7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tutor

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tutor

There are several important things to go over before hiring a tutor.

By Judy Koutsky

Tutoring is an unregulated industry, so anyone can post an ad online and advertise his or her services. From high school students to college kids to professional adults, tutors have a range of expertise. So while there are many options for hiring a tutor, you should ask potential tutors a series of questions to see if they’re a good fit for your child.

1. Are you a certified teacher ? If they say no, it's not a deal breaker, but hiring a certified teacher has a number of benefits. They have extensive knowledge of subjects taught in school, and they have in-depth experience working with kids. Plus, not everyone has the demeanor to work with elementary students or teenagers. Also, hiring a certified teacher means you won't have to worry about doing a background check. “The government has already done this as a result of the teacher earning a license,” says Brian Stewart, president of BWS Education Consulting and author of the new Barron's ACT Guide.

2. How well do you know the material ? Obviously you want to pick someone who has in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. If you’re looking for a math coach, and someone with a master’s degree in English applies, it might not be a good fit. In the same way, you don’t want someone too far removed from the subject. “A graduate student in mathematics may have trouble relating to a student struggling with algebra,” says Stewart. You want to make sure the tutor is knowledgeable enough but can also get down to the level of your child.

3. How often do you check your phone while tutoring? The correct answer would be not at all. If you’re paying someone to teach your child, that should be his top priority. Even if your child is busy doing homework and your tutor has to wait until he’s done to look it over, this time should not be spent texting, checking social media, or talking on the phone. Every now and then, in an important situation, he can check his phone, but this should be rare.

What results are you hoping to achieve? You want the tutor to give realistic expectations. If your child is really struggling -- and barely passing -- promising an A might be a bit much. You want someone to set realistic goals for both himself and your child.

More from P&G everyday: 5 Signs Your Child Needs a Tutor

5. Can you give an example of the types of kids you’re most comfortable working with? Some tutors are more comfortable working with gifted and talented students (the tutor’s job may be to prep them for the SATs), while other tutors may have a skill set that works better in relating to students with special learning needs. You want to hire someone who will be able to meet the unique needs of your child, says Stewart.

6. Can you provide references? Generally, when it comes to tutors, word-of-mouth referrals are best, but if that’s not possible, ask the perspective tutor for at least three references and make sure to call all three.

7. Can we do a trial period? Before you commit to a certain numbers of hours and days, you should make sure it’s a good fit. Agree to a trial period, perhaps two to three weeks, paid of course, that will allow you to figure that out.


Become a member of P&G everyday and get exclusive offers!

Become a member

Have you ever hired a tutor for your child?

Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

Image ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

More articles you may like:

Elementary School Teachers Share the Funniest Things Kids Have Said in Class

6 Pesky Homework Distractions That Have to Go

The School-Year ‘Bucket List’ and 20 Starter Ideas for Kids

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.




If you are planning to hire a physical or an online tutor you need to confirm few things like how well he/she knows the material of a subject or whether he/she is a certified tutor. As a tutor on www.solutioninn.com I know most of the online tutoring websites confirm everything like their degree, Qualification, skills before registering a tutor.

  • Report it