Finding a tutor right for your circumstances can be an arduous and frustrating task. But if you get it right, you can employ the services of someone who can make a quick and significant positive impact to your son/daughter’s education. For parents new to private tuition, there are many common mistakes that can be made and traps that can be fallen into. To help you make the best possible choices when finding an A Level Maths tutor, I have listed these common mistakes below so that you don’t fall into the trap.
Mistake #1: Automatically assuming an in-person A Level Maths tutor is better than an online A Level Maths tutor.
“He would say that as he’s an online A Level Maths tutor himself”, you may think. But there are many genuine reasons why online tuition may be better for you than an in-person tutor. So many, in fact, that I have dedicated an entire article to it for you to decide (click here to read). But my advice is not dismiss the idea of an online tutor without having fully explored how well online lessons can work; you will be surprised by how interactive online tutoring sessions can be with the right tech-savvy tutor with the right software.
Summary: Be open to the idea of trying out online tuition. You will be surprised!
Mistake #2: Thinking that having a lesson with a tutor commits you to having more lessons.
You should feel free to try out as many different tutors as you want before settling on the one you feel is right for you. Never feel pressured into making an instant decision or committing to a particular tutor before seeing who else is out there. The 1:1 relationship between a tutor and a student is vital in getting value out of the tuition so it’s imperative that you take your time an make the right choice, possibly trying out many tutors before committing.
Summary: Don’t commit to an A Level Maths tutor until you’re sure they’re the right choice for you.
Mistake #3: Not getting regular updates from a tutor.
You’re paying good money to get tuition so the least you can expect is to get regular, meaningful feedback from a tutor about your son/daughter’s progress. Because the lessons are 1:1, you can often expect that a tutor would get to know their students’ strengths, weaknesses and gaps better than their classroom teacher. You are within your rights to expect that this is communicated to you in detail and that you are kept in the loop.
Summary: Feel free to ask a tutor for regular feedback on how your son/daughter is getting on.
Mistake #4: Not doing your research.
A tutor’s profile/website will list their experience, their qualifications and their best qualities. But what they say about themselves doesn’t necessarily make them a good tutor. Nor is it guaranteed to be true. Don’t fall into the trap of instantly believing what a tutor says about themselves. Do your research and read their reviews; what students and parents say about a tutor is for more important than what a tutor says about themselves. Don’t be shy to ask a tutor to back up any claims they make with documentation.
Summary: Make sure you read a tutor’s reviews from parents and students. Ask a tutor to prove any claims they make in their profile.
Mistake #5: Going for the cheapest option.
As is the case with most things, you get what you pay for. A tutor’s rates often reflect their experience and the value they add, so a cheaper option could indicate an inferior service. Often students who turn their hand to tutoring charge lower rates to incentivise prospective students to choose them. It’s not a bad thing to choose a tutor with low rates, but just be completely aware of what you are getting for the fee and seek regular updates from both the tutor and your son/daughter as to the impact that the lessons are having.
Summary: Don’t choose a tutor based on rates alone.
Mistake #6: Choosing a tutor who doesn’t have the relevant skills experience for your situation.
Every student has different needs, especially when it comes to a subject as challenging as A Level Maths and Further Maths. With such a vast array of tutors out there, you can always find a tutor who is right for your situation if you search hard enough. A suitable tutor should
- be familiar with the A Level Maths syllabus the student is studying;
- be suitably qualified (I recommend going with a qualified classroom teacher of Maths with a Maths degree);
- have the right personality to build a good professional rapport with your son/daughter.
Summary: Make sure an A Level Maths tutor has the right qualifications, experience and personality before committing to regular lessons. For more information on what to expect from a good A Level Maths tutor, please read this article I have written on this very subject.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an A Level Maths tutor who is right for you. It is a decision that has to be considered carefully with many things that need to be taken into account. Don’t rush into a decision: take your time, consider it carefully and make your decision in your own time.