Have you ever thought of being a tutor in your free time? I know of friends who are even tutoring students full time! Most of the time, tutors have to face questions from concerned and overzealous parents.
Do you know what are some questions parents may ask? Let me share some that I’ve experienced before!
Here are 12 of the most common questions asked by parents before they hire prospective tutors:
1. What are your teaching methods?
If you have taught before, you will be able to share some of your teaching methods and experiences to the parents. If you’ve not taught before, be transparent to the parents and offer to show them your methods using a trial lesson.
Actually, there is no ‘good’ method in general. You will have to adapt according to the student’s learning needs and preferences, and work with the parents to understand what works for the student.
2. What is your educational background?
If you are a parent, wouldn’t you be worried about the person who is tutoring your child? It is only natural if parents are concerned about the education background of their tutors. Parents want to be assured that the right person has been hired to tutor their child!
Therefore, it will be best if you are able to show your credentials to the parents who hired you. This is to provide assurance to the parents, and also allow you to carry on with your lessons without any doubts in their mind. This will reduce any misunderstandings or conflicts!
If it is your first attempt in tutoring, be transparent with the parents so that they know what to expect and can share with you valuable feedback after your lessons for you to improve your skills!
If you have been an MOE school teacher or a tutor with many years of experience, then you are highly regarded by parents! Share your credentials and experiences with the parents, and you’ll be ready to begin your first lesson!
3. How will you assess my child’s learning needs?
As a parent, their main goal of getting a tutor is to ensure that their child’s learning needs are met. So, as a tutor, you will need to be able to explain to the parents how you are assessing their child’s needs. So, you will need to have an understanding of children’s learning style so that it helps you to communicate with the parents.
By sharing with the parents how you are assessing their child’s need, you alleviate their fears and concerns. In return, they gain trust in you, which definitely makes it an easier job for you!
4. What kind of results can I expect to see?
Some parents hire tutors to help their failing child pass their exams, while some parents just want to hire tutors to help with their child’s homework.
Every child has different academic needs, and tutors must be able to respond to those needs to the best of their ability. Parents must see an improvement in their child’s academic performance with a tutor and reach the set targets they want to have for their child.
It is extremely important that you speak with your tutee’s parents during the first lesson to set realistic and achievable goals for the child. For example, if a parent shares that his goal for his child is to get A for a subject that he has been failing for the past 3 years in 3 months, would that be a realistic target?
Such unrealistic targets will cause unnecessary conflicts if not managed properly, so it is crucial that you manage the expectations of the parents.
5. How will you measure my child’s progress?
As a tutor, you need to have a clear procedure to determine your student’s progress. Regular progress updates will ensure that the progress of the child has been recorded. It will help you in your communication with the parents to show the progress the child has made under your guidance.
Another way is to prepare mock exams before the scheduled school exams. This way, you can evaluate the child’s performance and preparations at the same time. It will give you an indication if the child is making progress.
A good example is to prepare mock exams before the scheduled school exams. This way, you can measure if there is an improvement in their scores and grades as these are the best indicators of progress. It will also be good for you to understand if your student’s performance in school has improved from the parents’s feedback from the school teachers, especially for the period after you begun teaching.
6. Can you handle a difficult student and if that’s yes, how?
Let’s face it! Difficult students are common and as a tutor, you will need to learn how to deal with them. Parents will prefer a tutor who can deal with difficult students and who can influence good behaviour and better focus on learning.
Answer this question by using situational examples to explain better how you handle and motivate difficult students. For example, you opt to have a good conversation with the students to start getting to know each other. This way, you can find out the reasons why the students are acting the way they do and subsequently, you can work together to fix the problem. If you have dealt with a similar situation before, you can also share how you have overcome it during the interview.
7. How do you motivate your students?
Motivating students is an important aspect of tutoring. Most times, theses students are not motivated which is why you are hired to help them in the first place. Therefore, parents will be interested to know what tricks you have up your sleeves to motivate their child.
Just remember to always keep the parents informed of your methods so that they know what you are doing as well!
8. How will you make my child enjoy your tutoring sessions?
Every student is unique when it comes to how they learn and absorb the lessons. Some students may prefer a more visual approach while others may want a mix of visual and verbal lessons.
The first lesson is always the most important lesson! You may be nervous but you can use the first lesson as an opportunity to show off various teaching techniques to show how you will be making learning enjoyable. Parents will then be confident of your ability!
9. Are you trained to work with children with learning disabilities?
Children with special or learning disabilities will require tutors who are capable of teaching them in the best possible way. Tutors must also be able to adapt to the children’s needs and create lesson plans accordingly.
Parents will definitely appreciate it if you are able to share any special credentials you may have if you are handling a child with learning disabilities. If you do not, make sure you communicate with the parents and take note of ways to manage the child.
10. Will you provide regular progress reports to me?
For parents, they must have a way to read through their children’s progress to assess their performance before and after having a tutor. As a result, they want tutors who can provide them with these reports to determine if their investment is worth it.
The response to this is very simple and that is a big yes. You will provide regular reports and explain these to them when they are available. You can even show a few examples of your past reports and ask if they like to customise the details of their children’s report.
11. How will you communicate with me and how often?
I know. As a tutor, you will be worried that your students’ parents contact you all the time to find out the progress of their child. You do not want to lose your private time.
Unfortunately, communicating with parents come with the job. To help maintain some boundaries, you may choose to provide your consultation hours so you can answer their questions and discuss their children’s performance when necessary.
From my experience, it is always good to communicate with parents right after the lessons. This will help to reduce any unnecessary calls after your sessions!
12. Do you have references I can speak to?
Finally, parents would like to know if you have references to back up your credentials and expertise. They would also be able to know if you are a reliable and trustworthy tutor based on other people’s experience.
You can provide references by asking the parents of your current students to write testimonials about you or leave reviews on your social media account dedicated to tutoring lessons if you have any. This will give new parents a sense of relief that they will hire a credible and trustworthy tutor.
Now that you know the most possible questions a parent may ask you as a tutor, you can now prepare and sort out your answers. Practise your responses to be as natural as possible. You may also need to have all the supporting documents to prove your credentials before the interview. With confident answers and reliable credentials, you will surely land that tutoring job with no problem. You may also sign up to be a tutor here!
For more tips on how to market yourself as a tutor, here are some articles to help you out: