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How pretentious: I'm claiming to offer advice to all parties in the tutoring process! But if you bear with me, I hope to actually offer some helpful advice. Some advice for parents: It’s easy for a parent to feel guilty. “I have to provide the best educational experience possible for my child. If I don’t, I’m a bad parent and a bad person.” Combine that with a lack of clarity about what “best” is, and it’s not wonder that there’s a lot of insecurity about this. Unscrupulous tutors take advantage of that. Do yourself a favor: take a breath, and breathe. You are not solely responsible for everything regarding your child. You, of course, have many responsibilities. But your first and most important obligation is to raise your child in a loving, safe environment. Nowhere is it written in the contract you signed when you became a parent that you will be held accountable for how well your child does in precalculus. Remind yourself, explicitly, in writing or audible... read more

In principle, hiring a tutor is an enterprise that is anticipatory and deliberate. It involves anticipating what potential problems might crop up, using a student’s history and self-evaluation. Tutoring can also be in response to a desire to advance more quickly; it’s not always used to “fix” a “problem”. A parent might consult with friends, or with the student’s teacher, to obtain personal referrals. After interviewing a number of possible tutors, the parent and child, together, choose the tutor that embodies the combination of empathy, subject knowledge, teaching ability, and cost effectiveness. If this sounds like you, congratulations. No need to read onward, to find out how the rest of us in the real world live. If this doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry; you’re not alone, and I promise this won’t be a “you should feel guilty about this” post. Here’s how tutoring often works in practice. A student starts struggling in a subject, but that isn’t... read more

I am not sure how other tutors operate, but I have taken a quote a friend once stated to heart. This has become my motto in life and it reflects my work with the students I have. The quote was "Nobody cares how much you know, they just want to know how much you care."   Just think about that. You can be the smartest person ever, but if you don't care about people then why would they listen to you? I do more than just tutor my students, fill in the time and get their homework done. I am there to make a relationship. That is not my top priority but it is important to build good rapport with your students and gain their trust and confidence in you. I want them to improve academically but also improve personally, from something I can share. My experiences are only good if they can be beneficial, and how can they if I don't share them?   So I challenge you to re-evaluate your approach. Want to know how to get more students and keep the ones you have?... read more

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