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Hiring a Tutor

A tutor gets to nurture and inspire young people, fan the flames of their desire to learn and grow, help them become well educated and successful adults, and perhaps even help them find a field of study that will become their chosen occupation.  A tutor doesn’t just relate to young learners, however; a tutor also relates to you, the parents.  You hired the tutor to be a resource for your children, and you pay that tutor to perform his/her tutoring work, so you reasonably believe that you are fully in the loop about how tutoring sessions are going.  However, there are some things that a tutor may be reluctant to tell you.  Some of these topics are listed below.

Shades-of-gray concerns. If the tutor has a significant concern regarding your children’s performance during tutoring sessions, rest assured that the tutor will likely share those concerns with you.  However, if the tutor’s concerns are less significant, the tutor may be less likely to share those concerns with you.  Whether it’s due to a fear of creating a problem in the tutor-pupil relationship (“Why did you tell Mom about that?  It wasn’t that big of a deal, was it?”), creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e., if the tutor says something to the parent about the shade-of-gray concern, and the parent in turn addresses this with the child, may the child then unconsciously set in motion a series of events which will bear out the concern about which the tutor spoke?), or having the parent perceive the tutor as an over-reactor (“This sounds like a non-issue.  Why are you telling me about this?”), a tutor may be non-disclosing about shades-of-gray concerns.

“Uncomfortable” concerns. If the tutor has observed your child do something that the tutor may find uncomfortable to discuss, the tutor may not discuss this concern with you.  For example, if your child burps intentionally and repeatedly during a tutoring session, the tutor may not feel comfortable addressing this concern with you.

Parental concerns. If your children are behind their classmates in their ability to read English, the tutor may be concerned that perhaps you have not been reading enough with your children at bedtime.  If your children have not grasped the material presented much earlier in the semester, yet they have managed to get above average grades nonetheless, the tutor may be concerned that perhaps you have done your children’s homework on their behalf.  When a tutor has a concern about parental activity or inactivity, the tutor may not feel comfortable addressing this concern with you.

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