This is part 1 of the five-part series: How tutors plan individualized programs for their students.
Tutors have training and experience in education:
The majority of tutors have had training as educators and/or they have had extensive experience in the subject(s) they are tutoring. They understand not only the “facts” of the material to be studied, but they understand and have experience putting those facts into action in “real life” situations. They also usually have had experience as tutors/teachers in a variety of learning situations: in classrooms, on-the-job, as individual tutors, as mentors, and in many other life situations. And many tutors have extensive training in how to teach and facilitate learning.
Tutors understand the general characteristics of students:
Tutors understand the general characteristics of different student groups: pre-schoolers, primary age, middle school students, secondary, home schooled, post-secondary, and adults of various ages and experiences. Some tutors specialize in tutoring one of these groups; others tutor students from a wide variety of groups. They learn about the characteristics from studies in psychology and sociology; from experience as teachers or professors; and of course from life experience, in relationships with all kinds of people. Tutors are interested in people, pay attention, and keep learning.
Tutors know curriculum requirements:
Tutors know the curriculum requirements for schools their students attend. They may well have taught in the schools themselves. They also access the Ministry of Education websites or hardcopy materials to ensure they are providing tutoring that meets the goals and curriculum requirements of the school the student attends. If the student is in a post-secondary program, the tutor will familiarize him/herself with the requirements of that program as well. A tutor who regularly tutors in a particular subject will often have their own copies of the textbook and other materials used for that subject in local schools.
If tutors are working with home schooled students, they will make themselves familiar with the home school legislation in the student’s region. They will find out what home school style the student and family are using, and if the family is using an independent approach or are home schooling through a commercial or school district program. They will also ask the family about their reasons for home schooling, and if there are particular cases such as religious beliefs or medical needs the tutor needs to be aware of. In home school tutoring situations, the tutor often works as closely with the parents as with the students, helping the parents learn about teaching and learning approaches, learning styles, and other useful pedagogical information they may find useful in teaching their own child/ren.
Tutors often have credentials:
Tutors often have credentials from their training. Such credentials may include a university degree or college diploma; a professional certificate from a provincial or state College of Teachers or other professional organization; or a certificate from a respected tutoring organization or from a tutoring class. If the tutor is teaching a skill or hobby, they may well have journeyman certification or other certification that proves their skill level. Even if you are hiring a neighbourhood teen or senior to help your young child with reading or arithmetic, you may want to ask to see their school report card, or evidence of a course such as One to One Reading Children’s Literacy Program training or a secondary school peer tutoring course. And of course an experienced tutor will also have references from former and/or present clients to whom you may speak.
Be sure to read the other posts in this series: How tutors plan individualized programs for their students
Penticton tutor: If you live in the Penticton area, and are looking for a tutor, be sure to check out my Penticton tutor information page!