This post is meant to give potential students (or parents, in the case of minor students) a clearer idea of what they can expect, should they choose to take advantage of my services as a tutor. In this post, you will learn about my teaching philosophy and approach, as well as my expectations of my students, and what my students can expect from me. If you have any questions or comments about anything you see here, please don't hesitate to email me through WyzAnt. I welcome student feedback; it's part of how I grow and refine my skills as a tutor. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this blog post, however, I would like to take a moment to write a special message for any parents who may be considering accepting my services on behalf of their child.
For The Parents
Choosing a tutor for your child can be difficult. There are so many things to consider. You want to ensure that your child is getting the best educational help possible. You want to be sure that your child will be tutored by someone with patience, understanding, and a demonstrated capability in the subject your child is studying. You want to be sure that your child is having a good experience and taking something valuable away from each lesson. Last but not least, you don't want to go bankrupt trying to give your child all of these things. Education is more important now than ever, and with classrooms becoming more and more full, and the standards of learning in our country falling lower and lower, it can be very hard to make sure that a struggling child gets the attention and instruction they need to truly grasp what they are being taught.
This is where I come in. While I have no experience in teaching within a conventional academic environment, I have been tutoring others, of many ages, since I was in middle school. Whether it was informally getting together with a group of friends to help them through a concept that I had mastered and they had not, or planning, organizing, and teaching my own SAT preparation courses at my high school, or helping a child in my life with their homework, I have spent a great deal of time honing the skills that make for effective tutoring. I have a real thirst for knowledge and passion for learning, and I think that it shows, and that it is infectious. Far more than the help I can offer your child in a specific subject, that excitement over learning is the most important thing that I can offer to your child.
As a prospective tutor, I promise to give your child my undivided attention during our sessions, and to do the very best I can to help them to achieve their full academic potential. I promise to be patient with your child, and to do whatever it takes to ensure that they grasp the material. Even aside from the time spent together in sessions, I have set aside several hours each night for working on lesson plans, developing exercises to help test your child's progress, and reviewing the feedback provided by students and their parents to help me to serve you better. I also promise to keep you informed regularly of your child's progress, and to make you an active partner in their education. Any and all of the resources that I use during tutoring will be made available to you, free of charge, so that you may become familiarized with your student's lesson plan, and can continue the learning process at home if you so wish.
If you are concerned about the cost of securing the services of a tutor, I am here to help. My requested hourly base rate (20 dollars) is well below the industry standard. This is because I believe that anyone with a desire to further their education, or the education of their child, should be free to do so without monetary restrictions being a concern. If you have limited financial means, and cannot reasonably afford even my low rates, please don't hesitate to talk to me about it. All of my fees are negotiable (except for the cancellation fee; see my blog post entitled "My Rate and Fee Structures" for more details). Also, if you should happen to know of another child who needs similar help, and can attend scheduled lessons at the same time as your child, ask their parent if they would be interested in sharing the cost of a Lesson Group with you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I look forward to talking to you about the possibility of working with you and your child soon.
My Teaching Philosophy and Expectations
Education is one of the most important determining factors of a person's success and happiness in their adult life. It affords them more opportunities personally, financially, and developmentally. More important even than the ability to memorize facts, figures, and other data, it's vital that a person learn the art of learning itself: how to take information that they have been presented with, sift through it to find the relevant elements, and to draw logical conclusions from it. Just as important is the ability to take information already known, and extrapolate and test theories about unknowns based upon that information. It is my knack for teaching these things that sets me apart from many other tutors. Anyone with sufficient experience can help you to memorize knowledge. I can teach you how to USE knowledge.
I take my work seriously, and I ask that you do the same... at least during lessons. Outside of our sessions together, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes that you, as my student, will never see. Reviewing the notes and observations I have made during our last session, working on a continually evolving lesson plan to help you get the most out of our time together, and crafting custom assignments to help test and strengthen your mastery of the material are all things that take a lot of time and energy. Moreover, my track record of excellence matters to me, and so I can assure you that I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that you succeed in your studies. All I ask from you is that you invest as much in your education as I do. Come to your sessions with me ready to work. If you can't manage that on a given day, I understand. I would rather that you rescheduled an appointment, than that you showed up for it unprepared, and got nothing out of it, thereby wasting both your money and my time.
My Guarantee To My Students
When you contract my services as a tutor, you are making an investment of time and money in me. In return, I promise you returns worthy of your investment. During our sessions, and afterwards, I will work hard to help you refine your knowledge of the chosen subject, and to make sure that this new mastery is reflected in your grades. I promise always to treat you with respect, and to be patient with your shortcomings. I also promise to do my best to make our time together as engaging as it can be; after all, one of the main problems with modern education is that the powers that be seem to have purposely made the process as tedious as possible. Most importantly, I promise always to listen to your feedback, to help give you the best experience possible. Your honest input will help me to grow both personally and professionally.
Any information that is shared with me by my students, whether inside or outside of a session, is held in the strictest confidence. This includes, but is not limited to, what subject we are studying (and the fact that you are studying with me at all), your progress in that subject, any outside records to which I am given access (such as your grades in courses related to our subject matter), your contact information, and any personal information not related to our academic pursuits. The exceptions to this policy are as follows:
Any information that I am required to disclose to a third party for legal reasons is not protected under this agreement. That said, such information shall ONLY be disclosed if I have been submitted a legally enforceable order of disclosure, in writing, and any information not covered under the terms of the order of disclosure shall remain confidential.
If you are a minor, your parent(s) or designated legal guardian(s) will be given full access to records of your activities and progress during our sessions.
The First Session
Before scheduling your first session with me, please be aware that you should add at least one half hour to whatever the planned length of the session is. You will not be charged for this extra time. The reason I ask you to do this is to give both of us an opportunity to get to know one another, to discuss your academic progress in the subject at hand, and to address any specific concerns that you might have about either the subject matter or working with me. If you have recent academic coursework you have completed in the subject we are studying (homework assignments, tests, things of that nature), please bring it with you so that I may review it. There is no set length of time to be spent on this process... you can set aside as much or as little time for this rap session as you wish, but the more time you are willing to devote to it, the better I will be able to serve you and the more productive our early sessions will be.
Last but not least, for any questions related to the cost of my services, please refer to my next blog post, "My Rate and Fee Structures". I look forward to talking to you soon.