4 Cardinal Questions to Ask, Before You Hire an Online Tutor

Questions to ask before hiring online tutor

So, you’ve decided to find an online tutor for your ward for the ‘tricky subjects’. However, you’re not quite sure how to proceed with the process. In particular, it seems so confusing to select the ‘best’ tutor – there seem to be so many of them out there!    

Well, firstly, congratulations on reaching this decision point – that of exploring online tutoring for your child! Many parents aren’t lucky enough to realize what their child requires, for a more fulfilling and effective learning method. And importantly, what options are practical and work well. As a result, many children struggle to realize their full potential, despite significant time and money being spent on education.

While not the focus of this article, we believe online tutoring is often the solution that many families actually need. As an enterprising parent, you understand what’ll best help your ward. So how does one select the ‘right’ tutor? Let’s now try to approach this problem systematically.

To start with, ‘you’ hold a very important key to the answers

To borrow from Aristotle, knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom. While this may sound counterintuitive to the topic of this article, that’s the first step to reach the ‘right’ choice! This means, you think through and write down (for better thought clarity!) your ideas of a ‘good’ online tutor. The following points may help you structure the often vague ideas you may have. Sometimes, it may help define what kind of magician you want to see in the tutor ☺

  • Firstly, what are your own objectives from the online tutor? Realistic objectives typically come from your understanding of the specific item ‘missing’ from your child’s learning. In other words, it stems from the main pain point(s) you face.
    • Would you want the tutor to get your child ready for National or International Olympiads? Or should he help the child top his/ her class in school academics? Or is it to instill an appreciation for the subject by making the basics ‘fun’ to learn, not really oriented towards preparing for any specific exam? Any others?
    • To be sure, most of tutors (online or otherwise) would be able to help, to varied extents, on more than one of the above points. Like all vehicles help us commute. However, you need to select the right vehicle that suits your requirements best.    
  • Second, do you have any preferences or constraints? For instance, would you want a comprehensive online tutor across many subjects? Or would you be happier with a ‘best of breed’ or expert teacher for each specific topic of interest. If you are on a job that requires relocation frequently, should the online tutor support multiple schooling curriculum/ boards? Any thoughts on vernacular language support – technology makes many things feasible! Lastly, what kind of a budget you have and how flexible is it?
Questions to ask before hiring online tutor

Once you’ve thought through and safely documented (to your comfort, of course!) the above points, you’ve put yourself in a much better position to select the ‘most suitable’ online tutor.

Q1. Can you provide your relevant credentials for my topic of interest?

Credentials can help whittle down the list of potential options, if there are too many

Well, credentials to teach don’t stop with only academic achievements. In fact, there are many instances of well qualified tutors coming to a naught in the face of demanding or difficult to manage students. Past experience of providing tuition similar to what you expect is a key factor. For instance, has the tutor trained students for Olympiads and what’s his/her success rate? For the globetrotting parent, how many boards/ curriculum types are supported by this tutor/ tutor platform? And yes, for how many years has the tutor been teaching the topic of interest? Are there any unique and helpful certifications of relevance?

Q2. How will you help me realize my objectives? What approaches will you adopt?

Your child’s learning and development is important to you. The promise of online tutoring lies in the customized learning program for the child. It is absolutely imperative, that you have the opportunity to ask questions on the method and approach being followed and assess for yourself whether it would suit your objectives. In fact, any lack of keenness from tutor to discuss on these critical queries is a red flag in itself. It should, simply put, eliminate one option from your list.    

Q3. Can you please provide references?

Customer references are often useful, providing some ‘aha’ moments  

One more advantage of online tutors or marketplaces is often the amount of readily available online reviews. They are useful, particularly, when there is a good number of genuine reviewers that can provide a rough aggregated view of what the experience is likely to be. But beyond that, it is useful to ask for references of past or present students of the tutor. Talking to a couple of such references can, possibly, give a fresh angle to the tutor’s capabilities.    

Q4. Can we try it out for a few days / weeks?  

A meaningful trial period (even if fully or partially paid) can get us to the ‘proof of the pudding’

The trial period can be very useful prior to committing to a multi-month schedule. Importantly, the fitment of the tutor and the course, to the larger objectives, you’ve set for your child’s development can be assessed. Yes, don’t forget to make use of any promotions or special deals the tutor may provide.  

At Concept Tutors, we believe, each child is unique. We are extremely committed to addressing your areas of concern, as far child’s education goes. We take all efforts to understand the strengths & weaknesses of your child and allocate tutors, who can customize their teaching style and deliver concepts in a way, easily understandable by your child. Our expert tutors are well-trained to assess the subject knowledge needs and learning capabilities of your child, to make learning very effective, at all times.

Good luck on your hunt for the perfect online tutor!

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