Private schools, particularly those that are college-prep, can have very difficult curricula that challenge students. Many private school students require the help of outside tutors. Here are the top ten places to find a tutor or a tutoring center. How can students and their parents choose a tutor who will help them and be worth the extra expense? Here are some ways to evaluate a tutor:
Does the tutor know your school?Choose a tutor who is familiar with your school’s curriculum and teachers. Perhaps you can even get a recommendation for a tutor from a teacher or dean at your school. Tutors who have already worked with students at your school are more likely to understand your teachers’ requirements and to help you prepare better for tests and upcoming assignments. Read more information about how to work with your school and teen to find the right tutor.
Is the tutor well versed in the subject?Make sure the tutor understands his or her subject well and has experience tutoring in that area. For example, tutors who tutor in private school admissions tests, such as the SSAT and ISEE, should have already prepared students successfully for these tests.
Do you click with the tutor?Part of the tutoring process involves personal chemistry. Meet with the tutor and evaluate whether you can spend time with this person. Is the tutor comprehensible, and do you feel comfortable asking questions? Although many tutors are subject-matter experts, only some can explain their subject in clear terms.
Will the tutor teach skills?Good tutors who are worth the expense provide students with skills, such as organizational and test-taking strategies, that will endure long after the tutoring sessions are over. These types of skills will often help students in other areas, too.
Can the tutor help you achieve realistic goals?Students should spend the first session or two with a tutor explaining what they hope to get out of the tutoring work. The student’s goals should be clear but realistic. For example, if a student is failing algebra, it’s not always realistic to expect to get an “A” after only a few sessions. However, a student can determine areas in which he or she feels weak and ask the tutor to zero in on these areas. Achievable, clear goals will help the student get the most out of the tutoring. Be sure that your tutor can help you move towards concrete, measurable goals.
Other Tutoring Dos and Don’ts
Work as your tutor’s partner.Students should take good notes in class, work with their teachers, and do their homework. Students shouldn’t expect their tutors to do their work for them. Laziness on the student’s part will not result in better grades.
Follow your school’s honor code.Most private schools have a code of conduct that states that work submitted must be your own. Be sure to tell your teachers the kinds of outside support you’ve received on writing papers or completing projects, and don’t submit any work that isn’t completely your own.