The situation for mathematics in Canada has not been delightful for the past decade. In 2019 right before the pandemic, The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) stated that over half of Grade 6 students of Ontario are failing to pass a basic math test. One can not logically expect for the situation to have improved over the past couple of years with virtual learning and studying behind laptops and mobile devices. Instead, what has become apparent is that the performance of pretty much all students has declined even further.
Private tutors were already an integral part of learning for most Canadian students before the pandemic so it only makes sense for their roles to have become more paramount during these hard times. If you are still unsure about why you need to hire a private math tutor for your child, go ahead and read “7 Reasons Why You Need to Hire A Private Math Tutor For Your Child” here or, if you are hesitant as for whether your child actually needs a private tutor read our article “When Does My Child Need a Private Math Tutor?” here.
In this article we are assuming that you have already made the right decision and want to take the next right step towards hiring a rivate math tutor for your child.
It is not an easy task and there are several factors you need to consider before making the move and in this article we are going to help you with your decision.
Now let’s get to it!
Step 1: DO NOT ASK THE SCHOOL
It is sometimes good to know what you shouldn’t do before learning about what you should. Well asking the school sounds like an excellent idea does it not? After all they are into the teaching business and have been doing this for years. Principal Adams seems like a kind-hearted man. As reasonable as this sounds like, it is not a good idea and I have good reasons for my claim.
First of all, if your child is underperforming in school, chances are he hates all the staff wholeheartedly, even the janitors. Now is the school going to suggest a tutor other than the teacher who is already your child’s teacher in class? Probably not. So by hiring the same teacher you are not only inviting your beloved child’s nemesis into his safety zone, but also paying them too! The truth is that hiring the same teacher a child has as their tutor often backfires as the student tends to cooperate even less with them. It will also create more tension for your child. My second reason is what we spoke of in the article “7 Reasons Why You Need to Hire A Private Math Tutor For Your Child” under “#2 The Approach Matters!” where I fully discussed what teaching approach means and why it is such an important thing to consider. Tell me if I’m wrong but your child would have learnt in the class if his teacher’s approach was working for him. Thus hiring the same teacher means applying the same approach for your child which is simply proven to not work!
Step 2: Determine Your Goals
This one may sound a little absurd at first glance but it really isn’t. Determining why exactly your child needs a tutor is very important as hiring the person for the job will not only put your money to waste, but also makes it harder for your child to mentally agree to study with another tutor since the negatieve experience can and will establish the wrong mindset in the subconscious. You must answer the following questions before heading out to the next steps. First of all, “Why does my child need a tutor?”. This must be the first thing that you are considering before going on the quest of finding a private math tutor. There may be several different reasons why. Is my child generally struggling with mathematics and needs someone to be able to teach them the entire topic from scratch? Does he need help with his revision for the exams? Are you thinking of hiring a private math tutor because your child seems to be gifted and outperforming others so you want to provide more challenges for him? Is it his foundation from grades that seem to have become problematic? Or does your child simply need a tutor to help them with their homework? Answering the above questions will create a certain awareness for the parents, directing them towards choosing the right math tutor for their children. Once you have figured out your goal, it is now time to move on to step 3.
Step 3: Determine Your Child’s Weakness (If You Can)
If your child is in elementary school, this part may not be so relevant but if you are hunting for a highschool private math tutor keep reading. In Ontario, from Grade 9 onwards the spectrum of the topics the students learn starts to expand to more sophisticated and complex areas such as trigonometry, probability, parabolas, functions, integrals, limits, multidimensional vectors and so on. Knowing where it is exactly that your child needs help is going to help you find a tutor that best suits his needs and helps the tutor to plan for their future sessions more effectively. This is going to play a key role in the next steps as well. You can easily find out where your child is falling behind either by regularly checking out his class tests and quizzes or his homeworks. You can also ask his teacher for their opinion on the matter. Asking the child himself can also be a very good idea. Take note that sometimes it is the general concept of mathematics and numbers that a student is struggling with rather than a specific topic. In such cases a tutor whose abilities and expertise revolve around general math would be a good start.
Step 4: Check Out The Qualifications of The Tutors You Are Opting For
If you are going to put the future of your child in the hands of a private tutor, it better be a well qualified one. Make sure you ask the candidates for their degrees and qualifications before making your choice. One of the traps many parents fall in is choosing an under-qualified tutor for their elementary children thinking “how hard could Grade 4 mathematics be? Let’s ask Timmy’s high school chemistry tutor (Timmy is the older brother) to take the job.” This is often discouraged as every individual subject requires a tutor that is not only fluent in it, but also has some sort of experience in working with that age group. For hiring a private math tutor we encourage at least one degree in higher education in Mathematics, Applied Mathematic, most fields of Engineering, MBA, Management, Physics, Applied Physics, Statistics and Computer Science.
Step 4: Check Out Their Experience
Looking at the experience of your tutor is another crucial factor before making any decisions. Now this is obviously one of the most important parts of choosing a tutor and I will tell you why. We have previously discussed the reasons why your child may need a tutor or why you may think your child needs a tutor. We established that you are out there looking for a tutor either because your child is underperforming, is gifted or needs revision for some exam or mathematics competition. For whatever reason you are thinking of hiring a private math tutor, chances are that you would not want to leave your child with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. After all, if your child is an underperformer their teacher would have been sufficient to pull their grades up and if they’re not. On the other hand, if your child is gifted or performs well beyond the average and you wish to provide more challenges for him in the field of mathematics, again there is no point in hiring a teacher that doesn’t know what they are doing. Now that we are standing on a firm level of understanding as to why the experience of a tutor is important, the question is how are we going to assess it. One way is obviously to ask them and see what they say about themselves but the problem with this method is that people tend to keep their weaknesses to themselves and only talk about their strengths highlighting their positive aspects and achievements. Hence asking for a well written resume in which they have stated all their qualifications and past experiences is paramount. With the rising demand in the market of private math tutoring, it is not surprising that many young people with very little to no experience are getting more eager to find their way inside the market and make the buck, thus another important thing you should do is trying to verify how true the acclaimed experiences actually are when assessing such resume. Ask them to provide email addresses or phone numbers for any of the experience they provide or at least for those they can so you can make a call or write an email and make sure that the experience presented to you is valid and legitimate. You can also use word of mouth; if the tutor you’re hiring has been tutoring other people you know, you can ask them about his performance and the results. This in turn will help you to make a better decision and take another right step towards the right direction in hiring a private math tutor.
Step 5: Do Your Cost Research & Set Your Budget
While the number of private math tutors is growing in Ontario, a good one may cost more than what you may be expecting. As the demand for such services increase day by day, especially during the pandemic when education has been most hindered, many tutors tend to offer very irrational prices. Most of such cases take advantage of the fact that parents are desperate for help and also clueless about how much private tuition generally costs. There are several ways to estimate how much you are looking. The first and most common way is to ask other parents to see how much they are paying. This is often a good way as such chattings often also unveil the experience they have had along with other useful information. Another common way is going online and checking the prices within your city and province or provinces where the standards of living are very close or identical to those of yours. You can also contact the candidates you have already short-listed and ask them about their pricing and payment methods. This way you will get a rough idea of how much is the actual cost or how much you can bargain.
Step 6: Short List Your Candidates
This is the last step before actually making your final decision. One thing you need to remember is that you should not be compromising during any of the previous 5 steps. Every step must be taken with maximum care and diligence to ensure the most ideal results. After all it is the present and the future of your child that’s at risk here. Once you have taken all the above steps, create a table with the first column having the names of all your candidates. Then add your following columns as follows; qualifications, years of experience, area of experience and price. Also, add a last column for a checkbox so you can easily revisit your list and identify your ideal candidates. Once you are done going through your list and have completed extracting your short list, you can go ahead and contact each individual candidate and make your final decision.
A Few Sidenotes Before Making Your Final Decision
Tutors with higher qualifications and more suitable teaching experience are often more expensive and quite difficult to find. Their schedules are often very busy, especially near the exams, and may also not be as flexible as other less experienced tutors as they have more students to attend to. One thing that is worth mentioning is that such individuals are not always in their 40s or 50s. Experience has shown that there are many well experienced and sometimes more qualified tutors out there who are under the age of 30. So while looking at the resumes of your candidates, age should not be a deciding factor. Another key factor that you need to add into your equation is the fact that in what grades does your candidate have the most experience of teaching. In other words does he have a suitable amount of experience in teaching the grade you are hiring them for? For example, if your child is in Grade 9, hiring a private math tutor that has had many years of experience in teaching Grades 6 or 7 will not be as efficient as hiring someone with less experience who has taught in Grade 9.
What We Offer!
After going through this article, you may have started to get a feeling that maybe, hiring a private math tutor is such a taxing task. Well you are actually right! Finding a suitable private math tutor is not as simple as we explained in this article. It requires connections, experience and research. In Geniusmath, we have gathered a group of professional math tutors to help your child achieve their goals in time while keeping the cost marginal. We take care of all the bumps of the road and recommend the most suitable tutors for your child through our free assessment system.
Click on the “Free Consultation Button” now to get a headstart and skip all the headaches of hiring a private math tutor.