When it comes to choosing a tutor for your child, it is crucial that you know what you are looking for first. Obviously, you would want someone who knows how to help your child effectively in his/her studies. But this isn’t the only requirement you should aim for. There are certainly other factors and criteria that need to be met.
How to Choose the Right Tutor
Following are some guidelines that will help you choose the best tutor for your child:
Clarify Your Goals
Before you start looking for a tutor, it is recommended that you spend some time clarifying your goals. Are you looking for a tutor to help prepare your child for the exam? Or are looking for someone who can help him/her with a particular subject. You will want to choose a tutor whose hourly rate, schedule, and intensity match up with your priorities and schedule. There is also a need to be certain if the tutor is a specialist for A Levels or for the IB Diploma. Also, don’t forget to ask for the input of your child. Your child will much more likely make good use of the extra help if he/she has a hand in making in happen.
Good tutors have a solid reputation in the neighborhood or community. So, start by asking around. You can visit your child’s school to make some inquiries. Furthermore, education consultants also know who else is good in the business. Similarly, tuition centres, such as for economics tuition in Singapore, can also prove to be helpful in this regard. Ask people what they particularly liked about a certain tutor. However, keep in mind that the attributes that others appreciated may not be right for the specific needs of your child.
Find a Tutor Who Knows His Stuff
Find a tutor who can convey confidence to your child. Someone who knows his stuff. Sometimes, all that a student requires is a calming, positive attitude and encouragement from a tutor to set a better tone in their preparation. A tutor who is intense may not be able to effectively teach your child a new set of skills and may even increase the chances that your child will be too stressed to take advantage of the new tools when it matters. A tutor who can share their confidence with your child will make it more likely that the child performs well on test day. It is important that student gains confidence as that will set the right mood and emotion to tackle the examinations.
A Good Tutor Will Ask Lots of Questions
Many parents complain that the tutors they chose in the past just wouldn’t listen to their assessments of their child’s problems and were unsuccessful in solving those particular problems. A good tutor is like a good doctor. He recognizes that the “patient” and his family can offer valuable information. It’s not that such information won’t be ultimately discovered by the tutor himself – it just makes a lot more sense to have that knowledge at the start instead of spending time bumbling around without it. The tutor you choose for your child should ask not only about the past grades and test scores, but also about his/her academic goals, extracurricular pressures, and learning personality. After all, how can a tutor help meet the goals of your child if he has never listened to what they are?
Thus, it is always preferred if each lesson is highly interactive. It should never be a monologue. Only by having the student communicate, can real guidance actually take place. A lot of misconceptions can be clarified and ideas shaped along the way. Skills to interpret questions and think through possible answers can also be honed through more interactive lessons. Yet this requires a lot of effort and skill on the part of the tutor and therefore few do so and many just prefer to execute a 1-way prepared lesson without actual regard for the students’ needs.
He Should Be Responsive to the Specific Needs of Your Child
Good tutors prioritize the specific needs of their students. This is actually one of the primary reasons why you are looking for a tutor rather than a large classroom situation. Ask the tutor that you want to hire how he plans to adapt his style or curriculum to the particular pedagogical needs of your child. If the tutor cannot explain this, then he is probably not the best choice for your child. Even within-group tuition settings, a good tutor should be able to balance both the needs of the child and that of the group and be able to make specific recommendations for your child if needed. There could even be students that face exceptional difficulties, such as anxiety issues. An expert tutor could be able to spot this early and take steps to help rectify or manage the problem in close co-operation with parents and healthcare professionals.
Personality is Very Important
The personality of the tutor is also very important. Particularly for a withdrawn or sullen child, it can take weeks to break through the surface resistance to get him/her to a point in which he/she can actually listen to and optimally learn from the tutor. A supercilious, dictatorial, and impatient tutor will never be able to do that. Children only really listen to those they like and respect. Those who are like them. A good tutor is somewhat of a chameleon. He can show interest in sports, music, or art of his students, even if he doesn’t do those things himself. Students respond to teachers and tutors who care about not just their academic success, but also about their lives.
Finally, don’t be afraid to make the change. If your child is reluctant to attend tutoring sessions or complete tutoring assignments, or if he/she returns from the tutoring sessions discouraged, unexcited, and unengaged, you may need to look for a tutor who is a better fit for your child.