Tutoring and afterschool enrichment programs are excellent tools to use when your child needs personalized help to improve and excel in their schooling. There are many options for afterschool tutoring centers and tutors. You may find yourself asking, “What makes a good tutor?” The following are key qualities to look for in an afterschool tutor.
5 Qualities of a Successful Afterschool Tutor
1. Does the tutor promote critical thinking?
Critical thinking is applying knowledge to solve a problem or to make a judgment about a situation. It is a deeper level of thinking which is vital to a student’s success in school and everyday life. When looking for a good tutor or educational enrichment program, ask the candidates how their content calls for critical thinking skills.
- Will your child have to apply knowledge to questions?
- Does the tutor push students to think on deeper, analytical levels instead of answering simple “Yes or No?” questions?
2. Does the tutor reinforce foundational skills?
Even though it is necessary to grow the students’ knowledge, it is equally necessary to strengthen their foundational skills. These are skills like reading comprehension, spelling, grammar, and arithmetic. These skills build the base for the more complex knowledge your children will learn as they get older. For this complex knowledge to make sense, the foundation needs to be strong and cannot be neglected.
Continually practicing and reinforcing foundational skills ensures that they remain strong. It is important that tutors support this with your child.
- Does the tutor spend time reviewing these skills before moving on to bigger tasks? This can be done through activities like numerical drills before the main lesson.
- Does the program interweave these skills into the lessons? Reading for the main idea of a passage is a good example of this.
3. Does the tutor accelerate learning?
An easy way to see if this is a good tutor is to look into how their previous students have grown. If the tutor has a substantial history to show that the students develop and improve their academic performance from before they began lessons to after, then that is a sign of a good tutor.
- How have previous students or current students grown with the tutor?
- Is the tutor known for improving a certain content area or skill?
4. Does the tutor challenge and reward students?
Challenges lead to growth. You want your student to feel challenged so they are pushed to achieve more. When students are not challenged, not only are they not being pushed toward their potential, but they often become bored with material. This is something that commonly happens with gifted children, and tutoring or enrichment programs can help.
After being pushed, students appreciate when their hard work is recognized. Look for a tutor that understands where your child is currently performing and pushes him or her past that to your child’s full potential.
- How will this tutor challenge your students to push themselves?
- In what ways will the tutor reward students for their accomplishments?
5. Does the tutor’s content align with national standards?
Making sure what content the tutor is teaching your student is vital to their success in schoolwork and on standardized testing. If your child is being taught a different way than what is being taught in school through Common Core, this leads to confusion and the possibility having work marked wrong because the current process was not used.
Standardized testing requires the use of certain processes to answer test questions correctly. If these processes are not being reinforced by the tutor, then the tutor will not be effective. Good tutors are aware of national standards and implement them into their lessons.
- Is the tutor aware of the national standards?
- How does the tutor’s content and processes reinforce national standards?
An after-school tutor or educational enrichment program can be a great asset to your child’s academic success. With these questions in mind, you can effectively determine what a good tutor looks like for your child to achieve their potential.
Has your child had a tutor before or currently? What did the tutor do that helped your child or what do you wish the tutor would have done differently?
Author: Sarah B., Teacher and Blog Writer at A Grade Ahead.