The Standard for Success: How to Look for a Great Tutor in Canada

In today’s hyper-connected world, digital distractions abound and your child may find themselves distracted. Perhaps they have trouble concentrating within a large classroom setting, or they simply don’t find the curriculum interesting. Whatever the case, if your child is disinterested or falling behind at school, they’re not likely to get much out of the process.  

 Private tutoring can prove a useful resource to help your child reach his or her full potential. However, just as you would research schools or any program for your child, it’s equally important to ensure you take the time to research and choose the right tutor for your child. While there are many qualified individuals working as tutors who certainly know a lot, not all purport the ability to teach 

 This article will aim to provide you with a list of four key characteristics you should look for in a tutor if you’re considering this as an option for your child. 

 Subject Matter Mastery 

This one is probably a given, as you would reasonably expect the tutor you hire to be an expert on the subject for which you’re hiring them. If you decide to hire a tutor independently, without the aid of a tutoring company, you may consider administering brief math and reading comprehension test as part of the interview process, which can be found online.  

 Feel free to also ask your potential tutor a few questions on the subject matter. Delving deeper, your tutor shouldn’t only know Newton’s Three Laws or the definition of a hanging participle; they should be able to provide real-world applications to anything they teach, engaging their students. They should be able to provide training that is rigorous enough to keep their students interested and challenged, but not so difficult that it becomes discouraging.  

 Often, mainstream school curriculums fall to the clutches of tradition and old, dusty textbooks. A good tutor will revitalize this curriculum, and a benefit of small group tutoring is that tutors can tailor their lesson plans to your child and engage them based upon their level of knowledge and their interests.  

 Sweating the Small Stuff 

Not every child learns the same way and comes from the same background with the same experiences. A good tutor will assess their student, their needs, and their learning styles in order to formulate a suitable lesson plan and learning approach. They will also adapt as they move through the learning process with your child to meet changing needs. Sweating the small stuff, or keen attention to detail can prove valuable in your child’s tutoring experience. Not only as they first get to know your child and develop a lesson plan, but throughout the tutoring process and in their reporting to you on your child’s progress. Large class sizes in schools don’t leave much room for nuanced, personalized conversations with students to track their progress and deal with concerns should they arise, so a tutor can fill this gap. 

Experience & Empathy 

 Like any skill or talent, the more you teach the better you get. With all of this experience, it’s likely a good tutor will also have picked up some humility and empathy for their students.  

 Striving to ensure your child reaches his or her potential will require an experienced tutor who has taught the subject matter extensively and who has catered to a variety of learning styles and needs. The importance of being able to understand their students and how to best tailor their teaching methods cannot be exaggerated and often comes with experience. When assessing a potential tutor’s proficiency, it’s important to consider the number of hours they’ve spent teaching rather than the number of years. 

Communication 

Good communication should permeate every aspect of the tutoring experience. From the student to their parents and teachers, a good tutor will ensure open lines of communication with all stakeholders. Initial goals and benchmarks should be established and communicated upfront, while frequent status updates on your child’s progress should be shared with both you and your child’s teacher. These updates should include positive accomplishments as well as any concerns or areas for improvement. Working in tandem with you and your child’s teachers will often result in a more effective teaching model that feeds off the key adult figures in your child’s life and sets a course for lifelong learning and accountability. Of course, effective communication between tutor and student is invaluable as it fosters a fruitful professional dynamic, trust and rapport.  

 There is no shortage of individuals offering their tutoring services, which can make it difficult to decide on one. If you find yourself struggling, choosing to go with a tutoring company, such as Scholars Canada can help make your decision easier. Such companies will vet all of their tutors to ensure they have the best. This includes rigorous testing on subject matter knowledge, as well as imparting the best teaching practices and tutoring techniques.  

 Ultimately, your decision needs to benefit your child, so whether you choose to independently hire a tutor or go through a tutoring company, ensure to keep the aforementioned points in mind. Just as you expect your child to complete their homework thoroughly and to the best of their abilities, so too should you when searching for a suitable tutor for them.