Hiring a tutor for your child or for yourself can be both a confusing and complicated matter. There are at least 2 million tutors in the United States. These individuals may be independent private practice tutors, or they may work for a larger practice, a franchised practice, a community program, a faith based program, or a school based initiative. Whether volunteer or paid, all tutors should abide by the standards of practice and code of ethics as set forth by the National Tutoring Association. All tutors should be trained and certified in the professional practice of tutoring.
So how do you know who will be the best fit for your student? Who will deliver the services best suited for your student’s needs and goals? Tutors not only deliver content information, they motivate, coach, challenge, and provide feedback to students. Well trained and experienced tutors work with the student’s overall study skills, not just the academic assignment at hand.
Hiring a tutor should be approached in the same manner as hiring any other professional. Ask questions, look carefully at references, and use your instinct as to whether this tutor is a good fit for your student. Your student should be present at the initial interview so that you can receive feedback from your student before making a final hiring decision.
Ask about the following . . . .
* Credentials – Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of credentials, i.e. transcript copies, copies of state teaching certificates, tutor certification, proof of other specialized training. Ask the tutor to provide a complete resume.
* A Tutorial Plan — Give the tutor a list of your concerns and goals for your student. Ask the tutor to offer a basic plan for how he or she will assist your child. How will the tutor conduct an initial assessment of your student’s academic needs and challenges? How will success be measured? When will feedback be provided to you and/or the student’s teacher?
* Letters of Recommendation — Make sure that the letters speak to the person’s ability as a tutor and not just matters of general character. Letters should be current and include full contact information for the person making the recommendation. Above all, make the calls necessary to verify these recommendations.
* Demonstration — Watch the tutor guide your student through a small portion of one lesson. How does the tutor approach the student? Where does the tutor sit; does the tutor respect your child’s personal space? How is the tutor’s intent conveyed to your student? Does the tutor write on your student’s paper or does the tutor allow the student to make corrections as needed? Is your student allowed to ask numerous questions? Is the tutor patient, professional in mannerism, tone of voice and information delivery? Does the tutor give your student time to process and answer the question before offering the solution? Does the tutor 學英文 offer sincere praise?
* Fees – Ask the tutor for a detailed pricing plan, i.e. how many sessions at what cost per session. Be sure you are clear about payment requirements, rules about missed appointments, and miscellaneous fees for testing and materials.
* Location — Where will the tutor meet your student? At your home with supervision? In a public place such as a library? In a dedicated learning center? Tutors should never meet with your student in a location where there is no other adult present.
* Insurance — Does the tutor carry professional liability insurance? Has the tutor been recently background checked?
* Professional Affiliations – To what professional association does the tutor belong? How does the tutor participate in the overall improvement of the tutorial practice? Does the tutor stay current regarding innovative methods and strategies?
* Additional Questions — How long have you been tutoring? Why do you enjoy tutoring? How many students are you currently working with? When do you become frustrated with students? How do you communicate with a student who clearly isn’t “getting it”? How do you define your role as the tutor? What is my role as the parent? How will you communicate with my student’s teacher(s) and how often?