7 Things to Consider when Hiring a Private Tutor ...

It’s really important to know what things to consider when hiring a private tutor. Most parents hire a tutor because their child has either fallen behind in one or more subjects, or because they’re gifted and aren’t pushed enough at school, so a tutor’s role is very important. They can have a huge impact on a child’s education, often in a very positive way. But if private tuition isn’t done correctly, it can really knock a child’s confidence or confuse them further. Here are the most important things to consider when hiring a private tutor:

1. The Tutor’s Teaching Ability

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Of all the things to consider when hiring a private tutor, ensuring that the tutor has the skills and personality to teach effectively is perhaps the most important. You could get a genius with an IQ of a zillion and three PhDs, but if they don’t know how to interact with students or aren’t very patient, they won’t make a good tutor. Choose someone with a good track record and with many previous students.

2. The Tutor’s Subject Knowledge

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You want to know that the tutor has the correct knowledge to teach a subject to a required level. As a rule, they will need a qualification in the subject at least one level higher than the level they will be teaching at. Although many parents can be reluctant to take them on thinking they lack experience or depth of knowledge, college students can make excellent tutors because their subject knowledge is up-to-date and fresh in their minds.

3. The Student’s Needs

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The needs of the child as an individual and a student should be high on the list of what to consider when hiring a private tutor. This can include any learning difficulties, but also their strengths and weaknesses, and the sort of person they would work with best.

4. Targets

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Too many parents and older students themselves hire tutors without having a clear goal in mind. “Getting better” at something isn’t a clear enough goal; have a specific target in mind and find a tutor that can help the student to reach it. If they know what they’re aiming for, students have a greater sense of accomplishment this way too.

5. Timetabling

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Make sure you have mutually convenient times available; you don’t want to make a child give up something they enjoy to do extra schoolwork. Consider the age and concentration power of the student, and don’t schedule two-hour slots if they can only concentrate for an hour at most.

6. Cost

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Cost is one of the key things to consider when hiring a tutor, because there are many options out there when it comes to getting additional academic support and you need to know you’re getting good value for money. Check out the average going rate in your area in that subject to ensure that you’re not being overcharged. More experienced tutors will cost more money, so you need to find the balance between good value and good quality.

7. The Agency

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If you’re going through a tutoring agency (which you don’t have to do, but may find easier) find out as much about the agency as possible. If you pay them $25 per hour but the tutor only gets $15 of that, you’re paying above and beyond what the tutor is worth, and they will probably feel unmotivated and undervalued because of the fee taken by the agency.

Now you know what to consider when hiring a private tutor, you should be able to make informed decisions that help your child be the best that they can be. Has anyone had any bad experiences with private tutors, and if so do you have any tips you can share to help others avoid such situations?

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