Saturday, May 9, 2009

Things to consider when hiring a tutor

Tutors are not just for struggling students anymore.
True, many students seek the help of a tutor because they are struggling with a topic or a class, need to pass a test, or want to avoid failing grades; but alternatively, students wanting to advance themselves, qualify for scholarships, or explore new topics also seek out a tutor. The truth is, tutors are the most efficient means by which a student can either catch up or speed ahead.

People you know aren't always the best choice of tutor.
Like trained teachers, quality tutors are proficient at helping students learn. Your neighbor, the friend of a friend, or the college kid on break rarely turn out to be a wise choice of tutor. The tutor should have an objective opinion about the student's needs and the progress that is made during each tutoring session. When choosing to work with an individual, you may not have the same guarantees you have with a company that will continue to work with you until you are happy with the results.

Tutoring prices can vary widely.
The price you pay for tutoring should equate in value to the service being provided. Expect to pay less for a shared tutor (more than one student), a tutor just starting out with little experience, and teachers working after school to earn extra money. Expect to pay more for a reputable company that provides tutoring as a service, individuals that have been tutoring in your area for a long time, and learning centers that have alot of overhead expenses to pay.

Not all tutors are created equal.
Students have more options than ever when selecting a tutor. Private, small group, large group, after-school, online...the choices are endless. How do you know what is right for you? Any professional tutor, whether an individual or through a company, should be able to explain the differences between these types of services and exactly what they can offer you. Effective tutoring requires the student, the parent, and the tutor to all share the same measurable goals. Always ask questions about a prospective tutor's experience, teaching style, and background (tutors working for a reputable tutoring company are typically required to show proof of education, have extensive experience as a tutor, and pass a thorough background check).

The student has responsibilities to the tutor, too.
Even the best of tutors cannot make a difference if the student is not committed to academic improvement. Students must enter each tutoring session with all learning materials, an open mind, and a positive attitude.

Why tutoring works.
Tutoring works because the tutor provides timely, relevant, clearly explained help that is targeted to the student's specific needs. Free from interruptions, peer pressure, and fear of failure, tutoring creates an environment completely conducive to learning.

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