5 Key Attributes to Consider When Hiring a Tutor

This post is a follow-up of sorts to our last one!

If your child is having trouble with a particular subject or learning a particular concept in school, it's possible that a different learning approach will make a world of difference. Everyone learns in a different way, and by opting for a tutor, you can increase the chances of finding how your child learns best. If you decide to take the plunge and find a tutor for your child, here are five things you should keep in mind when making your decision. 

  1. Good Rapport: One of the single most overlooked aspects of hiring a great tutor is the rapport between your child and the tutor. An exceptional tutor for one child may be a complete failure for another. The reasons for this can be complicated, but often it stems from a difference in teaching/learning style and personality.
  2. Flexibility: A great tutor can modify his or her teaching style to match learning style of your child. This is easier said than done, and it often takes years of experience before a tutor or instructor can know when and how to switch approaches to achieve maximum success. Ask your prospective tutors how they would make sure your child learns difficult concepts easily and quickly.
  3. Look Beyond the Resume: A common trap that many parents fall into is to simply opt for the tutor with the best resume. A great resume should only be one part of your checklist when selecting the tutor. Look at their social skills, references, and experience in the particular subject. 
  4. Patience: There are some characteristics that a good tutor will always possess. At the top of the list is patience. Usually parents hire tutors to either give their child a boost in a given subject area or because their child is experiencing difficulty in a subject area. The last thing any parent wants is a tutor that expects a child to instantly learn the material. If there is a learning problem, such expectations will only make problems worse.  Finding a patient individual is vital when selecting a tutor.
  5. Listening Skills: A good tutor is also an expert listener; this is especially important for students who are having difficulty learning a particular subject. Oftentimes what is needed is for someone to help a child gain clarity and work through subject matter confusion. Effective tutors are ones that listen carefully and then create an individualized study plan based off of their observations.

Finding a tutor isn't easy. It's important that parents exercise patience during the process. Try not to jump for the first tutor you find, and instead, shop around and look for one that you believe will have a good relationship with your child based on his or her unique personality and learning style.