6 Things to Think About When Choosing a Science Tutor
Science class can sometimes be challenging and hard to understand for many students. It involves many difficult topics and theories that can take a student some time to understand. On top of that, the jump between certain grades can also be quite drastic and overwhelming. Courses become more and more fast paced as you increase in grade level, making it easy to fall behind.
Every student learns at a different pace and with a different learning style. To ensure they do not fall behind and struggle in their science classes, it might be in their best interest to consider having a science tutor.
It’s not always easy finding a science tutor that works well with you or your child. So, make sure you consider these six key points to think about when looking for the best candidate to tutor you or your child in science.
1. What is Your Goal?
What is it you want to achieve in your science class? A better understanding? A higher grade? To pass a test?
If your goal is short-term, such as passing a test, it will be more of a performance goal. But if you are aiming to get a better or more thorough understanding of a larger concept or subject, this will be more of a learning goal.
While you may have both of these goals for yourself or for your child, it will always be best to succeed in successfully accomplishing a learning goal. Overall, these types of goals will help in the long-run as understanding whole concepts allow you to better understand progressions of it or harder concepts learned in upper years. Learning will eventually lead to a better performance, but it may not be seen with immediate results, as it will happen at its own pace.
Only focusing on performance goals may have its downfalls as it can set a student up to fail when dealing with harder thinking or application questions. The student may know how to solve a specific question correctly but if they do not understand the reasoning behind it, they will not be able to transfer the knowledge to help them answer different questions. Learning goals will help expand your thinking and application skills so it can be easier to solve more challenging problems.
Learn about your tutor’s background! How long have they been teaching science? Are they qualified to teach? Do they have experience working with students your age?
Every student learns differently, and highly experienced teachers are quick to pick up on someone’s learning and study habits. This can help them cater to your specific needs and style of learning. There are visual, auditory, hands-on, vocal and many more types of learning styles. By being able to identify these traits, a tutor can tailor themselves around your needs. This can help keep learning proficient and effective.
Younger tutors are not necessarily worse, they may be just as qualified as an older tutor, but it is important to double check to see if each have the proper experience to help you or your child. Older tutors may be more experienced but younger tutors may also know the current education system better as they just recently went through it. It can be a give and take relationship but all in all, make sure to ask about the tutor’s background and experience to make sure you are getting the best candidate.
Ask about your tutor’s qualifications and area of focus. Where did they study? What field of study did they focus on? Are they qualified to tutor you in this subject?
Some tutors may not have the background knowledge needed to answer the questions you have. Many questions may be left unanswered or answered incorrectly. In order to ensure the curriculum is being taught correctly, ask your tutor about their expertise and qualifications. If they only studied English and Math, it will not make sense for them to be teaching science.
Take note of your tutor’s communication skills. Are they vocal about the material they are teaching and asking you questions along the way? Are they highlighting any issues that may arise? Are they taking note of your progress and indicating your areas of strengths and weaknesses?
Communication is key between any student and their tutor. If your tutor is not regularly updating you on your progress and asking you questions along the way, you might fall behind or learn material incorrectly. In addition, your tutor might be progressing too fast which makes it important that they test you on new information to see if you have picked up the material correctly. Make sure your tutor does not shy away from questions you ask and talks to you about your academic progress. However, communication is not a one-way street so also ensure you are asking questions and talking as you move forward as well.
5. Teaching Methods
Every tutor has a different teaching method or style. Does your tutor’s teaching method work for you? Are they able to adapt to your specific learning style? Is your tutor too tough or too relaxed?
Ask yourself these questions when considering if your tutor is right for you. Every student has a different learning style and certain teaching methods will work better than others. Take note of your tutor’s teaching method and ask yourself if it’s the right one for you. If the tutor is not able to adapt to your specific style of learning as well, they are not right for you. There should also be a correct balance between strictness and leniency. If the tutor is too uncompromising and rigid it may scare you or prevent you from asking questions and for more help. However, if they are too lenient and easy-going you may fall behind quickly and not pay attention. Make sure there is a balance of both to ensure you get the best results.
Science is not an easy subject to master. Ensure that your tutor has the patience to help you when you need it the most. Some students learn new concepts very slowly or take some time to understand how to apply new material to answer questions.
Take note of the way each potential tutor handles answering your questions. Do they get frustrated or irritated when you do not understand certain topics at first? This can be quite discouraging for a student and may prevent them from asking questions in the future. A student should feel comfortable asking any science related question to the tutor without feeling discouraged or put down.
Finding the right tutor for you may be difficult so let us at USCA Academy help find you the tutor that is best tailored towards your needs as a student. Our teachers and tutors are highly experienced and professional workers and will be able to cater to your specific needs and wants as you advance in your academic career.