So you hired a tutor for your child. You made all the necessary arrangements. Now it’s time to meet with the tutor – either in person or online. But are you prepared? Do you know what questions to ask so the tutor knows precisely how to help your child? Keep reading for tips about how you can make the most out of your valuable time when meeting with your child’s tutor.
While it’s good intention to expect a lot from the tutor, it’s also crucial that you’re aware of your child’s own rhythm, strengths and weaknesses. Tip: before meeting your child’s tutor, speak with his/her teacher to get a sense of how he/she is doing in the subject, where extra help is needed.
Gather all necessary materials
To ensure that the initial meeting and subsequent tutoring sessions are efficient and effective, gather all materials that you think are helpful ahead of the meeting. These materials might include photocopies of pages in the textbook, practice booklet, report card, and such. All of this will help the tutor better know your child and the challenges he/she faces. It’s also a good idea to pull out materials that your child worked on during the previous semester or school level. The reality is that his/her previous learnings are not consolidated, which is detrimental to his/her ongoing learnings. During your meeting, also ask the tutor what other materials you would need to obtain or that they can provide your child with.
Help the tutor to get to know your child
Once you have all the necessary materials ready, it’s time for the tutor to take the lead and prepare an action plan for your child’s learning. Make sure to communicate your expectations with respect to the tutoring and remember to briefly describe your child’s temperament, needs and learning style to the tutor, so misunderstanding and disappointments will be easily avoided. Then the tutor can develop a personalized action plan for your child. Seeing an evolution of their learning is gratifying and can motivate them to work towards their goals, big or small.
Verify credentials and experience
If at any time before or during or after your meeting with the tutor that you feel he/she is not a good fit – for example, what they say during the meeting doesn’t match up with the credentials they claim to have – you can always kindly inform them that you would like keep exploring your options. Always look for fully-trained tutors with either relevant credentials (i.e. MSc in Physics) and/or previous experience tutoring students in, say a specific level in Physics. You can also take a look at the tutor’s track record. This includes testimonials from previous students and parents – sometimes these testimonials are so detailed that you can find out what results the students have been able to achieve (a.k.a. how they went from zero to hero).
Discuss availability and flexibility
Don’t forget to discuss how tutoring sessions will fit into both your child’s and his/her tutor’s schedules. If your child has extracurricular activities, let the tutor know so they can create a schedule that is flexible enough and convenient for everyone involved.
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