On certain occasions, or at certain school stages, our children will need academic reinforcement, extra support that allows them to face studies, homework and exams with greater guarantee and personal security. It is something that we must normalize with them; the fact that you may need help at some point with your studies.
So, as parents, the day may come when we consider hiring a private teacher for them. Private teachers can help them improve academic performance, but also study habits or certain cognitive skills, such as concentration.
How to choose the teacher that best suits what our child needs? What aspects must be taken into account? We explain the most important ones.
How do I know if my child needs tutoring?
First of all, we must make sure that our son really needs school reinforcement. How will we know? Considering some of the following points; So, your child probably needs reinforcement if…
- Presents certain difficulties in the learning process (for example, at the level of comprehension, reading and writing…).
- You lack study habits ; For example, you don’t know how to organize yourself, how to organize your agenda, how to plan exams, how far in advance to study…
- You have low academic results (or your performance has dropped in recent months).
- Presents a significant delay with respect to the acquisition of the contents that are seen in the classroom (or with respect to their classmates).
- He has a hard time concentrating.
How to choose the best reinforcement teacher? Aspects to consider
If you have finally decided that your child is going to start private lessons, because he really needs it, it is important to choose the best teacher for him. What to take into account? We talk about aspects that have to do with the teacher but also with the classes or the way of working.
You must take into account what you are looking for. A student teacher? Or someone who has already finished the race? Probably someone who has already finished the race (and more if it’s been a while) will have more experience . You must assess whether you need someone with a lot of experience and training or little.
Depending on what you choose, the fees will change, but also the type of work that the professional can do with your child. With more experience, you are more likely to be able to deal with more complex situations. You must adapt your expectations, what you expect from that professional, in each case, being realistic.
2. Subjects taught
It is also important to know the subjects or subjects taught by the teacher that we want to hire, or at least, in which he has specialized. Studying a degree in chemistry is not the same as studying physics , biology, mathematics or languages. You may also have studied teaching and have specialized in a specific topic or subject.
We must think about which subjects our child needs reinforcement, which are priorities, if we want a general review of all the subjects or just a specific subject, etc.
3. Personality and way of working
The way of being of this teacher is also something that you should take into account, because this will affect his way of working. Are you looking for someone more directive, with character? Perhaps more disciplined?
Or someone less directive, less demanding, more flexible…? Depending on how your child is, and what they need in their studies, where they are academically, etc., you should choose one teacher or another. And on the other hand, it is also important to select someone who inspires confidence .
4. Empathy and adaptability
Regardless of the person’s way of being and working, it is important that they be empathic and adaptable with your child and with the family in general.
That is, to be able to put yourself in your place, to understand what you need and to adjust to it. And above all, able to listen to your child , to adapt to their learning style and their way of understanding the agenda, their way of being, etc.
5. Ease of contact with the teacher and means of communication
Another important aspect to take into account is the ease of contact with the teacher we hire. And it is that this teacher will spend a lot of time with our son, so it is convenient that there is a good form of communication, either between the teacher and our son, as well as between the teacher and us, the parents.
For this reason, it is important that this ease of contact is present, as well as the chosen communication channel, which must be agreed with the professional , be it email, telephone calls, WhatsApp…
We will only use this channel to talk about academic aspects and those related to our son’s progress; also, to inform the teacher of the syllabus to work on (and so that he can prepare it in advance).
6. Periodicity of the sessions
Another aspect to take into account when choosing a tutor for your child is to determine the frequency of the sessions. It is clear that you can start with a certain number of sessions and then change it (increase or decrease them), but we must start from some point.
It is not the same to start with a weekly class than with three. Consider, what does your child need? Maybe start small? Is it easy to adapt to changes? If it adapts easily to them, you can put more sessions. Can this teacher take them on?
You will also have to agree on this with him or her. However, although each family is different, it is generally recommended to start with a few sessions to create the habit naturally and without forcing it (these can be increased later).
Another issue to consider is the professional’s fees. The price/hour is an aspect that we must agree with the person, and that must compensate and benefit both parties .
Thus, it is advisable to have that economic range in mind before speaking with the professional, in order to agree on what both parties need and can offer/assume.
8. Agree goals and adjust expectations
Finally, it is important to talk to that teacher about the objectives you want your child to achieve, in addition to agreeing with him on a certain way of working. This is important to be able to adjust expectations, and that these are realistic (“Can you offer me what I need? How?”).
The objectives must be: realistic, manageable, concrete and must be well defined (for example, a concrete and well defined objective would be “study one hour every afternoon”, instead of “improve the study”).
Ideally, the objectives should be few at the beginning (so as not to propose many and that later they are manageable and end up generating frustration). You can agree on the objectives together with the teacher and with your child; some examples would be:
- Get into the habit of preparing for each exam a week in advance.
- Increase the average by half a point more in the subject of mathematics.
- Learn and implement two new study techniques.
- Bring homework up to date.
Other aspects to consider when choosing a private teacher
Other aspects or considerations that we must consider, beyond those developed, will be:
- Class schedule and duration.
- Previous experience of the teacher.
- Teacher’s age.
- Modality: at home (in the room, in the dining room…?) or go to an academic reinforcement center?
- Methodology: progressive or intensive study?
Photos | Cover (Pexels) (Freepik)