I thoroughly enjoy working with the students that I have encountered while tutoring. However, there are some parents whose demeanor and involvement are questionable. For example, I approached the door step of one student on one afternoon to learn that Mom was not home. The student quickly phoned Mom on a cell phone and Mom informed me that she was at the mall shopping and that she would return "soon". She told me to go inside and begin the lesson. I quickly informed her that I couldn't because that was strictly against the rules for our county and for the company that I was working for at that particular time. She acted as if she could not understand the logic of what I was telling her. Besides, I would not want my child to be left alone in their home with a "stranger". Another potential student's father emailed me stating that the student would be brought to my home in a taxi! I quickly replied "No, thank you! I do not conduct tutoring in that manner." I do require parents or guardians to share in the entire tutoring experience.
That being said, I feel that it is very imperative that parents be involved in their child's learning process. Often, young students are scared when someone that they have never seen before comes to their home to tutor. Ugh! Who is that strange woman? Who is that strange man? What are they coming to my house for? I can only imagine what thoughts go through a young child's mind.
As students become familiar with the tutor, students become more relaxed and the tutor and the student can begin to form a bond. Of course, this bond is strengthened when they collaborate together as a team to improve the student's academic skills. I have seen young students roll their eyes and giggle and say "Oh yeah, that makes sense to me now!" It is refreshing to them react as they begin to understand things that were puzzling to them previously. However, it is equally important that their parents or guardians understand what the tutor is trying to convey to the student.
At the end of the lesson, it is beneficial for the tutor to have a stack of paperwork to show to the parent or guardian. The tutor should review all concepts that the student was introduced to during the course of the lesson. The tutor should ask the student if there are any questions and the tutor should provide the parent with feedback and point out areas that still need improvement and praise the student for strides that were made during the course of the lesson. The tutor should never leave the home or tutoring facility until the tutor ensures that there is a clear understanding of what was taught and the concepts that still need improving in the future.
The tutor should ensure 200% that there is a clear understanding between the tutor, student and parent or guardian of every single thing that was taught during the lesson. Parents or guardians should be free to express their concerns and tutors should explain concepts that the student should work on improving during the week. Simply put, tutoring involves teamwork! A student should never be dropped off and left for a lesson. Parents and guardians are equally important to a student's academic achievement!