Five questions to ask your child’s tutor (and what to look for in their answers)
At TeacherFindr, parents often ask us why we only work with certified teachers. After all, there are certainly great tutors out there who have never worked in a classroom. The simple truth is that teachers in your district are background-checked professionals who have a calling to help students succeed and know the curriculum and standards backwards and forwards.
We originally wrote this guide with TeacherFindr parents in mind as a way to showcase our tutors’ passion and credentials, but every parent can benefit from this guidance. These questions will not only help determine whether a tutor is the right fit for your child, but also help establish your expectations for the tutor-client relationship.
1. What got you interested in tutoring?
What this tells you: Take it for granted that every tutor wants to make some extra money. Instead, listen for what motivates them to take this line of work. A strong tutor will excitedly talk about their teaching experience and the sense of accomplishment they get from helping others achieve their goals.
2. Have you tutored someone in this subject and grade level before?
What this tells you: Beyond a yes or no, this answer will help you gauge your tutor’s comfort level and credentials. An experienced tutor will likely discuss a former client and recap the progress they made together. That said, don’t fret if your tutor hasn’t worked with a student one-on-one in your subject or grade level. Any teacher with the right certification will have the training and classroom experience to help your child
3. How would you want to structure the first few sessions?
What this tells you: It’s no surprise that every tutor approaches their time with students differently. Listen to how your tutor describe identifying your child’s learning needs and setting goals. Ask how they feel about using tutorial time to work through homework. By all means, use this opportunity to set your expectations for what you hope to accomplish during that time. A strong tutor will tailor their approach to suit your needs.
4. What do you do to personalize learning?
What this tells you: In short, personalized learning and differentiated instruction are the keys to developing mastery in a subject. A great answer here will mention a flexible instructional approach and enrichment activities. The best tutors have the resources and know-how to move beyond homework assignments and workbooks and ensure that concepts stick with your child beyond the end of the unit.
5. How do you make tutoring sessions relaxing and enjoyable?
What this tells you: While question 1 gauged your tutor’s motivation and energy, this final question helps determine whether they have the intangible it factor. Great tutors don’t take the student’s time and patience for granted. The best tutors emphasize building a rapport with their clients so that lessons fly by quickly.