tutor as possible.
Is My Tutor Qualified?
Whether you find a tutor through an open tutor directory or a placement agency, you should take responsibility for vetting your tutor’s qualifications. Every agency has their own methods for vetting tutors, but they vary widely across the industry. So here are a few questions you should ask your tutor when you make first contact.
- What is your experience with the subject matter?
- Do you have prior teaching/tutoring experience? Do you have references?
- Do you have any ideas for my child’s particular academic situation?
That third question will be the best test; make sure they have the experience or creativity to overcome learning hurdles.
Keep in mind that some agencies guarantee the first hour. If you have any doubts after your first session, don’t hesitate to take advantage of such offers.
Am I Getting What I’m Paying For?
Some agencies allow tutors to set their own rates, while others charge a fixed rate regardless of the qualifications of the tutor they assign to you. In the former case, you can be relatively confident you are getting what you pay for (though some tutors certainly overvalue themselves). In the latter case, be extra vigilant to ensure that you’re not paying a premium price for a mediocre tutor.
Find The Right Tutor
The Knowledge Roundtable offers a searchable tutor directory that will help you find the right tutor for your child.