005: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Tutor

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.00.40 PMThere are appropriate (and inappropriate) times during the school year or college admission process to hire a tutor.

Make sure you know the ins and outs of when and how to hire a tutor so that you can save time, money and frustration.

Here are some common mistakes that families should avoid:

Mistake 1:  Hiring a tutor without clearly defined expectations and goals.

Most people hire a tutor in response to the threat of bad grades, but often don’t consider long-term goals.

  • Is it more appropriate to hire an academic coach?
  • Are there long-term issues that need to be addressed?
  • Is the tutor there to teach concepts or just reinforce information learned in class?

Mistake 2:  Hiring a tutor out of desperation.

Too many parents and teens wait until the situation is desperate to seek outside help.  At this point too many people will accept the first tutor who can take the job.

Mistake 3:  Waiting until it is too late to hire a tutor.

Waiting too late can take a few forms:

  • Waiting until a student is so far behind in a class that it is impossible to get caught up.
  • Waiting until the last days or weeks before exams and expecting a tutor can cover the content of an entire semester in a session or two.
  • Waiting until all of the good tutors are booked.

Mistake 4:  Becoming dependent on the tutor.

Parents come to expect the tutor will “make sure” everything is done right.  Students expect the tutor will help them study rather than taking responsibility for their own learning.

Mistake 5:  Ignoring issues of quality.

Often the other mistakes lead people to overlook the issue of quality.  Parents and students should interview tutors to make sure the tutor will be a good fit for the job. Families should evaluate a tutor’s experience and effectiveness to find the tutor who will have the best working relationship with the student.