How To Choose A Tutor
Every day parents find themselves in this position; their child is struggling academically and just isn’t responding to a classroom environment alone. So, they decide that a bit of 1:1 support is what they need to help them get their grades up. But when these parents start exploring tutoring websites they find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of tutors available. The hours of scrolling begin and that familiar feeling they encounter every weekend while trying to decide what to watch on Netflix comes creeping in: ‘love how much choice I have… but how am I supposed to pick just one?!’
But this isn’t a Friday night movie marathon; it’s your child’s education and the pressure of making sure they have the best possible educational support can get a bit much at times. Luckily, at Tutor House we know a thing or two about the process of choosing the best tutor. We understand how much is riding on this choice and how difficult it can be to make a decision. So, we’ve put together a guide to selecting the best tutor for your child.
Establish a list of priorities
When it comes to tutors, everybody’s looking for something different. Perhaps you value experience and the number of lessons a tutor has completed above all else, but you may also have a slightly more nuanced wish list.
Your child may have specific educational requirements, in which case an SEN tutor is a good idea. Or perhaps you have your heart set on in-person tuition, as opposed to online, in which case the pendulum will most likely be swinging towards locally based tutors. Consider what kind of personality would suit your child - dynamic, rigorous, a combination… - and make sure you speak to potential tutors about the approach they tend to favour.
Consider your child’s point of view
While it can be tempting, as a parent, to slip into micromanagement mode, it’s important to consider your child’s needs. A tutor might have a dazzling CV but if your child doesn’t feel comfortable in their presence, the learning journey will end up being that bit trickier.
For example, maybe your child is struggling with a specific academic area; you might be able to find a recent graduate who’s just completed their Masters dissertation on that very topic! They would most likely be far more beneficial to your child’s learning than a tutor with many more years of tutoring experience whose offerings were less aligned.
Use your trial call productively
Tutor House offers clients a free trial call with a tutor of their choice. This is perhaps the most important part of the selection process so it’s important you ask the right questions. These will of course vary according to what you’re looking for in a tutor but we recommend these staple ones as a base:
- What kind of resources will you be using?
How a tutor answers this question can be an excellent indicator of their professionalism, experience and how unique a teaching plan you can expect from them. If they use the same textbooks your child uses at school, you may want to press them to explain how their methods will diverge from that of your child’s teachers.
- What will your first session with my child look like?
This is a good way of establishing how personalised a tutor’s approach is likely to be. There is no one right answer but if you’re hoping for a highly tailored method, you’ll want your chosen tutor to approach the first lesson with a diagnostic methodology so they can establish exactly what your child’s level is and how best to proceed with them.
- How will you monitor my child’s progress?
Every parent has different preferences so if you’d like to maintain an active understanding of how your child is doing and how they are progressing, you need to make sure you communicate this to your chosen tutor. Make it clear that you would like regular feedback on your child’s progress so they can integrate that into their work.
- How will you help my child optimise their own study techniques and how can I, as a parent, help my child succeed academically?
It’s a good idea to establish that a tutor is able to consider their students’ holistic learning experience as well as the ways in which they can help. An enormous part of teaching is providing students with the tools they need for productive independent study. Teach a man to fish…
Make sure you’re not asking questions that have already been answered on the tutor’s profile - you don’t want to be wasting the tutor’s time or your own.
Don’t be afraid to change tutor
Of course, everybody hopes the first tutor they try will be the perfect one for them. But this isn’t always the case, and that’s ok! If you find that your chosen tutor isn’t the best fit for your child, trial another one. All tutors are different and employ varying teaching styles and techniques, so you’re sure to find a more suitable one with a bit of delving. If you need help making your decision, don’t hesitate to contact our team either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (020 3950 0320).