Leaving your child into the hands of a tutor to take care of his/her academic needs is never an easy decision for parents. What if the tutor is not patient with the child? What if the teacher turns out to have a violent streak? What if the tutor fails to give the necessary guidance, you expect him/her to give? Similar such questions frequent your minds as parents, when you seek a tutor. These concerns often lead to a situation where parents prepare lot of questions to ask a prospective teacher, but miss out asking some basic questions, which happen to be absolutely essential.
This post will aim to take a look at some of those essential questions that parents need to get answers to, when trying to find a tutor for their child. These are:
How long he/she has been tutoring?
This is a vital question you need to ask, as an experienced teacher will have a better idea of how to handle your child. There is no hard and fast rule that a novice teacher will not teach well, but the only problem with someone who has just started teaching is that he/she will not be aware of the entire procedure. Say the billing system involved in the process or the cancellation policy generally at work in these scenarios and so on. An experienced person will not only have the necessary education to lend your child with a detailed understanding of the subject matter, but also knowledge of the business matters. So, at least check if the tutor you are selecting boasts of an experience of about a year or not. This is the minimum time-frame one needs to learn about how to handle teaching and the business side of it deftly.
What does the tutor charge?
On an average, tutors in the US, can charge anywhere between $15 and $75 per hour. Generally, lower the qualification, lesser is the income and vice versa. People with advanced degrees such as Masters or Doctorates can charge you a lot of money. Although, an important aspect to check, but don’t judge whether a tutor will be good enough for your child or not, by the amount he/she charges. After all, even a college student who has a teaching experience of 1 year and charges reasonably less can serve as the right teacher for your child.
What will be the length and frequency of sessions?
Ideally, tutors should meet students twice or three in a week and the sessions can go about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Even the frequency of sessions is variable, depending on the age of students. If your child is young, then your tutor needs to visit more often. This is because, young students tend to have shorter attention spans and hence, more effort must be put into teaching them. On the other hand, teenagers take lesser time to learn, but need to be persistently followed in order to get their problematic areas in different subjects addressed. Thus, depending upon your child’s requirement, the tutor needs to fix how frequent the sessions have to be arranged.
Whether the tutor is certified or not?
Certification accounts for the teacher’s credibility and proficiency in teaching. Whether it is grades K – 8 (elementary certification) or grades 6 – 12 (secondary certification), a tutor who has acquired either of the two, definitely has certain knowledge of educational concepts. Hence, he/she can teach them to your child in elementary levels or your teenager in secondary levels.
What is the tutor’s area of expertise?
This is another important sector you need in delve in details. Checking into the tutor’s credentials can help you get an idea of what skills your teacher possesses. Only when you know the strengths and weaknesses of your tutor, you can ask for lending the right guidance to your child. It is possible that your child may require help with multiple subjects, but it is not always possible for one teacher to take care of that. So, you may need more than one tutor to help your child with his/her education.
Again, there are scenarios when a mathematics tutor is found to be of great help in case of chemistry. So, you may also come across teachers who have expert knowledge in one subject and reasonably good understanding in another. This makes the tutor capable enough of teaching two subjects as well. But before you appoint the teacher in teaching the second subject, make sure the tutor is qualified enough in that subject as well. After all, you do not want to find a tutor for your child who does not have the necessary skill and knowledge to teach the second subject.
What age group of students does the tutor like working with?
Every tutor has their preference about the age group of students they wish to teach. Some prefer working with the energetic and enthusiastic little ones, while some prefer teaching serious subject matter to young adults. When some may feel happy and comfortable interacting with kids, some teachers may relate better to older students. Apart from this, there are some rare teachers as well who find it easy to work with students of all age groups. You need to find out that the tutor you are considering is comfortable to work with the age group your child belongs to.
How does the Tutor Handle Students with Dyslexia and ADHD?
Students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia and ADHD need special attention and different strategies to teach new concepts. If your child has got diagnosed with something like this, you need to check whether your chosen tutor has got ample experience in dealing with such kids or not. The tutor needs to possess sensitivity, kindness of approach and enormous patience to handle such kids, as he/she has to break the barrier and reach out to the kid. The tutor has to first become a friend your kid can trust, and then only your child will become enthusiastic about seeing the person. This will lay the foundation to a nice teacher-student relationship.
Can a meeting be arranged with the tutor?
The first meeting between you and the tutor is vital as his/her interaction with the child will determine his course of action. This meeting acts as the interview session for the tutor, where you will definitely discuss the subjects, days he/she will teach, and charge. But above all, you need to check whether the teacher is friendly enough with your kid or not. Notice that in the meeting, whom the tutor pays most attention to. If it is you and not the child then that is not the person worth considering. On the other hand, if you find your kid holds his/her attention more than your talks, then take it as a good sign that the tutor genuinely loves kids and will be fine in handling yours as well. It is vital for you to see how well the tutor communicates with your kid and how well your child accepts this new teacher. If you see happy faces in this meeting, regardless of the location to be your house or the tutor’s, then you have arrived at the perfect choice.
Thus, asking these questions and noticing the replies you get, you can find a tutor who will be caring, understanding and knowledgeable enough to manage your child well.