How to Choose A Private Tutor for Your Child
A good private tutor can make the difference between your child getting top grades in their classes or failing miserably. But trying to find one can be overwhelming when you’re not sure what you should be looking for in a candidate. So what factors should you consider when trying to find a tutor that is right for you and your child?
What Experience Do They Have with the Subject?
What qualifications do they have that are related to the subject you want them to teach? You’re unlikely to need a tutor with a doctorate, but they should ideally have some experience with the field past compulsory education requirements, such as industry-related qualifications or experience as well as academic achievements.
Are they up to date with the requirements of the curriculum your child is following? Different school systems and examination boards may have different grading criteria, even for the same subject. If passing a specific exam is one of your goals, then confirm that the tutor can help with this.
How Long Have They Been a Tutor?
Have they only recently started tutoring, or have they been doing it for years? Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t be too quick to pass on someone just starting their tutoring career. Confirm that they are familiar with the course or subject you wish them to tutor and that they are otherwise suited for the learning goals you have for your child. If other factors affect your child’s learning experience, such as dyslexia or hearing difficulties, then consider looking for someone who has been tutoring for longer and has experience teaching similar students.
Have They Had a Background Check?
Is it clean and currently valid? If the tutor works for an agency, then they may have run a background check as part of the recruitment process, but don’t automatically assume they’ve had one and passed unless you’ve been told this directly. Be aware that background checks don’t always find all relevant information from someone’s past. Different locales may search for and record different information during a background check. It can also be challenging to piece together an accurate history if they’ve lived in several places during their lifetime. Regardless of these limitations, you should still insist that a tutor pass a background check before hiring them, especially if your child is very young or if they’ll be left alone with the tutor on a regular basis.
Is There Positive Feedback from Their Previous Clients?
Was the tutor referred to you by a satisfied customer, such as another parent you know? It’s essential that the recommendations you find or receive come from people who have used their tutoring services. They should not just be friends or relatives vouching for the tutor to help them find students.
Ask how well previous students have done after being taught by the tutor, or more specifically, how much the students’ grades improved, not their final grade score. For example, while it’s impressive for a student to be scoring 90% on average in their tests after tutoring, if the student was already scoring 85% before seeing the tutor, then it’s not a significant change in score overall. But if they were averaging 65% before tutoring, then 90% is a considerable improvement compared to their starting grade.
Have You Met Them in Person?
Always see a potential tutor in person before agreeing to hire them. You don’t need to have a long formal meeting with them; a quick chat will do. A conscientious tutor should want to talk to you first anyway to discuss the learning goals you have for your child. Make sure you are happy to have them teach your child. Find a different tutor if they seem off to you somehow during this meeting.
Finding a suitable private tutor takes time, but by considering the points above, you can make yourself an action plan and start sorting through your list of candidates.
About The Main Line Tutor
With over 30 years of experience tutoring high school and college students our tutors specialize in mathematics and general chemistry. Our founder, Dr. Chesloff, holds a Doctorate in Higher Science Education and has developed an education curriculum that engages the student and enhances their learning and thought process to help raise their scores and improve performance.
We offer nationwide tutoring via video teleconference in PSAT/SAT preparation (math, critical reading, writing), ACT test preparation (Get step by step instructions, mock tests and more so you know exactly what to expect with the real thing), chemistry (General Chemistry (including AP), Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry), algebra I/II, geometry, and trigonometry.
Our Mission is to target the specific needs of our students, college and high school, particularly in the area of standardized test preparation.
Our Tutoring allows for flexible hours 7 days a week nationwide via videoconference.