How Do I Find the Best Tutor?
For many parents, finding a good tutor is a key component of the academic tool chest to improve or enhance student grades. High performing students may wish to maintain high performance during a quarter that caught them off guard, or when they are faced with competing priorities (Standardized tests, APs, etc.). Students who are struggling a bit, or who need to turn things around, are often faced with more dire consequences if things don’t improve (getting rid of phone, video games, or losing on social occasions) but often do not know exactly how to pull out of their spiral. So, how to find the best tutor? The answer: first, evaluate their study skills to see if it’s even a good investment prior to making sure they are studying optimally. Ask them the following:
- Do you start your homework within 1 hour from when you get home from school?
- Do you have a plan for the order of your homework subjects?
- When writing a paper, do you start your outline 5 days out, giving yourself time to write a first draft, revise, and have time to make improvements each day with a new perspective?
- When studying for tests, do you start studying three days in advance?
- Are you able to accomplish all of your homework by 10pm latest and get 8 hours of sleep?
- If not currently doing a sport, did you get any outside exercise today, even as simple as going for a walk?
- Do you have trouble sleeping due to stress related to school?
These are core factors that students must address to ensure that any tutoring would be a good value. Think of the cardio training an athlete needs before refining his or her skill on the court, field, or track? Without the fundamentals, tutoring can often lead to dependency and also a plateau in academic success. But, built on top of sound study skills, tutoring can help students fill skill gaps or excel. In this case, the best tutors will be formally trained in a subject, make a plan for the entire quarter, and will consider what is being taught weekly against the backdrop of what is coming up on tests or next year — not just the short-term view of homework help. Even then, when studying is done right, students may not need tutoring consistently. Whatever the result, study skills should be step one toward any path to improve grades or test scores.