People ask me all the time what The Learning Space does. I am constantly refining the way that I describe what we do. I could go on-and-on about what makes us special, and different from the competition. But when I start saying this, most people have no clue what some of the well known tutoring brands offer. So, until The Learning Space becomes as well known as say Kumon, let me share some tips for finding the right tutor for your child.
One thing I have noticed in most of my interactions is that when it comes to tutoring, people usually don't know what they should be looking for. A lot like buying a house, or your first car, it requires a bit of research. To begin with, I know you have heard me say it a million times but from years of experience and hundreds of students, trust me when I say every child is unique. So if someone is selling you a set program with workbooks, homework, and checklists, this is not going to help a struggling student. Extra practice never hurts (unless your child hates it), but you will not see the results you are looking for if your reason for tutoring is that they are struggling in school.
Second, what are the teachers qualifications? Are they in college, are they credentialed teachers? For someone looking for a subject matter tutor for middle or high school this would not be a huge issue, but for a struggling reader you really want to make sure they have the appropriate skill set to work with early learners. When I hire teachers you would be surprised how many applications I get from incredibly smart people with no teaching experience with elementary aged students.
Another issue that I come across all the time is parents thinking that using the child’s classroom teacher or another classroom teacher is better than a professional tutor. Firstly, these teachers are obviously qualified to teach, but it does not mean that they specialize in intervention based techniques and know how to maximize the short instruction time. We operate on the 30 minute session and honestly achieve what a teacher, or most tutoring centers do in one hour. Therefore we may seem costly per minute, but you are actually spending less overall and getting faster more effective teaching techniques.
What type of program are you looking for? Do you want it to be rigorous, or do you want it to be more play-based? We like to find a balance between getting work done and playing games. If a student is having fun they will engage more with the teacher and be more than willing to do the work. To us making connections with our students is primary before learning can begin.
The last thing that I want to bring up is computer programs. I get asked about apps and programs on the computer to help kids learn. Teachers do use them in the classroom, but this is simply to meet 21st century demands, not to take the place of instruction. Imagine that when you were growing up, instead of your caring teacher or loved one showing you how to read and count, a computer did this. Would it be the same? No, it is not. Human interaction is vital to the learning process.
If you ever need tips or help in choosing the right tutor for your child, I am here for you!