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Tips for Hiring a Tutor for Your Child

Does your student need an extra boost? Here are eight important factors to consider when it's time hire a professional to help your kid excel at school.

When it comes to succeeding in school, many children need assistance outside of the classroom. Whether they're struggling with math or science or writing classes, it could be time for you to hire a tutor to help your kids excel in school. The National Tutoring Association – a membership organization for tutoring professionals formed in 1992 – offers eight pieces of information to consider when hiring a tutor for your child.

1. Tutor certification

Ask a prospective tutor for credentials, proof of transcripts, copies of teaching certificates, tutor certification, proof of other specialized training and a complete resume.

2. Letters of recommendation

Ask for letters of recommendation that speak to the person's ability as a tutor. Letters should be current and include full contact information for the person making the recommendation. Make the calls necessary to verify these recommendations.

3. A basic plan

Give the tutor a list of your concerns and goals, and ask him or her to offer a basic plan for how he or she will assist you or your child. How will the tutor assess the student's needs? How will success be measured? When will feedback be provided to you?

4. Demonstrating skills

Watch the tutor guide the student through a small portion of one lesson and ask yourself a few key questions: How does the tutor approach the student? Where does the tutor sit? Does the tutor write on your student's paper or does the tutor allow the student to make corrections as needed? Also, observe the tutor's level of patience with your child, as well as their tone of voice and mannerisms.

5. Price and payment requirements

Ask the tutor for a detailed pricing plan. Be sure you are clear about payment requirements, rules about missed appointment and miscellaneous fees for testing and materials.

6. Location of tutoring session

Will the tutor meet the student at home with a supervisor present or in a public place or learning center? Tutors should never meet with a student where there is no other adult present.

7. Background checks and liability

Does the tutor carry professional liability insurance? Has there been a recent background check on the tutor?

8. Affiliations

To what professional associations does the tutor belong? How does the tutor participate in the overall improvement of the tutorial practice? Does the tutor stay current in methods and strategies?

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