• Robin Glembotzky

How can I find a tutor for my child?

January 1st brings many things. Some folks look at it as a new start. Many make resolutions. Many students look upon it as the last lap before they graduate. Other students are looking at it as part of their future planning. Parents of both types of these students want the same thing. To make sure their child has the best possible chance at succeeding.

But what if your child was struggling, last semester? You want to help them, but how? You know that their teachers if they could, would help. But most teachers, nowadays are so overwhelmed, it's hard for them to give the help they want to give. So, what do you do???

And you type in, "How do I find a tutor for my child?" and you get.....

What?? That's a little over a quarter of a billion results! BUT no worries, because you know the subject your student needs help in, right? So, you type in "how do I find a geometry tutor?" And you get.....

Ok, better, only 15 million. :) Ok, yes, you could go on and on with this. But how do you narrow it down? I'm going to help you.

Where do you start? Yes, Google is a good place, but how about your local library? They, typically, have a book of tutors you can choose from. Your child's school is an excellent resource. The school counselor can give you some direction, as well. Friends are an excellent resource! With social media as it is, you can reach out to your neighborhood group asking for a tutor.

So, what do you do when you've narrowed it down?

1) What subject? This seems pretty straightforward. You want to find a tutor that knows the material. Looking for an SAT tutor? Don't want to hire a tutor that tutors math and "I'm familiar enough with the SAT to help your child".

2) Delivery system. Online or in-person? Typically, in-person tutors cost more (travel time, gas, etc), but if you feel that your child needs that one on one, in person, it's a consideration. With in-person tutoring, the location must be considered. I require (for in-person tutoring), that an adult is in the house if we meet there. Otherwise, I meet the student at the library. If the student doesn't drive, that is an added factor to consider. And in the case of where I live (Colorado), weather plays a factor in meeting a student in person. Online tutoring takes those obstacles away. Some online tutors offer free or a discounted session to try out online tutoring.

3) References. There are some tutors, who have been tutoring a few years and have amazing references, and there are others, who have been tutoring for many years and have "ok" references. It's not the length of time someone has been tutoring (though that is, usually, a good sign they know what they're doing!), but how effective they are. Ask for references. A good tutor will have no issue with that request.

4) Results. This goes hand in hand with references. Ask the tutor how did their former students do in the subject? Did their former students gain confidence in the subject? This question is important. Because a student who becomes confident in a subject they struggled with, will carry that confidence over to other subjects.

5) Style. No, not how they dress, but what is their tutoring style? Presently, there are 5 different teaching styles. Authority (lecture style), Demonstrator (coach style-more interaction than lecture style), Facilitator (activity style-more self-discovery than a lecture of knowledge), Delegator (group style-works well for lab-type learning), and Hybrid (a mixture of the others). Some tutors choose one of these types and that works for them. But remember this is about how to effectively tutor your child. I've come to discover that the tutor that adapts their style to the student, is the one who gets the best results. Ask the tutor what their style is.

6) Cost. Yes, while it's a factor, I put it last. Because say you just went through all the above and LOVE the tutor you just interviewed. And better yet, your child loves them. But they give you a fee you weren't expecting. You can either A) keep looking and hope that you find another that meets all your criteria and is less expensive or B) hire the tutor. This ties back to #4. What kind of results are you looking for and can that tutor meet them?

Good tutors book up quickly, for a reason. And while tutors do charge a fee for what they do, most of them do it for similar reasons people go into teaching. Because they want to help students succeed.

So, here's a handy chart you can use when you are trying to narrow it down.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me! I'm happy to help.

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