Like children, tutors are individual too. It is important to consider that fact when you are looking to hire someone to assist in your child’s learning. Each tutor can offer something different and it does depend on the interests, history and desire of your child for what characteristics are best found in your teacher.
Here are some aspects to consider when doing your research.
Male versus Female
Younger children are more open to the learning context compared with older children. They are not so caught up on the sex of their teacher, but rather their interest and approach. Generally speaking early childhood teachers are overwhelmingly female, so in this instance choosing a male could bode well for their development. Likewise mimicking what they are used to in their educational environment, a female, could also be the best approach for maintaining their comfort levels and initiating the best outcomes.
Older students tend to have experience with both male and female teachers so they would be more likely to have a preference based on both their positive and negative experiences. Querying their interest and inclination is essential in finding a tutor that will increase their engagement. There is little use in hiring a male tutor if the math teacher that has caused your child so much anxiety is also a man.
Tutors come from all backgrounds including age groups. Some are currently studying at university, others are simultaneously progressing in their teaching careers, while some are at the end of theirs perhaps studying a PHD or masters. Age-appropriate tutors can be key pieces of the learning puzzle for some students.
Younger students have particular needs in terms of their learning styles and engagement and it is best to employ someone who has had the experience of working with students of a similar age. They need a variety of teaching aids and opportunities that are best supplied by a teacher who has plenty of ammunition up their sleeves.
Older students can be more flexible responding equally well to both younger and older people. A small age gap between a senior student and a tutor can, at times, be a great way to increase their understanding by way of exercising a current view of the curriculum. Alternatively a well-educated and highly-experienced tutor can have the knack of drawing on their wealth of ideas and create the outcomes they have had many years of practice achieving.
It may be a given to say that a tutor with experience in a particular subject area is the best and only choice. But it can be overlooked as a key parameter in tutor selection. This can be even more muddled in the case of children who need more generalised intervention such as for literacy or numeracy skills. An appropriately experienced tutor is worth their weight and your wait too. Don’t rush into choosing a tutor if they do not have the skills and experience to match your child’s learning needs. Asking to see a tutor’s experience as well as their educational background is not only important, it is your prerogative.
Finally, the chemistry between your child and their tutor will be the most important aspect of all. It is an essential part of a successful learning team and for that there are no set criteria but your child’s happiness.