Certified Teachers Versus Other Tutors

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All NYS certified teachers have taken at least 24 college credits in teaching strategies and education. They have also passed at least 3 exams in teaching post-college to receive certification.  They have been observed while teaching and provided with feedback on how to improve their teaching skills and strategies.  Certified teachers also must take professional development and continuing education classes to maintain their certification. This requires them to be up to date on the latest curriculum and teaching methods.

There is no standard for certified tutors. Each company or organization creates their own certification.  These companies use words such as company certified, experienced, excellent, or qualified to describe the tutors.  They are also not required to learn the current curriculum or teaching methods.  Even if you do not agree with the current curriculum it is important for the child to learn it so they can pass the class and move on to the next class.  In addition, there is no way to know how qualified the tutor is to teach.

Individuals have the least insight into the current curriculum.  Most publishers and textbook companies refuse to sell the materials to individuals.  This means that an individual most likely does not know the current teaching methods.  This is not beneficial for the student.

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Tutoring Company versus Individual Tutor

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There are pros and cons to hiring a tutoring company or an individual tutor.

Tutoring Company Pros

  • They have clearly defined rules and regulations.
  • They have legally obtained access to resources.
  • They will provide proof of purchase.
  • They have many tutors specializing in many different areas.

Tutoring Company Cons

  • There are many tutors and requests for a particular tutor might not be honored.
  • Different companies have different qualifications for the tutors. Always ask about the qualifications.

Individual Tutor Pros

  • They specialize in their area they are tutoring.
  • They might be more flexible with pricing or scheduling.

Individual Tutor Cons

  • Teachers frequently use resources purchased for their classroom and not purchased for private tutoring.
  • They normally do not have insurance or a refund policy.
  • They might not accept credit cards.

If you are looking to hire a tutoring company or an individual tutor, download our free chart with questions.  This will help you make sure you are asking the correct questions to find the best tutor for your needs.  http://services.margotenterprises.com/helpful-links/resources/tutoring-questions

How to Know if Your Child Needs Tutoring

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It is always a hard decision as to whether or not your child needs tutoring.  Sometimes it is hard to admit that your child is struggling.  Last year he was a straight A student and this year he  has a C in one class.  Many things change each year and throughout the year.  Did the child have a major life event to deal with such as a new baby at home, divorce, a death in the family, or moving to a new place.  Is something going on in school?  Or is the material just getting harder?  Tutoring can also be a finanical burden.  Tutoring can get expensive.  It can also limit other children in the family.  If you have to drive one child to tutoring and one child to soccer practice at the same time it cab be hard on the children if one is always late.  However, if your child is struggling in school it is always a good idea to provide extra help.

If your child has already gone to extra help in school, tried peer tutoring, and received homework assistance at home, you should look into tutoring.  Tutoring is not necessarily a permanent requirement for your child.  If the child receives tutoring before he or she has fallen too far behind, it might only take a month or two to catch up.  Beginning tutoring early is always recommended.  It can give your child the confidence he or she needs to more actively participate in class.  It can also help relieve some anxiety about the tests if the student feels that he or she is fully prepared.

Here’s a list of some benefits of tutoring:

  • Higher grades.
  • Better understanding of the material.
  • Less fighting about doing homework.
  • More time for extracurricular activities.
  • More self-confidence.
  • Higher self-esteem.
  • An additional advocate for your child.

SAT Exam Tutoring

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With SAT Exam tutoring time coming up the question is should your child have one person or class cover all three sections or higher the people or the classes.

Here are some ways to figure out which situation is best for your child.

If you hire one person that knows all three subject areas your child will be reviewing all of the strategies and sections weekly.  If you hire three people that would require three sessions a week and most likely three times the price.  If your child focuses on one section at a time they will mostly likely forget the strategies over time if they are not using them every week.

However, if your child really struggles with every area or is looking for the perfect 2400 a specialized tutor will help your child pull up the grade in each section.  If your child has one area that is weaker you can hire a tutor that specializes in that area but also knows the other areas.

Think about how much you can afford financially.  If you want your child to spend time working on all 3 sections each week in order to improve all sections, you can either pay for 1 hour a week, or 3 hours a week.  One hour a week will cover all of the strategies and practice.  Three hours a week can go more in depth.

Most students do very well with one tutor or taking one class.  However if you think your child needs a specialist for each subject are you should hire three tutors or attend three classes.

Questions to Ask a Tutoring Company

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With the school year beginning many parents look into hiring a tutor for their child.

Here is a list of suggested questions to ask a company before hiring them to tutor your child.

  1. How do you select the tutors that you hire?

You should be curious about the screening and interview process.  Some companies just conduct interviews while other companies have the tutor provide a mock tutoring session.  It is important to know if they company has seen the tutor actually tutor.

2. Are your tutors NYS certified teachers?

Certified teachers have gone through extensive training to learn how to teach.  They have learned many strategies to help students learn different concepts  They also understand differentiated instruction and will be able to customize the lessons for your child.

3. Are your tutors currently teaching?

The federal and state education standards are constantly changing.  If the teacher is currently teaching they are required to take professional development courses and will be up-to-date with the latest standards.  It is important for the teacher to understand the concept they are tutoring as well as how the students are expected to answer questions on the state exams.

4. What is the cancellation policy?

Occasionally something will come up and you might have to cancel a session.  You want to know if they are flexible with rescheduling.  You should also find out how much notice you have to give them if you need to cancel.

5. How many sessions do I have to purchase?

Some companies will require or recommend that your purchase a certain number of sessions up front.  As the parent it is important to be able to decide how many sessions you want to purchase.

6. Where are the sessions conducted?

Different children work well in different environments.  Some children would learn better in an office setting or a library, while others would prefer to learn at home.  Also think about transportation or supervision.  If the session is outside of the house someone will need to drive the child to the location.  However, if the session is in home an adult should be home.

7. Do you work with the classroom teachers?

The classroom teachers work with the child every day and constantly monitor the child’s progress.  When there is open communication between the tutor and the teacher it enhances the learning experience and gives the student as much support as possible.

8. How long is each session?

Each company has different session lengths.  Some companies provide 30 minutes, 1 hour, or even 2 hour sessions.  However, some companies include travel time and conference time in this session.  Therefore an hour session might only be 45 or 50 minutes.  Make sure you are getting the most time for your money.

9. What is the return policy?

You might purchase sessions and then change your mind.  Ask the company if they have a return policy and how long it is.

10. Do the sessions expire?

Sometimes something comes up and you need to stop tutoring for a period of time.  If you have already purchased sessions you would want to know when they expire.  Purchasing sessions in advance is only helpful if they do not expire too soon.