How to Avoid Bad Tutors, or At Least Know What You’re Getting

Before my schedule started filling so far in advance, about 25% of my students came to me after other tutors failed them. I still work with two or three families a year who’ve had a nightmarish experience with another tutor. Sometimes, the situation was merely a case of an unfortunate mismatch between tutor and student. Usually, though, it was because ...
A student is trying to grasp a laptop computer filled with SAT Prep info that's just out of reach.

The External Hard Drive

How do you avoid stumbling into the hand-holding External Hard Drive? These starter questions provide some guidance: How do you help students retain concepts so that they don’t forget them on test day? How do you approach problem-solving strategies? Can you describe the difference between the first and last session before an ACT or SAT? How about preparations for a …

A Parrot reads from an "E-Z ACT" prep book to an increasingly annoyed student.

The Parrot

How do you avoid the read-aloud-pro Parrot? Here are some questions for finding the plumage of The Parrot: What books or study materials do you use? Did you work for [Company X] if you’re using [Company X’s] materials? Why did you choose these particular study guides or practice materials? Will my student be using any official practice tests? Few tutors …

The Drill Sergeant

How do you avoid stumbling into the confidence-shattering Drill Sergeant? These starter questions provide some guidance: What do you typically do in a session? Is there homework between sessions? If so, is it just fully-timed practice tests or other work? Do you provide handouts or other resources for commonly-asked math or grammar questions? Do students study sections of the ACT ...