Choosing a great tutor for your child can’t be that hard, right? Wrong! Did you know that anyone can say they are a tutor, and they don’t need to have any specific qualifications or educational background? So, essentially you could be paying someone to help your child with their learning, and they may have no idea what they are doing! To avoid this scenario and to make the best possible choice for your child, we’ve put together some important tips to keep in mind when finding the right tutor.
A teaching background
It’s one thing for someone to excel at a certain subject, but if they don’t know how to teach their knowledge to others in a way that is age-appropriate and easy to comprehend, then they are not going to be a good tutor. Look for a tutor that has a background in teaching children of your child’s age group and has experience teaching the subject that your child would like to learn more about or needs help with. At a minimum, they should be a qualified primary or secondary school teacher or studying to be a teacher.
Good people skills
Good people skills are essential for a tutor to have as this ensures they get the most out of your child during each session. When your child looks forward to seeing their tutor and has built rapport with them, learning is no longer a laborious chore. The tutor should be enthusiastic and make the sessions interactive. This enables your child to feel comfortable around them and engaged in their learning.
Flexibility is key, especially in this day and age. With extracurricular activities, extended working hours, holidays etc, if your tutor isn’t flexible, you may see yourself handing out extra money for sessions that are not even taken. If the tutor is inflexible and can’t work around your schedule, your child may potentially miss out on crucial support they need in the lead up to tests, exams, or assignments. Make sure you establish the tutor’s flexibility at the initial meeting to avoid issues down the track.
Offers practical components as well as theoretical
Often people learn better through hands-on, practical learning. While your child’s work may be centred around theory, the tutor should be able to implement practical points of view and examples to enable your child to expand their thinking.
Has been reviewed by the Australian Tutoring Association
The tutor you choose should have a certification from the Australian Tutoring Association, not be confused with a “tutoring qualification”. There isn’t such as thing, so if someone is claiming to be a qualified tutor, this should be a red flag. Tutors that have an Australian Tutoring Association certification are held to high standards and are bound by a Code of Conduct.
Involves you in your child’s learning
You know your child better than anyone else, and the tutor must acknowledge the importance of involving you in your child’s learning. This allows both you and the tutor to come together to converse about how to approach the lessons and what works and what doesn’t. This can increase your child’s chances of success.
Hold a valid blue card
Whether a tutor needs a valid blue card or not will depend on the type of tutoring they are offering however, it is a good idea to check whether they do or not for peace of mind. Your child’s safety is paramount, and a blue card checks the tutor’s criminal background.
Check their references
Almost all businesses, tutoring companies included, will have references from previous customers. In most cases, these can be accessed easily online. Have a read through them to see what other parents have said about their services. This can give you an idea of their teaching styles as well as pros and cons etc. Another way to go about it is by asking family and friends that have used a tutor for referrals. They will be able to give you honest feedback.
No long-term commitments
Sometimes finding the best tutor for your child can involve a little bit of trial and error, and you want the freedom to be able to cease a tutors service if you think they are not suitable for your child. Hiring a tutor that requests you to commit to a long-term contract or excessive upfront costs can see you losing a lot of money if you or your child are not entirely satisfied.
Explanations of how they work
Asking the tutor how they approach learning and what tactics and strategies they use to teach can give you an idea of whether they will be a good match for your child’s personality and learning style.
Take your time to find the perfect fit
As you can see, there are a few things to consider when choosing a tutor. Having this knowledge enables you to make the best choice for your child, and the likelihood that they are going to benefit from tutoring is drastically increased. Go to the effort of researching tutors in your area before hiring one, it can save you a lot of time and money. Here at Stress Less Tutoring, we have a team of outstanding tutors that will work with you and your child to help them achieve their learning goals. Contact us today for more information, or check us out online.