10 Questions to ask before you hire a tutor
It is important to make the right decision when it comes to hiring a tutor for your child.
Finding the right person is not always an easy task, so take the time to ask the right types of questions and get all the information before making this big decision. Below are 10 questions to ask any tutor before you agree to hire and entrust them to support your child with their educational goals.
What are your qualifications as a tutor?
It is imperative to find a tutor that is qualified and has an educational background in the area you are seeking help for your child. Make sure to inquire on formal education, past work experience, and what makes them qualified for the position.
Where will the sessions take place and how many students will be in a group?
Gather as much information as possible on where the tutoring will take place and the number of students in each session. Often times, a tutor will meet with more than one student at a time as long as they are working on the same skill set or topic area. If you feel this type of setting is not the best fit for your child, ask about one-on-one tutoring.
Do you have a cancellation and make-up policy?
It is best to ask upfront if there is a specific plan in place when you can not attend the tutoring session. We know that sickness happens, vacations are scheduled, and you can’t always keep the same date each week. However, don’t assume that a tutor has a cancellation and/or make-up policy. If the tutor does not have a set system for such issues, it is worth your time to discuss this topic further and create a plan that works for you (and the tutor). We have ours here. <link>
What is your hourly rate?
Money isn’t always the most pressing issue when you want to get your child the help they need but it is essential to discuss the tutor’s hourly rate right away. Take a look at your budget and set a price that works for your family. If you are hiring a tutor through a service, don’t be afraid to ask about a payment plan.
What methods do you use to teach the content? Homework? Standardized test prep?
It is one thing to be “qualified” to be a tutor, it is a completely different thing to know how to teach children. When you are discussing educational goals with a potential tutor, make sure to ask how they plan on reaching your child’s needs. Does the tutor simply help with homework? How do they prepare your child for a standardized test? What are the methods they use to scaffold learning and make sure your child is actually grasping the content? Don’t shy away from the important questions!
Do you have a curriculum or are the sessions based on personalized content created by you?
This question deals with both teaching content materials and preparing for a standardized test like the SAT. Many tutors will use recommendations from your child’s teacher, homework problems, and grade-level appropriate enrichment to create a relevant curriculum that is personalized for each session. Some tutors, especially those that work for a service, use a specific curriculum developed for them by the institution that runs the program. Make sure to ask your tutor how they plan to run each session and what materials will be used to teach your child.
How do you communicate with students, parents, and teachers?
A successful tutor will need to have open lines of communication. The communication process must be a collaborative one where:
- The student understands all the goals and steps needed to be successful
- The parent understands what is being taught and how the goal is tracked
- The subject area teacher has the opportunity to communicate gaps in learning when it comes to classroom lessons and exams
When hiring a tutor, make sure to ask how lines of communication will work in regards to the student, parent, and classroom teacher.
How do you evaluate and track growth?
A tutor must be able to evaluate and track growth when it comes to educational goals. When data is used to guide instruction, the curriculum can be modified to meet your child’s strengths and weaknesses as they progress through the content. If a tutor does not have a data collection system, it is very challenging to track growth and alter the content when a skill set is grasped. With this said, ask numerous questions when it comes to how a tutor evaluates and tracks growth and also how they modify the curriculum after the data is analyzed.
How do you motivate students to succeed?
What motivates one student does not necessarily motivate another. Ask questions about how a tutor will handle a situation where the student is not motivated to succeed. Will they create a curriculum that is meaningful by using the real-life application? Will they create content that is based on your child’s likes (video game references, links to topics your child finds interesting). Don’t settle for simple tokens such as food, stickers, or trips to the treasure box.
What will you do if my child continues to struggle with a concept?
While every parent wants a tutor to solve all of the academic concerns surrounding their child, sometimes it isn’t that easy. Ask the tutor what he/she will do if your child continues to struggle. Will they continue down the same path or will they re-evaluate and try new ways to reach your child? If your child is getting a tutor for a standardized exam, this question is also important. How will the tutor help your child if they keep struggling with the SAT content? How will they modify the study plan and keep your child on the right path?
Asking these ten questions will give you a glimpse into the tutor’s fundamental beliefs about education and the ways they will help your child with curriculum goals. With each answer, remember that a tutor must be an empathetic person that has a love for teaching and must also have the ability to create a “safe space” for learning. If you would like more information on what makes a successful tutor, take a look at Our Blog on What Makes A Successful Tutor.
How can MINDSPIRE help your student?
At MINDSPIRE, we provide tutoring and test prep that is tailored to specific learning styles and individual needs. If you are interested in getting a tutor for any standardized exam, contact us or give us a call at 844-537-PREP (7737).