Sometimes during the education of our children they will need a tutor. I would say that math is the subject where students end up needing a tutor the most. As such you as a parent want to know how to go about finding a great math tutor if the need arises. Let me say up front that math tutoring can be expensive so it’s an investment that you should make with serious consideration- you the parent will know what’s best for your child.
Ok with that said let’s talk about a few ways to find qualified and effective math tutors.
Local Middle and High Schools
This is first place I would look to find a great math tutor for my child. Teachers in middle and high schools teach math for a profession and assuming they are “good” teachers they can quickly diagnosis and help your child. When I was teaching in both middle and high schools I used to get tutoring requests from parents almost every day- it was a nice little side business! I was able to tutor a child let’s say in algebra 1 so well because I worked day and night teaching the course- I was a total expert on the subject. All you need to do is call a school and ask for the head math teacher or math department. Tell them you are looking for a tutor and I can assure you they can help. One thing about professional math teachers as tutors- they are the most expensive but often time the best tutors in town.
Another good place to find math tutors is at the local colleges. Just call the college and ask for the math department explain your request and see what happens. Now don’t expect a PhD professor to come to your house to tutor expect a recommended college student. Although these students are not professional math tutors they can be very effective for your child and a more affordable option than a middle/high school teacher.
Friends and Family
Another great place to find a tutor is to ask your friends and family if they know anyone. You never know one of your friends may know a great retired math teacher that is affordable and effective. Also you may know a someone that has an excellent math background like an engineer that could help your child. Once in a while you could even discover top notch high school students (11th and 12th grade) that can be very good at tutoring. The best benefit is you won’t have to spend as much as a professional teacher and could afford more hours of tutoring.
I have mixed feelings about learning centers. I think they are more effective for younger children and not so good for high school level kids. Of course some of you may have used learning centers like Sylvan and had great results and may feel differently than I do. The thing about learning centers is it’s a lot of work for what you get. In most cases if you pay for 1 hour of tutoring at a learning center for your child getting maybe 20 min of direct one on one attention because of their learning format. Most learning centers don’t provide a math teacher to work with your child one on one for 60 min. Rather the setup is like 3 students to one teacher for the hour and the teacher rotates. Also learning centers are expensive and for what you spend in gas and fees I would rather hire a local math teacher to come to my house for 1 hour.
Math tutoring can be that one thing that gets your child through their math education. But like everything there are always considerations so you should take this article as general guidelines and do your own research before hiring a math tutor. I will say that if after two sessions your child is not responding to a tutor it’s time to move on- find another tutor quick! Remember if you’re going to make the financial investment the results from tutoring must be positive so be wise and select tutors very carefully.