Tutoring-What to Expect

The tutor looks good on paper and you plan to contact her. What happens after that? Hiring a tutor can be scary, especially if you have little or no idea what to expect. There are a few things you can expect from a tutor (and a few things you should not expect or should run from).

Before tutoring sessions begin, the tutor will want to meet with you and your child. The tutor may want to see samples of your child’s work and should offer a brief evaluation to detect problem areas. Written goals will enable the tutor to plan relevant lessons and will give you (the parent) an idea what will be covered in the sessions. A tutoring agreement or contract will likely be presented for you to review and sign. A contract is a standard part of doing business and facilitates a good working relationship as it keeps everyone on the same page.

During the tutoring sessions, the tutor will observe your child while he works, ask questions, and allow your child to make mistakes. All of these help the tutor understand what your child is thinking. An observation may be as simple as a child counting on his fingers. Mistakes are used as learning opportunities, especially in math. The child needs to see what didn’t work and why. When a child is able to catch his mistake and correct it, the tutor knows he understands. Self-correction will not happen if the tutor intercepts every mistake!

You can also expect the tutor to assign homework. Homework is necessary for practice and reinforcement of concepts. Just as a student can’t learn and retain everything taught in a school day, neither can a student learn and retain everything covered in an hour of tutoring one or two days a week. Periodic assessments should be conducted to monitor and track the student’s progress. The results of these assessments should be used to revise or rewrite the goals.

A minimum of one hour per week per subject should be set aside for tutoring. As with many things in life, it’s about balance. Tutoring that is infrequent will not benefit the child and tutoring that is too frequent can lead to burnout. Tutoring the same day and time each week is preferred as it establishes a habit for both the student and the tutor.

There are a few things you should not expect from tutoring. This should go without saying, but the tutor is not going to do the student’s work for him. Also, you should not expect the tutor to rush your child through an assignment just for the sake of completing it when it’s clear the child doesn’t understand the material. That won’t do any good in the long run. Tutors want to do their best, but please don’t expect a miracle. Miracle requests typically present as a student who has been struggling for a long time needs to accomplish something specific (pass an important test) in the near future. This is not likely to happen. Last but not least, you should not expect tutoring via phone, text, or other electronic means when you hired the tutor for in-person service.

With Tutorsaurus Rex you can expect the hallmarks of a good tutoring relationship without worrying about dishonest or less-than-helpful practices. At the initial meeting prospective students are given a free, brief assessment and the tutoring agreement is presented. A report is issued at the conclusion of each session describing what was covered and what the student needs to practice. Homework is assigned, but not in excessive amounts. What are you waiting for? Contact Tutorsaurus Rex today!