In the first of our two-part series, which you can read HERE, we touched on the difficulties many students faced coming out of the pandemic season. We explored the vital roles of student and their parents as an important and foundational starting point for academic success. In this second part of our series, we’ll unpack the latter two roles mentioned: the teacher and the private tutor.
It’s often been said that the younger the student, the more significant the role of the teacher in student progress and success. This can be both a positive and a negative reality. When a student has made a good connection with their teacher, that teacher could make all the difference in helping a struggling student.
Conversely, a teacher who doesn’t have a great rapport with their students can find the brightest star in the class to turn apathetic toward their favourite subject. As a parent, the quality of education is not always in our control. What we can control is our own roles in the parent-teacher relationship. And in this, communication is vital.
Here are a few things to consider discussing with your child’s teacher:
– Request a thorough syllabus, if one has not been provided
– Request some specifics on what may be covered in class each week
– Find out if the teacher provides additional support through remediation, resources, etc.
– In cases where teachers cannot aid students in this way, ask the teacher, principal, or resource teachers to point you in the right direction for additional resources and services to students.
Important Things to Look for When You’re Ready to Hire a Private Tutor.
1. Work with a tutoring company
There are many benefits of hiring a tutor employed by a tutoring company, but we’ll just mention a few. First, the tutor would be required to meet high standards in not only academics but in communication skills as well. Second, tutors would also be supported by the tutoring company through innovative teaching methods, tutoring plans, and a plethora of resources.
Third, a tutoring company has access to countless tutor profiles and tutor applications for a wide range of students and their learning styles. So being in the tutoring business, they can find candidates for each student with the right approach to tutoring that would best suit their needs beyond simply getting a better mark on the next test.
2. Hire an experienced tutor
Working with someone with experience in teaching or tutoring will avoid turning your child into their tutor’s guinea pig. All the trial and error in developing their approach to tutoring would be behind them. They have established their style and passion for teaching, paired with some experience in teaching, and can simply dive in to help their student progress.
3. Hire a tutor with strong academics
Hiring a tutor with a great personality and strong communication skills can be easy, but background knowledge and familiarity with the subject matter are equally important. This is why a rigorous hiring process helps to discover both in a tutor candidate.
4. Hire a tutor with strong people skills
It is ideal for working with a tutor who balances “love of subject” and “love of teaching.” A great tutor won’t just get through their tutoring plans for the session but can be innovative, resourceful, encouraging, intuitive, and motivating when needed.
5. Hire a tutor with strong references
Unfortunately, some tutors, like anyone else, don’t interview well. This is where it is critical to ask for references and reach out to them to ensure you receive glowing reviews from their previous students. Keep in mind if the reviews are not glowing, it is possible that the reference is being polite and avoiding saying anything too negative.
6. Hire a tutor of a certain age range
We believe there is an ideal age range for tutors. As a general guideline, if a tutor is too young to be the child’s teacher or parent but too old to be considered their peer, that’s the sweet spot. We find that students are much more motivated to learn from someone who they can look up to as a mentor.
7. What’s your budget?
When looking to hire a tutor, cheaper isn’t necessarily better, but the most expensive may not be either. It is best to take the time to find the quality support you’re looking for and ask lots of questions before hiring a tutor. Make sure to consider the value you get for the price you pay.
Ask yourself: Does this company guarantee to meet my child’s needs? And Do they add value by the care they take to understand what I’m looking for? There is so much more than just the hourly rate to consider when it comes to your child’s education.
8. Know your child
As stated from the start, you are your child’s biggest champion and strongest advocate. So you know best what your child needs. For many, an online tutoring experience is less threatening than meeting in person. Consider also whether your child may require a tutor who is more serious and direct to help them stay focused. Or perhaps a funny and light tutor will help to take the pressure off if your child is easily overwhelmed.
It may have been a rough few years in the world of education, but this is a great time to give your child all the tools possible to help them succeed. Your involvement in your child’s education is a huge part of that. Communication is key.
So connect with your child regularly about their overall experience and struggles in school by bridging the gap between them and their teachers. And if a private tutor is required, take the time to consider what your specific values are to ensure you work with a company that values student progress both academically and personally, just like you do.