As colleges’ expectations grow and the competition heightens, your student may need help from a tutor to stay ahead of the game. Whether your student needs help preparing for the SAT or even extra focus on math homework, tutors are a great resource to meet the individual learning needs and styles of students, and push them to meet their full potential. While it may be easier to see the benefits of having a tutor for your student, it may not be as easy to hire the right one. It can be hard to hire the right tutor for your student that will be committed to achieving specific academic goals. A great tutor you want to hire should have the following qualities:
This may seem obvious, but your tutor should be an expert on the topic. If you hire someone who does not have a lot of experience or credibility with a specific subject matter, they probably will not be qualified to teach the material. Hiring an individual who is only familiar with the topic or used to know the material, may just confuse your student rather than be a source of clarity.
Your student’s tutor should be up-to-date on the latest information in that particular subject, have experience practicing it, and resources to base knowledge off of. Make sure to ask a potential tutor how much experience they have with the material and how familiar they are with the specific lessons your student may need particular help with. This will ensure your student can dramatically improve test scores and have another useful resource outside of the classroom to go to for help.
It is important to hire a reliable and trustworthy professional for your student. A student and tutor will spend a decent amount of one-on-one time together to study, so it is essential that tutors carry themselves in a professional manner. A reliable tutor is on time, flexible with scheduling, and takes the position seriously.
You should feel confident knowing your student will from this particular individual and trust their character as well as their knowledge. While you may think a tutor is a lot less formal than a teacher/student relationship that takes place in a classroom, a learning environment is still being fostered so it is still crucial that professionalism remains present.
For some students who are struggling in school or need some extra test preparation, it can be hard to accept that they need to seek out extra help. That’s why in addition to hiring a knowledgeable professional; you should be hiring an approachable individual. This means your tutor should be friendly, open to questions, and easy to talk to. It may be difficult to ask a bunch of questions in a classroom full of peers, so students should feel comfortable to ask their tutor any and all questions in their sessions. Approachable tutors encourage questions and understand the inevitability of mistakes.
Studying can be a frustrating process- especially if a student does not understand the material or continues to do poorly. That’s why patience is key. Great tutors remain patient and calm even when their students are exhibiting frustration or a negative attitude. They should remind students that it’s okay if they aren’t an expert yet, but practice makes perfect.
A great tutor also takes the time to understand the unique learning style of each student. Some students are more visual learners, some learn by example, and others are simply doers. A patient tutor identifies a strategy that works for each specific student and continues trying until goals are reached. Patience is a hard quality to find, but an essential one for a promising tutor.
Part of the challenge a tutor has is to motivate the student to want to improve. While that may not be an easy task to begin with, it will be nearly impossible if the tutor is not passionate about the topic. If your student is struggling in English Literature, the tutor you hire should love the subject. They should talk about why they love literature, the benefits of knowing about it, and some of their favorite books. Sometimes just talking about the subject and why a tutor is passionate about it can help students see a different side to the subject they dread.
Homework, essays, and test prep may prove challenging. But with the right tutor, your student can become a more confident member of the classroom and improve grades dramatically. By knowing what qualities to look for in your student’s next tutor, your student will have a reliable resource ready to motivate them to achieve their goals.