What to Look for in a Tutor
Without a doubt, this is the question that many parents ask when recruiting help for their child. Tutoring isn’t free, after all, and it’s a significant investment of both time and resources. So what is the honest answer? Not the answer that a tutoring centre is supposed to give, but the bottom line on how well these services work.
Well, the answer is yes. Tutoring does work. In matching up a skilled teacher with a student, there is a good chance that some positive learning will take place. But it’s not quite that simple. There are also several other key factors that need to be considered for tutoring to be a success.
Consider the following:
1. Tutoring should be customized
Much like a fingerprint, each student has a unique style of learning. For tutoring to work, it’s important to identify what skills and talents each of us owns, and what competencies still need to be developed. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning, so before you spend your money, make sure that the tutor or tutoring centre takes the time to get to know your child. Since parents are the subject matter experts on their kids, these conversations should include you. Your insight and feedback are valuable! Successful tutoring hinges on the development of an individualized learning plan. It needs to look, feel and sound like your child. If it doesn’t – shop around. There’s likely to be a person or place that offers a good fit.
If you’ve interviewed with a tutoring centre and they’ve given you a vague plan of action and no defined objectives – think again. Successful tutoring facilities work towards making your child a confident and independent learner. Sure, they want you as a client, but they should also have a vested interest in helping your child succeed. Look for a realistic plan of action and a timeline that makes sense for you and your child. Make sure that your learning goals align with your tutor’s goals, and maintain an open line of communication. Your child’s progress shouldn’t be a surprise.
3. Tutoring should be future-focused
This one may sound strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense. If your child is heading in a particular direction, your tutor or tutoring centre should be able to provide insight and resources to help move them ahead. This is especially crucial for kids with learning challenges, LD issues or ADD/ADHD. Does the tutoring centre have access to the technology and resources that will help your child learn? Are they trained in current programs and assistive technology that will help them do the work? Are there resources that can help you and your child make good decisions about accommodations, classes and academic goals? Tutoring should be focused and responsive to make the most of your investment.
Most of us have experienced the frustration of trying to teach our own kids. We seem to know how to press each other’s buttons, and often times we spend more time arguing than getting work done! In this case, tutoring is a great solution. But you are still the captain of the team of helpers and educators working towards your child’s success! Tutoring should coordinate with work going on in the classroom, the IEP or curriculum expectations, the classroom teacher, and the school as required. Your tutoring centre should be flexible, experienced and connected to schools in the community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and link up resources. The better you are at managing a positive learning experience for your child, the better they will be at advocating for themselves. It’s a win-win situation.
So, that’s the short answer. And I know what you’re thinking – here’s the part where OnCourse pitches themselves as the solution to all my problems! Well, not quite. If you’re looking for help, by all means, shop around. But make us one of your options. We are experienced professionals in education, with a track record of success. And as parents and teachers, we understand tutoring from both perspectives. And we will give you the insight and information you need to make a good decision for your child. We’re on your side! Give us a call at 1(905)525-1234 and let us know how we can help. http://oncourseeducation.com/