So. You’ve decided that your teen has struggled long enough with their school writing, and you’ve decided to hire a tutor to help them. Now, where to find one?
A Google search can be overwhelming. When I searched “high school writing tutor” and the name of my city, I got millions of returns. Companies. Individuals. Individuals working for companies. Kijiji ads. Enough to make me put off the search for a day. And another day after that.
There are less time consuming ways to find a writing tutor. Here are a few that the parents of students I work with have suggested:
1) The student services office at their teen’s school
Many student services offices maintain a list of tutors. You may not get a recommendation from the student services office, because they may not know these tutors personally. Also, schools may not have vetted these tutors for their suitability or asked to see a security clearance. But it’s a place to start.
2. Recommendations from teachers
Ask one of your teen’s teachers if they can recommend a reliable tutor. They may have colleagues who are supply teaching, teaching part time, or are recently retired and want to work with students one to one.
3. Recommendations from other parents
Parents of your teen’s friends might be able to help you out. If you’re considering using the services of a tutoring company such as Kumon or Oxford, check out online comment boards to see what other parents are saying.
4. Preservice teaching programs at universities
Sometimes professors are willing to recommend promising student teachers. You could also place an ad in an online university notice board.
5. Post an inquiry on your neighborhood Facebook page or in an app like NextDoor.
I’ve seen occasional online ads from parents asking for the names of tutors. Often, they get several responses.
6. Broaden your search to include writing coaches
A writing coach often has a background as a professional writer, as well as teaching experience. They may bring “real world” writing knowledge and experience to the interaction with your teen, which could be a refreshing change.
Of course, once you have a few names of potential tutors, you’re going to need to vet them for their suitability to work with your teen. Watch for my next post on ten questions to ask a tutor before you hire them.