Although many private tutors exist in every chosen field, getting one that stands out, matches your preference, and offers effective tuition is difficult. Filtering the wheat from the chaff in terms of choosing quality tutors can be confusing. For this reason, we have compiled a helpful guide to hiring the best home tutors willing to adapt to your needs.

We all have the misconstrued notion that tutors with first-class degrees who attended top schools home and abroad are the best choice for us or our children. On the contrary, this is often not the case as many of those with flawless profiles perform poorly when faced with tutees. While an outstanding resume is important, interpersonal skills are just as important.

We may be unable to pick our kids’ teachers in school or our lecturers, but we’ve got the opportunity to select whom the tutor would be.

A teacher is never a giver of truth - he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst.

Nigerian students in a classroom.
Learning never stops. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Private Tutors: Important Questions to Ask

What’s your Prospective Tutor’s Qualification(s)?

Does the tutor have enough experience teaching the field you or your child requires tuition in? The tutor doesn’t need to have a Teachers’ Training certificate before s/he becomes your child’s tutor. This is because a good Mathematics tutor for your secondary school-level child might have experience teaching university-level Mathematics, for instance, despite lacking a Teachers’ Training certificate. For tuition beyond academics such as music, cooking, and health and fitness, your tutor or instructor must have the experience and an outstanding resume.

Tuition Fee

High-charging tutors are often believed to offer the best tutoring services, but this isn’t the reality in most cases. When searching for a tutor for you/your child, never equate lesser tuition fees to less quality. It’s advisable to consider how much you can afford and find a good tutor within your price range.

What Location Is Best for Learning?

Be it a school, your home, your tutor’s, or an office, comfort is key. You and your tutor should agree on a venue and time that favours both parties. That way, you’ll achieve more by spending less. While some advanced tuition platforms offer online and offline classes, others offer strictly offline classes. One on one classes is more expensive, as you would need to factor transportation. Since frequent tutorial sessions in a week have proven to facilitate faster and more effective learning, you should consider a cost-effective learning location.

Will it be a One on One Session?

Although some students prefer learning in crowded settings, most tutees assimilate better in one on one lessons. Here, the tutor’s attention is on one student which makes it easy to explain things at the tutee’s pace. Finding out whether your tutee does private tuition can be the game changer you/your child has always needed. Learning in a class with geniuses can be intimidating and frustrating. Thus, an enclosed study area with a tutor can help boost confidence, increase comprehension, and reduce stress and distraction.

What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian Novelist and Lyricist.

Finding a Tutor that Matches your Preference

This may seem easy at the initial stage as all you have to check for is your tutor’s academic qualification. However, it goes beyond just your tutor having good grades. It extends to whether there is a strong tutor-tutee connection. Besides having good credentials, you need a mentor-like tutor that can ignite the burning desire to learn. Here are some areas you should consider when looking beyond the general questions thrown at tutors.

Positive Feedbacks on Authorized Tuition Platforms

First, check for tutors on authorized tutoring websites because there are many tutors out there who are fake. Choosing only tutors from certified platforms will help you reduce the number of tutors to choose from.

Once you’ve done this, check all of their feedbacks to know what fellow tutees experienced during their home tutoring or private lessons with the tutor. Tutors with a few negatives and many positives can still be considered. Go with one who has the most convincing and positive remarks from clients.

What Would You Do If Your Tutee Has Given Up on Learning?

While this may seem like a you-problem, this question helps to evaluate how best the tutor can handle difficult situations. Getting a response from your prospective tutor gives you an insight into his interpersonal skill.

Knowing this will help you ascertain whether he can accommodate difficult students or not. When asking this question, look out for a tutor that’s capable of positively changing the student’s mindset.

Dealing with Learning Disorders

Individuals with learning disorders often have difficulty learning from fast-paced teaching or around crowded learning environments. Some learning disorders include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, aphasia, and dyspraxia.

If you discover you/your child has any of these disabilities, then you should opt for face to face lessons. Finding out what methods the tutor uses for tutees with special abilities can help determine whether s/he’s the right fit for you/your child.

A tutor explaining concepts to his tutee.
There is always something new to be learned. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Making the First Contact

Since you’ve readied the interview questions and researched your preferred tutor, contacting them is the next step. For this phase, send a customized email to your prospective tutor, informing him why you chose him. State your reason, be it their flawless resume, outstanding portfolio, years of experience, flexibility, geographic proximity, or affordability.

In the mail, include the following details to help the private tutor catch up to speed.

 

  • Some background information about you/your child, depending on whom the tutee is.
  • An academic history or experience of the tutee in the desired field.
  • The challenges you/your child encounters during teaching sessions.
  • Include learning disorders, if any.
  • The desired objectives you/your child hopes to achieve from taking lessons.

Price negotiation should be discussed during the interview stage along with your proposed tuition schedule. Introducing this during your first meeting will further determine your compatibility. Concerning response time, serious home tutors often respond within twenty-four hours.

In addition to the mail, you can set up a meeting between your child’s school teacher and new tutor. This meeting will help the tutor better understand your child’s academic ability and challenges from his/her teacher’s perspective. Furthermore, present your child’s relevant past academic records to the tutor.

Tuition Fee

Tuition fee is often the deal-breaker in tutor-tutee relationships as some tutors charge ridiculous hourly fees. The fee varies based on the subject matter, medium of teaching, expertise level, and location. If you’re interested in a cost-effective method of learning, go for online tutoring as against one on one lessons.

You should be aware that not all tutoring websites offer online teaching. Only a few modern platforms provide this alternative. Superprof is a perfect tuition platform that grants tutors and tutees access to home tutoring and online tutoring. We have professional private tutors in every major field you can think of. In addition to this, 97% of tutors offer their first class for free. This first class helps you assess whom you intend working with without any commitment. Besides the website’s easy navigation, you have access to tutors’ portfolio.

Face to face lessons is more expensive than online tutoring because tutors consider transportation, geographical proximity, and physical stress. If you believe online tutoring isn’t effective for learning, you can decide taking lessons in your private tutor’s home. This will reduce the hourly fee charged by your tutor.

The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.

Dan Rather, American Journalist.

A Nigerian student with her digital learning device.
Hiring a tutor can be the game-changer you've always needed. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Tutoring Sessions

For this to work, you need a mix of flexibility and consistency on your part and the tutor. Consider fixing a time you/your child will have the most concentration. For instance, scheduling a private tuition session for your child shortly after sport training isn’t advisable.

Likewise, tuition after a hectic school day may yield little productivity. For this reason, weekend meetings might be best as your child would have better assimilation. This will allow the tutor to revise all your child learned during the week. Note that short repetitive sessions are better than long one-time sessions.

The urgency and reason for tuition will determine the type of sessions you/your child will have. If your child, for instance, needs revision classes for an exam slated for next week, intensive multiple sessions are advised. For extensive learning and a deeper understanding of the course, long-term weekly sessions are better.

Irrespective of your tuition dilemma, this definitive guide covers all you need to hire a professional and likeable home tutor.

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