Choosing a private tutor is a tough job. This person will be spending a lot of time with your child; you’re investing money and time in them, and a lot rests on this decision, including your child’s academic progress.
It may take a lot of trial and error to find private tuition that suits you and your child, but rest assured that you will find a fit.
If you’re in the process, or about to embark, here are five signs that you’ve hired the wrong tutor, to help you on your way.
1. Your child doesn’t look forward to their tutoring sessions
Having to attend an extra hour or more of schooling every day with a private tutor isn’t something that most children will naturally look forward to (even though they really should, considering the benefits), but if after three or four sessions with their new tutor your child is still dreading it; something is definitely up.
Extra-curricular learning should be an enjoyable experience for children, and the right tutor will help encourage them to see how much fun learning can really be. Reaching milestones and achieving goals will help to motivate your child to keep up the good work, and want to carry on with tutoring as they see it making a difference to their education and intellect. However, if these things aren’t happening in their tutoring sessions, your child will see their sessions as more of a burden than a blessing, and you have a problem on your hands.
However – it’s natural for kids to kick up a fuss now and then. There may possibly always be more of an appeal in Minecraft than Math tuition.
2. You’re being under- or over-charged
Finding the right price tutor is a tough job. Your budget might not allow for the most experienced and educated tutor, however, you want somebody who is going to get the job done well.
Be wary of tutors who are advertising their services for the same price as, say, a domestic cleaner, because they might not be quite who they say they are. The case might be the same for a tutor who proposes a lower fee upon meeting than they initially advertised.
Also, be cautious of tutors who change their fee once they’ve begun. Some people really are cheeky enough to “up their price” once they’ve been hired, due to so-called “demand”. It’s okay to say no to what you think is an unfair price, or at least hold off on any kind of pay-rise or bonus until they’ve proven themselves as a great tutor.
If you’re in the process of finding tuition now, here’s a great article that will help you sift the good from the bad in the world of private home tutoring.
3. The tutor isn’t giving you updates on your child’s progress
Progress updates should be a given from tutor to parent, but if for some reason your child’s tutor leaves a little too swiftly after sessions, don’t be afraid to poke around.
A tutor who is hesitant to answer any questions you have might not be doing as great a job as they should be, or may be struggling with the demand of the work.
It may be a good idea to set markers or goals for both your child and their tutor to aim to reach, by which way you will all be able to see what kind of progress your child is making, and whether their tutor is reaching them on their level.
4. They cancel, change or postpone tutoring sessions frequently
Reliability is an important attribute, but as tutoring is often freelance work, some younger tutors may struggle to take the responsibility seriously. If your child’s tutor starts to cancel, postpone or change sessions it can be irritating to a busy family schedule, which is something a younger tutor just might not quite understand.
Not much can be said for a person who can’t stick to their commitments. One or two postponements can certainly be excused in particular circumstances, but it’s a sure warning sign if it becomes a regular thing.
A good way to avoid this could be to insist that all communication between yourself and the tutor be on the phone, rather than via text or some kind of messenger. It’s much easier to send an excuse-riddled text to cancel a session than it is to over the phone, unless it’s for a valid reason.
5. Your child isn’t making progress
Put plainly and simply – your child’s education isn’t improving. They still lack understanding in the areas that they’ve been tutored in, and things just aren’t adding up – literally!
It may be the case that you see improvements at the beginning of tutoring, but then things start to slow down. This may mean that your child’s tutor has become a little too comfortable with their role. Again, setting goals can be a good way of keeping this in check.
Or it could just be that the tutor you’ve hired, unfortunately, isn’t performing as they should, in which case, it’s time to move on.
If you do unfortunately find yourself in one of the above situations, it can feel like a lot of time and effort wasted, and be very frustrating to discover that you’ve hired the wrong tutor for the job. With Private Tutoring growing ever popular in Singapore, more and more people are signing up to tutor not understanding quite what it takes to fill the role.
Here at SmileTutor we understand how frustrating the process of finding private tuition can be, so we take the stress out of it for you.
Just click here to read about all the people we’ve already helped build a better, more educated future.