When planning to start private tutoring for your kids, either in person or online, there are multiple factors to consider before hiring someone.

Some things you might consider are the tutor’s experience and qualifications if they have a background in teaching, their references from other clients, and of course, a good attitude.

The top priority while considering employing a private teacher is to ensure a positive, comfortable, and safe space for your children to learn. With so many things to consider, finding a personal tutor can be challenging, so remember to take your time to find who best suits your necessities and what teacher best guarantees that the private lessons are worth your time and money.

Eliminate risks and hazards at home!
Creating a secure and tidy study space is the key to safe lessons at home! Photo via Visualhunt

When planning to hire someone that will work up close with children, we understand parents have to be cautious, so here is our advice on some ways to go about using tutoring resources and services.

What Should I Look for in Personal Tutors?

This is the first and most important question parents and students ask when looking to hire a tutor.

There are many things to keep in mind when looking at a tutor’s profile, aside from wanting someone with professional experience and good qualifications.

First, it is always a good idea to check that the tutor has the proper accreditations. You may always ask to see certificates for any qualifications listed in the tutor’s resume or that he/ she might mention. This can come in handy if you are hoping to hire someone with specific education or professional background.

Many parents look for a tutor with actual teaching experience. Although, this might not always be the case. Sometimes parents find that other qualities, like being good with children or having experience working with children, is enough to hire someone as a private tutor.

In the US it is not required that a private teacher pass a background check. Therefore the requirement of a background check from your prospective private tutor is based on your personal preference.

As it was just mentioned, parents often trust tutors who have experience working with young people or kids, you can ask a prospective private teacher for a list of references. If you found someone through a local ad, via social media, or by recommendation, it’s always a good idea to speak to a former student or client to get a clear idea of what to expect.

Don’t forget that you may ask the tutor for the contact details of past or current clients, in case you’d like to clear some doubts or questions regarding their teaching methods or get a reference regarding their work.

Asking the instructor for personal or professional references is only normal. Remember you are the employer, and it is your right to get a reference for someone you employ, especially if that person is going to be working with your child.

Apart from looking for tutors that can provide a comfortable environment for students, it is also important that a tutor can support students with different social and learning skills.

You should plan what kind of services and resources you would like your private teacher to provide, that way you can filter through teachers based on your specified criteria. All families are different so make sure that the tutor you hire can adapt to your kid’s education goals throughout the school year.

Most Superprof tutors offer a free virtual or in-person class so that you can get to know their teaching styles before committing to hiring their services.

If you are looking for an educator in the era of the Covid pandemic, you should consider looking for teachers that offer classes even when schools are shut down and that are available for remote learning rather than face to face classes.

Should I Interview a Tutor Before Hiring Them?

Interviewing an instructor before deciding to hire them is always a good idea, and entirely up to you. This can be as formal or informal as you would like. With an interview, you can get a first glance at their methods, personality, character. Overall, the interview helps you decide if this person is someone you’d be comfortable with working closely with your child.

Get to know your tutor before starting lessons!
Don't hesitate to plan an interview or preliminary meeting with a prospective tutor! Photo via Visual hunt

You can interview over a phone or virtual call, and as long as you take the right measures to prevent coronavirus spread, you can always meet in person. If you are looking for an online tutor, then an interview via video call could be quicker.

During the interview, be sure to ask all the questions that could help you feel safe and comfortable with the tutor. You may ask about their background, experience, qualifications, and costs.

When the instructor answers your questions, pay attention to their tone of voice and body language – this can say a lot about a person. A good teacher is friendly, open, and approachable. These are all very important qualities for those working in education.

The interview is also the perfect moment to define where and when the tutoring sessions will take place. Also, keep in mind that, as a parent, you have the right to be present during the lessons, or you can just check in from time to time.

There is not an exact checklist of what to look for in a tutor, you just have to trust your instincts as a parent and make sure the teacher answers all of your questions during the interview. If the educator doesn’t meet your expectations or something doesn’t feel right, know you have the right to end the interview and even call off a lesson.

You also need to find a suitable place to conduct the lessons. The dining table or study are the best options – anywhere with a table and chairs will do. Keep in mind that the student’s bedroom is not the best place to hold private lessons due to possible distractions.

Questions to Ask Your Tutor

The following are a list of questions families can ask prospective private teachers:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What is your level of experience?
  • What schools have you taught at, if any?
  • Do you provide any free resources?
  • What is the rate per lesson?
  • Are there additional costs for transportation?
  • Do you offer virtual/ remote lessons?
  • What are your coronavirus precautions (If you plan to hire for in-person teaching)
  • What reading levels do you have experience teaching?
  • How do you adapt to individual children’s learning capabilities?
  • Do you teach when schools are closed?

Whether you need your student to improve their reading levels, ace their next health exam, or simply review material for the upcoming school year, you should consider hiring a teacher for academic support and these questions can help you select the right candidate for the job.

How Can I Ensure My Child’s Safety During Private Tuition?

If you decide to hold the private lessons in your home or the tutor’s home, there are risks involved you will have to consider. These might vary between health and safety risks, whether the tutor has any personal insurance or appropriate certificates, and even a basic background check can be a good idea.

The top priority of private tutoring is the child’s safety. Parents always make sure to hire someone they will trust and guarantee that the kid feels safe with the learning arrangement.

If the private tutoring will be held in your own home, make sure to set up a good and clean space for the lessons to take place – and a place where you can keep an eye on things. If the lessons will be at the tutor’s home, you can first have a look at the work area to check for hazards.

Make sure to let the instructor know beforehand if your child has any allergies or medical issues. There is always a level of risk, but it can be lowered by informing the educator what to do in case of an emergency with a serious illness, condition, or allergy.

Internet safety is crucial with online tutoring
Families are turning to online learning as public schools stay closed. Photo via Visualhunt.com

Now, because of the pandemic, online tutoring is a really good option. It also eliminates the process of checking for possible hazards at home, but it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the lessons to make sure that everything runs smoothly and safely.

There are tutors out there for any kind of service you need. Families looking to help their students learn to read, keep up with on-going courses, or even just help implement better studying habits could all use help from private teachers. In these times where public school care is so much more complicated, it is important for kids to received individualized day-to-day attention, and that is what private teachers are here to do.

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