Tutoring Accountability


Tutoring Accountability

A lot goes into the process of helping someone learn. Strong educators and an attuned curriculum are obviously crucial. Differentiated instruction and purposeful assessments promote student buy in and a felt need for learning. However, none of these factors will lead students toward their optimal growth without accountability.

It makes sense. The best teaching and teaching materials won’t make a difference if a student isn’t compelled to engage with them. A perfectly tailored set of lessons and assessments won’t be effective for a student that doesn’t complete them.

For tutors, developing a system of tutoring accountability is a must. In school systems, there are already layers of accountability baked into a student’s learning routine. However, tutoring is a uniquely different educational experience. With each client, tutors are responsible for setting these accountability expectations themselves.

From the very first session, all of the stakeholders in a student’s success need to be on the same page when it comes to the work that goes into maximizing student growth.

Student Accountability

Students receiving tutoring support need to be held accountable for the effort they put into (or don’t put into) their own learning. From the outset of a new tutoring relationship, tutors need to establish ways to formatively assess and document what is happening during sessions. Students should have clear goals and objectives as well as the opportunity to follow up with reflections on the outcomes.

When goals are met, progress should be celebrated and the next set of goals should be established. When progress stalls, there must be a plan for assessing why and addressing the issue. Either way, the path towards progress should never be shrouded in mystery.

While there are certainly plenty of ways to create an accountability system like this, a clear, easy to use digital progress report platform makes the process much simpler and timelier. Streamlining this routine with an intuitive, web-based feedback interface gives students immediate, meaningful, and actionable direction that they do not have to wait to implement.

Parental Accountability

The time students invest between sessions is some of the most valuable when it comes to reinforcing skills, engaging with content, and stimulating growth. While it is easy to document and monitor a student’s efforts during a tutoring session, it can be more difficult to do so between sessions.

Parents are key players in ensuring this time is productive. That being said, parents cannot support a tutor’s efforts if they do not know what they should be supporting. Tutors need to be transparent about the goals established during sessions as well as the plans moving forward for achieving them.

Again, there is a variety of ways for tutors to help parents become effective partners in the tutoring relationship. Tutors that make the process simple, predictable, and direct increase the likelihood of valuable parental involvement. The easiest way to do this: take it online.

Having a digitized system for feedback and progress reporting gives tutors the tools to include parents and hold them accountable for their role in supporting learning:

  • Tutors can offer clear, actionable feedback without taking away valuable tutoring time with lengthy conversations.
  • Progress reports serve as a standardized running record of the tutoring relationship making it easier to spot patterns of both success and diminished returns.
  • Clients can share reports easily between parents, guardians, students, and teachers ensuring that everyone is receiving the same information.
  • Tutors can use records and data to demonstrate how a cancelled session or a lack of work between sessions is negatively affecting progress.

Holding Yourself Accountable

Tutors, too, need to be accountable for their role in helping students grow. Just as tutors must routinely deliver feedback to their clients, students and parents need accessible ways to offer feedback to their tutors.

The structures a tutor utilizes to communicate with clients should always work both ways. True accountability is always a multi-lateral conversation.

Everyone loves to praise for a job well done, but opening up to criticism is often a tougher pill to swallow. Modelling a willingness to accept critiques sets the tone for parents and students to do the same. It is not always easy, but the best educators routinely seek feedback as a way to improve their practice.


Accountability and success go hand in hand. If you are looking for a way to boost accountability in your tutoring business, consider adding the Knowledge Roundtable’s progress reporting tool into your repertoire. The easy-to-use interface makes it easy for tutors, students, and parents to:

  • Manage expectations
  • Elevate challenges for rapid intervention
  • Keep each other accountable
  • Build longer-lasting relationships

Have tips for promoting accountability from your own practice? Share your advice with our readers in the comments below and on social media!


About Sheldon S

Sheldon Soper is a ten year veteran of the teaching profession and currently serves as a junior high school teacher in southern New Jersey. His primary focus is building reading, writing, and research skills in his students. He holds two degrees from Rutgers University: a B.A. in History as well as a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. He holds teaching certifications in English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Elementary Education. Sheldon has also worked as a tutor for grades ranging from second through high school in a wide variety of subjects including reading, writing, calculus, chemistry, algebra, and test prep. In addition to his teaching career, Sheldon is also a content writer for a variety of education, technology, and parenting websites.