Parent Tips

Do You Knw What A Tutor Could Do


Reasons for Private Tutoring

Our view of tutoring is more than a quick fix to a high grade on the next test. While tutoring can help achieve that, tutoring is always about developing greater individual skills and becoming more knowledgeable and independent in the process. We believe that tutoring...

    * improves academic performance and personal growth.
    * provides a more individualized, systematic, structured learning experience.
    * improves attitude toward subject area.
    * generates stronger effects than other individualized teaching strategies.
    * motivates self-paced and self-directed learning.
    * provides intensive practice for students who need it.
    * improves self esteem.
    * provides greater connection between the student's teacher and the student.

Determine where to get tutoring help for your child.

There are different levels of training and experience for individuals who tutor kids. That fact can make it difficult for you to decide who's right for your child. Tutoring Match helps you with this process of finding the right person to assist you and /or your child.

Before choosing a private tutor for yourself or to work with your child, be sure to consider your child's individual needs, learning style and the assistance that he or she requires. If you need help determining the best course of action, here's where you can find help:  

  • Talk to your child's teacher or trusted professional.
  • High school and college students, retired adults, or your next door neighbor may be able to help your child with homework, listen to him/her read aloud, or take him/her to the library to do research for a project.
  • Credentialed teachers are trained in certain areas of general education curriculum, so they can help your child with a specific subject, such as math or science. Most of Tutoring Match's tutors have New York or Connecticut Certification.
    Credentialed special education teachers are qualified to work with kids with disabilities. At school, they are the staff responsible for implementing IEPS, so they have training in educational assessment, teach skills and strategies, and make accommodations.
  • Members of the Association of Educational Therapists have additional training in educational assessments and teach skills and strategies. After completing a specialized clinical program, they receive an advanced certificate.

Contact Tutoring Match for some assistance or guidance about what steps you should take.

What to Consider Before Hiring a Tutor

Hiring a tutor for your child or for yourself is often a confusing and complicated matter. Currently, we estimate that there are over two million people practicing tutoring. 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 a good fit for your student? Who will deliver the services best suited for your student's needs and goals? Tutors have the unique ability and responsibility to interact with your student on a holistic level, meaning that the tutor and student will work together as a learning team to meet certain goals and benchmarks of success. 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. But you must keep in mind that tutors are not magicians and that no tutor should ever guarantee that your student will attain certain results in any given period of time. The goal for every tutor should be overall progress for the student which is measured in academic success, improved self-esteem, and increased independence as a learner.

Hiring 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 decision. After all, the student is 50% of the learning team, and as such, needs to be involved from the onset.

Questions to Consider Before Hiring a Tutor

     * What do I expect the tutor to do?
    * Help with homework?
    * Build skills?
    * Provide enrichment?
    * Improve report card grades
    * Teach learning strategies?
    * Provide educational assessment?
    * Serve as a case manager for my child
    * What are my child's learning strengths and needs?
    * What outcomes should I realistically expect?
    * How will the interventions be related to my child's school program?
    * Will my child's teachers work collaboratively with the tutor?
    * How does my child feel about getting this extra help?
    * Would my child prefer to work with a male or a female?

Questions for Parents to Ask the Tutor

Tutoring Skills, Personal Style and Experience - Find out about a tutor's talents and approach to working with students.

    * How long have you been tutoring?
    * Why do you enjoy tutoring?
    * How many children are you currently working with?
    * How do you define your role as the tutor?
    * Are you able to adapt instructional materials and teaching strategies to meet my child's needs and interests? If so, how would you do it?
    * When do you become frustrated with children?
    * How do you communicate with a child who clearly isn't "getting it"?
    * How do you deal with motivation, behavior, and/or attention problems?
    * What services do you provide?

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.

    * Have you taught or are you currently teaching school? If so, what subjects and/or grade levels?
    * What is your experience working with students my child's age?
    * Have you had training in working with kids with learning differences? If so, to what extent?

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.

    * Can you give me three references relating to your professional work?
    * What is your educational background and level of professional training?
    * What credentials, certifications, and/or degrees do you hold?

Assessment - 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 student's teacher?
    * What type of assessment for learning differences do you do, if any?

Tutorial - (Time, Frequency, Duration, and Location) -- Tutors should never meet with your child in a location where there is no other adult present.

    * How long is each tutoring session?
    * How frequently do you recommend meeting?
    * Do you offer individual or small group instruction?
    * Where will the tutor meet your child?
    * At your home with supervision?
    * In a public place such as a library?
    * In a dedicated learning center?

Demonstration -- Watch the tutor guide your child 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 child?
    * Does the tutor write on your child's paper or does the tutor allow the child to make corrections as needed?
    * Is your child allowed to ask numerous questions?
    * Is the tutor patient, professional in mannerism, tone of voice and information delivery?
    * Does the tutor give your child time to process and answer the question before offering the solution?
    * Does the tutor offer sincere praise?

Professional Affiliations and Development -

    * 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?
    * How do you remain current in the field of learning differences?

Communication and Teamwork -

    * What is my role as the parent?
    * How will I be informed of my child's progress?
    * Are you willing to collaborate with my child's teachers to coordinate school instruction and curriculum?
    * How will you communicate with my child's teacher(s) and how often?

Final Questions

     * Were all of my questions answered to my satisfaction?
      * How does this person compare to others I have interviewed?

Finally, if you have any internal warning signals, do not hire that tutor. You are the person who knows your child better than anyone else. You and your child 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.