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.
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
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
* 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 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?
Finally, if any red
flag sends off an internal warning signal, do not hire that tutor. You
are the person who knows your student better than anyone else. You and
your student must feel comfortable in this tutorial relationship. The
bottom line is that no matter who recommends the tutor, interview more
than one tutor if you have any nagging thoughts in the back of your mind
when making the hiring decision.
When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.
Lesson by Claire Bowern, animation by Patrick Smith.
How can you tell the difference between when your child is just
having a little trouble understanding the material being presented in
his new math class and when he really needs math help? There are several
signs that you should be looking for that may indicate that his problem
is serious and isn't going to go away on its own. If your child is lost
and confused, is suffering from a lack of motivation, is pretending to
be sick in order to avoid school, gets anxious at the thought of a test,
or gets upset when you try to help then it may be time for you to
consider getting him some math help.
If your child is lost and
confused when faced with a new subject then he may need some help taking
those first few steps and getting a solid foundation built in order to
continue making progress. This type of situation arises especially at
the time when a student is beginning high school. It will likely be the
first time that he is faced with any type of advanced math study. It is
very easy to be confused by a new subject and math is exceptional in
this respect because it is different than any other subject, being both
cumulative and conceptual in nature. If he is lost in his new studies he
can benefit from a little math help.
If your child is truly
struggling in math class it can lead to a lack of motivation on his part
toward school work in general and toward math in particular. If you
notice that all of his other homework seems to be getting done quickly
but that his math book seems to just sit there unopened then that is a
very good sign that he needs math help. It is human nature to avoid
anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Does he wake up in the
morning and tell you that he is sick in order to get out of going to
school. Faking an illness is usually a symptom of more than just a
dislike for school. There are almost always underlying issues and if you
have already noticed that he is having trouble in math class then it
will be a very good idea for you to get him some math help.
he wake up on the morning of a test and really is sick to his stomach?
This is a sign of anxiety and should be taken very seriously. Getting
him some math help will put him at ease and allow him to relax and score
better on the test.
The only group of people that your child is
more afraid of thinking he isn't smart than his friends is his family.
If he refuses the help that you offer him with his math homework it is a
very good indicator that he is having struggles. Just be sure that he
doesn't believe you are going behind his back when you get him some math
If you have any question that your child may be having
difficulties in math class then you should be seriously considering
getting him some math help. Everyone can use a little help occasionally
and when he is no longer struggling to understand his course work he
will thank you for getting him math help.
Anton Lebedev is the director of Plus Plus Tutoring, a private tutoring service that provides math help.
It’s often said that despite humanity’s many conflicts, we all bleed the same blood. It’s a nice thought, but not quite accurate. In fact, our blood comes in a few different varieties. Natalie S. Hodge defines the four major blood types and sheds light on why some bloods can mix while others cannot.
Lesson by Natalie S. Hodge, animation by Brad Purnell.
Tutoring is a fast growing tutoring industry because learners
need extra support due to many factors that may impact classroom
instruction. Tutors are a great way to help bridge the gap between the
classroom and student achievement. Individuals who are struggling in any
subject should consider to get a tutor for the following five reasons:
1. Innovative Learning Activities:
Tutoring is considered a supplemental educational service, which means
that tutors must seek innovative teaching and tutoring techniques to
ensure that learners are able to master concepts from teaching resources
that have not been used. Most tutors develop their own curriculum or
find learning resources that learners have not seen in the classroom
resulting in increased student achievement and effective tutoring
2. Get Personalized Instruction:
Individuals who seek tutors are able to work with them one-on-one or in
small groups. While small groups work and have many benefits to
learners, the best type of tutoring scenario is one-on-one instruction
because tutors are catering to the learner's needs. If individuals are
struggling in a subject, then they should opt for a tutor who conducts
individual tutoring session to get the best bang for their buck and
data-driven tutoring sessions.
3. Ask all the Questions You Like:
Tutors are very friendly and allow learners to ask all the questions in
which they like so that they are able to better understand the material
and truly help the brain make a connection. Individuals should ask all
the questions that they need to get the most out of a tutoring session
and these questions provide rich data to help tutors make data-driven
decisions to ensure that learners are learning in tutoring sessions.
4. Affordable and Quality Instruction:
Depending on the subject, tutoring can be expensive. However, there are
ways to find affordable and quality tutoring sessions. Individuals
looking for a tutor should look at their experience, call references,
and check out success rates to determine if it is feasible to pay the
tutoring rate for tutoring services. It's very important to focus on
affordability, then quality to determine if specific tutors should be
hired to help either you or your child. The bottom line is that most
tutors are affordable and do provide quality services and individuals do
not have to use them long-term. However, it is recommended that all
individuals finish out the recommended tutoring program to see real
5. Increase Confidence in Learning Again: Tutors
are a great way to help learners build their confidence again. Tutoring
is a platform in which learners are able to take their time and make
mistakes without penalty. Tutors are able to focus on each individual
client rather than several groups of learners. Individuals who are
struggling in any subject should consider hiring a tutor to help them
become a better learner and gain more confidence in their learning
Alicia Holland-Johnson, EdD, is a proud mother of two beautiful
daughters and an educator with ten years of teaching experience at all
levels, including university teaching. She also works as a professional
tutor at iGlobal Educational Services, Inc. ( http://www.iglobaleducation.com
) and a consultant in the education industry. Her passion is helping
individuals believe in themselves and go far. To receive a free special
report, join the blog at http://www.becomingabettertutor.blogspot.com.
Do animals think? It’s a question that has intrigued scientists for thousands of years, inspiring them to come up with different methods and criteria to measure the intelligence of animals. Bryan B Rasmussen navigates through this controversial question, showing how determining intelligence often says more about how humans think than about anything else.
Lesson by Bryan B Rasmussen, animation by Mike Schell.
It can be tough finding the right tutor to fit your child's
needs. Let us help you ask the right questions and find the right match.
Know your child's needs: The real key to finding the right tutor for
your child is knowing what kind of help your child needs. Just because
his or her grades are slipping only in math, doesn't mean that your
child isn't struggling with other subjects. Do your homework by checking
your child's homework and having concrete examples and problems to
discuss with potential candidates. The only way to find a qualified
tutor is to hire them knowing what you'll need. You don't want to be
stuck with only a math tutor when your child needs help with writing,
2. Know the market: Every community is different, so finding a
tutor can take several different forms. In a university town, many
parents turn to college students to get their students the help they
need. However, college students often have different priorities and are
inexperienced in being an independent contractor. An alternative might
be going to a tutoring center, but your child might not get the
one-on-one attention that he or she needs to rebuild crucial
foundations. Some cities have companies that offer one-on-one tutoring
in your home at prices equivalent to group centers.
3. Know what
questions to ask: In order to find the right tutor, there are a lot of
factors that need to be considered: areas of expertise, training,
experience, and personality. If your child has special needs, you need
to make sure your tutor has experience working with children with your
child's specific disability. Often, experience with one does not
translate into being able to help with another special need.
Involve your child: At the end of the day, you need to find a tutor that
your child will listen to and respect. If you get your child invested
during the entire process, it's much more likely that he or she will
bond with the tutor and commit to creating positive habits through the
guidance of their new tutor. As a role model, tutors really need to
click with their students in order to maximize their teaching and
5. Be patient:Finding the right tutor can take time.
Make sure you don't settle for a quick fix that might end up being
inexperienced or ineffective. Your child's future is worth the wait.
Do a background check:Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to work
with children has the best of intentions. If you go through a company,
make sure you ask them to provide a copy of a recent (within one year)
background check. If you hire one on your own, you are entitled to ask
the tutor to submit to a background check. If they balk, make sure you
walk away. Your child's safety is paramount.
7. Get your child's
teacher involved: In many ways, finding a tutor is like finding a second
teacher-- someone to work in tandem with parents and teachers to ensure
your child succeeds. If you make your child's teacher aware that you're
looking into tutoring and that you would like his or her input, the
teacher might be able to shed light on the underlying reasons for your
child's issues. This information can prove invaluable for rebuilding
foundations and reforming negative habits and attitudes.
your goals: In order to find a tutor that understands where you want to
go and what you want for your child, you need to be able to articulate
specific goals -- both short-term and long-term. These goals could be
something simple, like "I want my child to write his homework in his
planner everyday" or they could be more comprehensive, like "I would
like my child to improve her science grade from a D to a B." You should
list a variety of goals, keeping in mind that it's about more than
grades. It's about building solid foundations and good habits.
Remember experience counts: Finding a tutor with experience can be a
challenge if you don't go through a tutoring company. You need to keep
in mind that just because someone gets straight A's in a subject doesn't
mean they can teach it. You should look for someone who has the
attitude of a learning coach with a holistic approach to tutoring and
experience working with children you are struggling. For many smart
people, they are easily frustrated when a child doesn't pick things up
as quickly as they think they should. Patience and experience are key.
One way to find out if your tutor has what it takes it to check
10. Monitor progress: It's not over once you schedule
your first session. You need to make sure your child is responding to
the tutor you've chosen and that the tutor is working toward achieving
the goals you've set together. It's not a set-it and forget-it thing. At
the same time, you need to give the tutor time to get to know your
child and figure out how to equip them with the knowledge and habits
they need to succeed. Checking in with your child and the tutor after a
month is a good way to measure how it's going.
This could all seem
pretty tough to do on your own, so there are companies out there
dedicated to finding the "perfect match" for your child. At the end of
the day, keep in mind that finding a tutor can be the crucial first step
toward success for your child.
To learn more about how to find a tutor, download my free guide, "7 Ways to Straight A's" to help answer all of the questions you may have as a parent or student. Kevin Patrick is the owner of www.tutorgainesville.com where his company provides private tutoring and assists parents in finding the right math tutor.
It may seem like the semicolon is struggling with an identity crisis. It looks like a comma crossed with a period. Maybe that’s why we toss these punctuation marks around like grammatical confetti; we’re confused about how to use them properly. Emma Bryce clarifies best practices for the semi-confusing semicolon.
Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation by Karrot Entertainment.
Finding the right tutor for your child can be a difficult and
time-consuming task. There are a number of factors you must consider
during the selection process and it can be difficult to evaluate some of
these factors without your child actually receiving some tutoring from
the tutor. This article will outline the steps you should follow when
searching for a tutor for your child. I hope these steps will speed up
your search process and help you find the ideal tutor for your child.
1. Determining the needs of your child
first step in finding the ideal tutor for your child is to determine
what type of help your child needs. If your child is weak in certain
subject areas then you will likely benefit from finding tutors that
specialize in those subjects. If your child has a learning disability
then finding tutors specializing in learning methods for students with
your child's learning disability will likely produce better results.
It's also possible that you just want to help your child perform better
in subjects across a wide range of subjects. Specifying the specific
needs or combinations of needs for your child will help you narrow your
focus when searching for qualified tutors.
2. Finding Qualified Tutors
want to find several tutors that meet your requirements as established
in the first step. At this stage you're just looking to build a list of
companies to research further. There are several places you can look to
find potential tutors. School guidance counselors are good resources -
they are likely to know several tutoring companies in your area and can
help you find tutors that meet your child's needs. Asking other parents
with children is another good source for finding tutoring services. They
may have experience with tutoring companies and can vouch for the
quality of different tutoring services. Online tutoring directories are
also an excellent resource. Tutoring directories tend to have a large
selection of tutors, reviews and they allow you to search by city or
3. Evaluating Tutors
now have a list of tutoring companies that meet your basic requirements
(subjects, teaching methods, etc.). The next step is to go through the
list and evaluate each tutoring service in more detail. Search online to
see if the company has a website with more information. Search for
reviews. In addition to your basic requirements there are other
variables that you should consider such as the experience of the tutor,
education, and their performance track record for past students. You can
create a list of questions you want answered and call the tutoring
company or tutor to find out the answers. Before you commit to anything
you and your child should have a preliminary meeting with the tutor who
would be teaching your child. This will help you evaluate how the tutor
and your child interact, which can have a big impact on how well your
child responds to the tutoring. After you have met with a few tutors
weigh their strengths and weaknesses and make your final decision.
4. Agreeing on goals and measures
important to have established methods for evaluating performance. Many
tutoring companies have their own systems in place for establishing a
baseline and evaluating performance over time. If the company you select
does not have a system like this in place you should bring this up and
create a list of goals and how you will measure improvement. This might
include increasing test scores by at least one grade, advancing to a
higher reading grade, etc. Once the goals and measures have been
established make sure you regularly check the performance of your
student against the goals. Keep in mind that improvement isn't instant,
but if your child still hasn't improved over a month or two you should
probably meet with the tutor to discuss a different approach that will
get results or you should begin searching for a different tutor.
the ideal tutor for your child can be a time-consuming process, and it
can be frustrating if you don't find a good tutor; however, by following
the steps listed above you can greatly improve your odds of finding a
good tutor on the first try.
Christie Van Arragon is a tutor and education enthusiast that
enjoys writing about interesting topics related to tutoring and
education. If you are a tutor or own a tutoring company Christie invites
you to evaluate this software for tutors for your tutoring company.