10 Important factors you should consider when looking for a private tutor

December 15th, 2015 by Anna Michaelidou

Finding a tutor has never been easier whether you are a parent seeking a tutor for your child or a student seeking a tutor to improve your skills in a certain subject. But what should you be looking for when you are actively seeking a tutor?

An increasing number of parents have now come to realise the importance of hiring a private tutor for their child. Tutors can get to the heart of learning, introducing personalised methods of training and explaining difficult instructions in a way a child can understand better than they can in a classroom. The mentoring and one-to-one tutoring that a child will get form their personal tutor is often priceless.

Finding a tutor that will succeed in improving a child's academic performance, boost their confidence and build a relationship and trust with the child is fundamental when deciding which tutor to opt for. In this article we are going to explore the 10 most important factors you should be considering when trying to find a suitable tutor for yourself or a child.

  • They are qualified
  • They are experienced
  • They have references
  • They have an encouraging attitude
  • They offer feedback
  • They are within reach
  • They are flexible
  • They are affordable
  • They are punctual
  • They are approachable

Let's take a more in-depth view of the above mentioned factors to gain a clearer picture:

1. They are qualified

Finding a tutor that is qualified should be your number one priority when deciding which tutor to hire for your child. Whether they are a teacher or an undergraduate student your tutor should come with qualifications.

2. They are experienced

In line with the qualifications a tutor should have some good experience to be able to fully provide your child with the support they are going to need. Always make sure you have a good background knowledge of the tutor you will hire before proceeding with any agreements.

3. They have references

References are also a must. A good tutoring service should be able to provide you with relevant references for your chosen tutor. Don't just assume that because they say they have references you can take their word for it. Always ask to see them. References from past students or their parents is a great place to start and if this isn't possible for any reason a past employer or university should be enough.

4. They have an encouraging attitude

Any tutor you choose for your child should have an encouraging attitude. A tutor should be able to keep a child motivated, explain difficult subject matter in an uncomplicated way and build a positive relationship with your child. They should know when to praise and make sure your child never feels like a failure. Talking tot he tutor and getting your child's feedback after a couple of lessons should give you a clearer picture.

5. They offer feedback

A tutor should always offer feedback to ensure that the parent knows what they are paying for. Feedback can come in a number of ways; a small note at the end of the lesson, an informal chat before or after a lesson, a quick call or a weekly / monthly report. Whatever the way feedback is important so that you know how well your child is doing and whether your tutor is getting the results you want.

6. They are within reach

It's one thing finding the perfect tutor but it's another making sure they are a reasonable distance from your home. Whether the tutor will be visiting your home or conducting the lessons from their home is something you will need to discuss with them. Of course with today's technology you also have the option of online lesson via Skype but just bear in mind what suits your child best and make sure the tutor can fulfil your needs.

7. They are flexible

Another important factor to consider is whether your chosen tutor can work around your and your child's schedule. Are they going to keep to the diary plans you have made with them? Only time will tell, but it's a great idea to clear this up before you hand over your first payment.

8. They are affordable

Knowing how much you can afford (or are willing to pay) for a tutor is something you should consider before you begin your search. Tutors can charge anything from £8 per hour to £55 per hour. And these are just average figures. Some tutors charge extortionate amounts per lesson but a logical average price is anything between £20 and £35 per hour.

9. They are punctual

You will be paying for a certain amount of time each lesson whether it be 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour. Your tutor should arrive in time to start the lesson and finish at the discussed time. You don't want a tutor that shows up 10 minutes late but still finishes at the time they were meant to; you won't be getting your money's worth!

10. They are approachable

As both a tutor of over twenty years and a parent of four children I am probably qualified enough to understand the needs and expectations of both a parent and a tutor. It is fundamental that the tutor you choose for your child is approachable in that they are open to discussing the needs of your child and will set aside the time to do so. An approachable tutor is important so that as a parent you know that you are free to ask any questions you may have, ask for feedback you may want and deliberate any problems you may foresee.

It is imperative that you take the time to explore all of your options when choosing a tutor. Tracking your child's success and being as involved as possible is important for all parents when hiring a tutor for their child. First Tutors offers a wide variety of different tutors in a massive array of subjects to choose from and everything from their price, their location, their qualifications and their references are available for you to see.

Post By: Anna Michaelidou

Anna has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She has a BA (Hons) Degree in English Literature & Modern Languages, is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.

Categories: Advice