Whether your child is finding aspects of learning challenging, or they’re looking to build upon existing knowledge, tutors are a great source of supplementary education. More and more parents are searching for private tutors, looking to assist their children from different angles. For those in elementary school, middle school, and beyond, there’s no denying that the extra support a tutor provides is beneficial for any student. However, the difficulty comes with the very first step: finding an effective tutor that accommodates your child’s needs.
There are a few elements that we have to take on board before embarking on a search. Establishing exactly what you need, what to look out for, and your preferred route are integral if you wish to find an effective tutor. So, what are some points that we should have in mind as we search for a tutor? Let’s explore some tips.
What are your goals?
This is a question you must ask yourself before you begin this journey. Sit down with your child and establish exactly what objectives need to be met. Consider what level of assistance you require. Is it help with homework, or an upcoming exam, or are there gaps in your child’s knowledge that need to be filled? Are there specific areas that you would prefer to focus on? For example, your child may need to prioritize one subject over another or build up fundamental knowledge before progressing.
Determine their learning style. A good person to speak to here is their class teacher. Figure out the best way that they can learn. They may be motivated by different incentives, prefer learning actively, or thrive more from either assertiveness or positive reinforcement. This is up to your discretion – no one knows them better than you! Also, decide on your price range and schedule beforehand, as it will make the process much smoother.
What makes the tutor right for you and your child?
Next, it’s important to know what qualities make up a good tutor. And there’s more to this than you may think. A tutor can technically be ‘good’, but if they don’t align with your requirements, or if their personality doesn’t compliment your child’s learning style, then it’s best to look elsewhere. So, what should you be looking for in a tutor?
Subject knowledge, experience, and specialization
First thing first: you’ll want to find a tutor that has a decent level of subject knowledge in the area you’re interested in strengthening. This isn’t the only thing to look for, as we’ll explore later, but it’s a fundamental place to start. Specialists, in particular, are great. If they have a specific skill set and experience in the subject of their choice, the learning outcomes will be much stronger. Educators who know their subject, who are invested, passionate, and seasoned, are solid options.
Does their personality align with your child’s?
As we’ve briefly discussed before, one vital thing to consider when looking for a tutor is their personality. They may have advanced subject knowledge and years of experience, but if your child doesn’t respond to them, then all of that is wasted. Every child is different, so the choice will be yours to make. As a rule of thumb, look for someone who is warm, confident, and able to adapt.
Adaptability is an extremely important factor, as that’s the sign of a truly effective tutor. If they see that your child isn’t responding to a method of learning, the tutor should be able to redirect their teaching based on your child’s personality and learning style. If they’re able to do this in a firm yet supportive manner, this is a great sign.
How should you search for the right tutor?
There are many different avenues that you can take when searching for a good tutor. As mentioned before, looking for someone who is a specialist with years of experience is preferred, so be very careful when deciding this. For instance, choosing a large tutoring company that’s saturated with tutors may not be the best option, as they’re expected to teach many subjects and aren’t required to have much experience.
Searching for a private tutor that specializes in their subject area is preferred. You can search for them online, or even stop by your local school and ask around. Some bulletin boards could potentially have fliers, or you may even be able to chat with other parents to find out their experiences. Teachers at your local school may even offer their services, which takes away some of the vetting processes.
Making the right choice
Whether you do this online or in person, it’s essential to look for someone with a good level of expertise. Try and see if they offer a trial session, as well. This is a good way to determine if their personality aligns with your child’s. Independent tutors such as Maya of Maya’s Tutoring (located in Boise) are ideal due to their extensive experience, glowing reviews, and warm personalities.
It all comes down to you
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal requirements and situation. The bottom line is: regardless of ability level, any child would benefit from receiving that extra helping hand in their learning. One-to-one sessions allow the opportunity for personally-tailored lessons and the potential to explore areas of a subject on a deeper level. It’s even great for your child’s well-being. Particularly for those who may have an important exam, or if they’re falling behind in a subject, learning can be stressful. Tutors can alleviate some of that stress, offering an actionable game plan and emotional support during this time.
When searching for a tutor, if you take everything we have discussed on board, your child is much more likely to thrive. Look for someone who aligns with you and your child’s values. Look for someone who has the experience and extensive subject knowledge – someone who understands the challenges that come with education. Ultimately, learning is a very personal journey. Finding a tutor who acts as a guiding light will produce the best outcomes for your child.