So you`ve decided that`s it. You are done with the nightly tears, the tantrums, the dreaded parent teacher conferences, and the feeling that, no matter what you do, it never seems to be quite enough. It`s time to call in The Pros. So what happens next? What needs to be considered when finding a professional tutor for your child?
It seems obvious that of course a tutor must have a minimum level of knowledge in the subject they are planning to teach. But they don`t necessarily need to be the most qualified in their field. Think about the level you are hiring them for. A PhD professor is not needed for elementary math! Think about how your child may relate to the tutor. Perhaps a younger college-age tutor might be more appropriate for a High Schooler with Math or Science issues? Perhaps they can relate to them more easily. Perhaps this person can be the steadying influence you as the parent would like to be but are finding impossible because, as a parent, you are automatically “lame” once your child hits 13?! Perhaps a qualified elementary teacher and tutor with a grounding in Common Core and endless patience is what is needed for your struggling fifth grader?
Again – think carefully here. There is a tendency to think the more experienced the better, but that may then be ruling out the new and highly enthusiastic tutor with a passion for teaching and an infectious love of their subject – which may well be what is lacking in your child and just what they need to discover the subject for themselves. The more important question is: How does their teaching style relate to your young learner?
Is the tutor formal, or relaxed? Structured or more flexible? One way is not necessarily better than the other. The key is how it relates to YOUR circumstances and YOUR child. Matching what you need will mean you obtain maximum benefit from your investment.
Attributes such as patience, reliability, honesty and professionalism should be a given in any service. But here are some lesser considered options that again will help maximize the investment in a tutor:
How crazy is your schedule? Some tutors may not be able to adapt to a fluctuating schedule without difficulty. Others may have no problem at all.
What impression does the tutor give you when you meet them? Formal? Funky? Friendly? Confident? Mature? This person will be having an influence on your child beyond their subject. They are likely to become a mentor and friend. So think carefully. This is one of the rare opportunities that you get to have an influence over who your child is hanging out with!
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Someone who does not just have a sound knowledge base in their subject, but also the ability to map a path to where the student wishes to go, and an awareness of the pitfalls along the way. This is the mark of a great tutor.
Sounds like a given, right?! There is passion for your subject and then there is an inability to think of anything beyond it. A brilliant knowledge of Chemistry or Physics is an admirable thing. More admirable still, is pure genius combined with an ability to relate to human beings in the real world. Quarks and Leptons have their place in the world, but not necessarily in every single conversation. Unless of course, you want them to be!
Involving your child, whatever their age, in the decision making process will help them feel they are taking ownership of their future with your support.
A key benefit of working with REACH Professional In-Home Tutoring is that all of the above is taken care of for you. The REACH Pro Tutoring team takes the time to understand your child and your circumstances, your goals and limitations, and then carefully match the most appropriate tutor for your needs, avoiding common pitfalls and guaranteeing the professionalism and reliability of the tutor. We then continue to oversee the learning process to ensure that you are continuing to gain the maximum possible benefit from your investment.
Every journey, no matter the destination, starts with a single step. Step 1 is to contact REACH Pro Tutoring and take advantage of our expertise to help you get off to the best possible start.