Is your child struggling at school? Do they have a big exam coming up? Or are you an adult learner looking to pick up a few new skills?
Then you might be looking to hire a tutor.
Luckily for you, there is an abundance of options when it comes to looking for private tuition. From online lessons and video classes to 1:1 tuition and group classes, there is something to suit every student and budget. With a wealth of options available, it can sometimes be tricky to work out how to find a good tutor which suits your learning style and needs.
Thankfully, we’ve put together this eight-step guide on how to find a good tutor. Below we’ll cover all the essential things to consider when looking for a tutor – from your goals and budget to conducting interviews and assessing trial lessons.
So what are you waiting for, have a read below and find out how to find the perfect tutor…
Step 1: Know what you want
Before you begin any search for a tutor it’s great to understand what you want and why you want them.
Are you looking for an online tutor who can help guide your child through the last two years of secondary school? Or maybe you’re an adult learner looking for a one-off face-to-face lesson before a work-related exam?
Whatever you’re looking for, it’s best to have an understanding of how many lessons you want a week, how long you’re planning to have the tutor for and whether you want an online or face-to-face tutor.
Step 2: Know your goals
Similarly to knowing what sort of tutor you want and how often you want them, it’s great to know why you want them to.
What are your goals? Consider what you want to achieve in the long-term and short-term. Do you want to pass an exam at the end of the month or do you want to become fluent in another language?
Knowing what you want will help when looking for a good tutor. Not only will it help you narrow down your search, but telling your new tutor what you want from the outset will ensure they align their lessons with your goals. A good tutor is one who not only helps you get to your final goal but will ensure you’re aware of you’ll reach it.
Step 3: Know your budget
When looking for a tutor to support yours or your child’s education, it’s crucial to consider how much you’re willing to spend. Whether you have lots of money to spend or small amounts of spare cash, it’s important to assess how much you can realistically afford per lesson. Once you have assessed this, you can work out how much you’ll expect to spend over a certain period of time and therefore budget in order to sensibly afford your tutor.
It is important to note that the decision about which tutor you hire should not solely be made on the cost. Many people fall into the trap of assuming an expensive tutor will be the best educator. However this isn’t always true, the best educator will be one who aligns with what you want and your goals.
For example, if you want to improve your spoken French, you may be better hiring a native French speaker instead of someone who has a degree in French Literature. However, someone wanting to study French Literature at university may learn more from a recent graduate who understands the current academic landscape. With this in mind, it is important to consider your budget alongside your goals and what you’re looking for in a tutor.
Step 4: Consider your options
In this modern age, there are multiple ways in which you can hire a tutor. From online tutors who teach over video calls to face-to-face 1:1 lessons and group classes, it’s important to consider how you or your child want to learn.
For some children, a group class can be great for socializing and for others it can a distraction. For some parents, online lessons can seem daunting whereas for busier parents online lessons are a great time saver. Consider your options, align them with your goals and your budget and you’ll be one step closer to finding a great tutor.
Step 5: Read Reviews
After you’ve considered what you’re looking for, your goals, your budget and the different type of tutors available, you’ll be ready to start actively looking. Whilst price, location and some of the logistical elements can be a great way to narrow down your search for a tutor, we’d definitely recommend reading reviews.
Learning more about a tutor, how they teach and how effective they’ve been for their other students enables you to understand whether they’d work for you or your child. That being said, always remember reviews are people’s opinions and learning and teaching styles can vary for everyone.
Step 6: Conduct Interviews
The next step after reading reviews is to get in contact with your shortlist of tutors to assess which ones are the best fit.
Informal interviews over an online chat or the phone are a great opportunity to ask questions about their background, teaching methods and success stories.
Interviews are also an ideal way to work out whether you think you or your child will get along with the tutor. After all, if you’re paying for the pleasure to be taught, it’s best to be taught by someone you can work well with.
Step 7: Try a Trial Lesson
After you’ve conducted your interviews, there’s always an option to ask for a trial lesson with one or two of your favorite candidates. Whilst you will have to pay for the one-off lesson, a trial is a great way to assess a tutor before committing to a longer-term education plan.
Organize a trial lesson and explain that you want to see how they will teach you or your child and how you would expect them to progress. This is also a great opportunity for the tutor to find out whether they’re able to provide you with the difficulty of the subject you want to learn and whether you get along.
Step 8: Assess your trial lesson or ask your child
Finally, assess your trial lesson. This may involve some personal-reflection or sitting with your child and asking them how their lesson went. The assessment stage is as important as any other when looking for a good tutor.
At this point, you have the chance to consider whether the tutor is what you’re looking for, if they’ll be able to help you reach your goals, whether you’re getting value for money and whether the type of tutoring suits you. Sometimes it can take several trial lessons with several different tutors, but if you’re looking for the perfect tutor this lengthy process can be worth the wait.
After you’ve found a tutor that ticks all of your boxes with regards to teaching style, personality and goals you’ll have found yourself the perfect tutor. Congratulations!