The holiday season is here and many of us are doing research to purchase items on the wish lists of our loved ones and kids. With this in mind, we felt this is an opportune time to highlight another critical investment you might be thinking of making in the year to come – the right tutor for your child.
Many parents have a common starting question, which is how do you find and hire the right tutor? Our advice: you wouldn’t make any major purchase without doing your homework. The same is true for tutoring. Selecting the right tutor for your son or daughter is vital to ensure a good experience and successful academic results. To help families with this process we have broken down some key questions to consider when looking for a professional tutor for students in kindergarten all the way up to grade 12.
Is the tutor and service reputable?
Much like any other major purchase, there are both new and established tutoring companies. How long have they been in business? How did they start? What experience do they have? What is their track record? Who runs the business (i.e., are the owners hands on and concerned about quality or are they unknown and not involved in day-to-day operations)? At Teachers on Call, we are proud of being a family owned and operated business since 1984.
Who is the tutor and are they an Ontario Certified Teacher?
Verify if your potential tutor or service hires professionals who are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers or pursuing an educational path to become a certified teacher. This is the gold standard for tutoring. Anyone can say they are a tutor; however, being a qualified teacher means they have experience teaching the subject matter and supporting students.
Does tutoring follow and support the Ontario Curriculum?
Is this an Ontario-based tutoring company? Do the tutors understand the standards and expectations of the Ontario Curriculum and are experienced in the classroom? All valuable questions. Often parents look for tutors through their own networks – but are the tutors truly subject specialists? For example, if your child needs help with high school math, the best tutor has direct and current experience teaching math curriculum at the secondary level. Knowing the tutor’s subject specialty will help ensure they bring the knowledge and background needed to support your child.
What is the tutoring approach?
Tutoring services come with many different options. Do you have input on the type of tutor who would work best with your daughter or son? Is it a relationship-based approach with the same tutor every time or whoever is available? Are there flexible variations in length of time for tutoring? For example, if you want 90 minutes – is that an option? If tutoring is online, are there shorter options available for younger students?
Is tutoring flexible and can it stop at any time without penalty?
Every major purchase you make has a life expectancy – and so should your tutoring! Is there a fair and equitable cancellation policy in place? Are you expected to purchase a package upfront at a large expense, or is this a pay-as-you-go model? Our philosophy is that you are only invoiced and paying for actual tutoring needed and used.
What is the policy if the tutoring match is not right?
This is a major benefit of working with a tutoring service versus finding a private tutor directly. What happens if the tutor match doesn’t work and is not the right fit? With a service, check that you have the ability to end the tutoring or ask for a different tutor? Academic chemistry is key to ensuring a successful tutoring experience. We believe that if fit is not there it’s important for families to provide this feedback to ensure experience is successful going forward.
Is pricing fair and consistent?
With tutors, much like other major purchases, it’s important to search for what is reasonable. It might be tempting to go with the least expensive option, but will you end up spending more time (and money) because you need more sessions to get the results you want? On the other hand, are you being overcharged based on your child’s course, specialized needs, or where you live? It’s key to ensure you are being quoted a consistent and fair price. At Teachers on Call the rate is the same regardless of the city in Ontario where you live, and is consistent for all grades and subjects from kindergarten all the way up to grade 12 tutoring.
Can the tutor accommodate your preferred timing and schedule?
Do you need to work around the tutor’s schedule – or do they work around you? This often happens when recommended to a specific tutor who works on their own and has limited slots. In today’s world, families are busy with commitments and activities. At Teachers on Call, we work around your schedule – finding that perfect combination of best tutor for your student who has availability when you do, using your preferred days and times as an important part of the process.
What do the reviews say?
Look at Google and Facebook reviews to see what are other parents saying about this company? Are there current parent and tutor testimonials? What do they tell you about the service and level of satisfaction from all parties? Authentic and honest reviews will help you make an informed decision.
Teachers on Call is here to help.
We are happy to answer all these questions and more for you. Reach out at any time to Teachers on Call – we are here to help as you explore this important choice for your child. It is not a decision to be rushed, but with time and research, it is one which can make the world of difference for your family.
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