How to Find the Perfect Tutor

The summer vacation months are when many parents decide to hire tutors. Some want to refresh their child’s learning skills when they are out of school. Others hire them because their son or daughter needs help in a particular subject or complete remedial assistance. Regardless of the reason, a good tutor is worth his or her weight in gold. How do you find the one who will fit your child’s unique needs, though?


Cooperate With Teachers.

A man and a woman greet each other by shaking their hands.
A man and a woman greet each other by shaking their hands. Illustration by Mario Maia.


 Children are as different as fingerprints. When you find out that your child’s academic performance is not as good as expected, you should cooperate with academic counselors and faculty to

make a plan. Many people are quick to assume that if a student is failing then, he or she must have an incompetent teacher. This is a mistake. Teachers and staff want to see students succeed just as much as their caretakers do.


Money And Experience Matters.


The female is opening up her purse/valet.
The female is opening up her purse/valet. Illustration by Mario Maia.

Your budget is an important factor. Just don’t let it be the only one. According to, you should ask about a tutor’s cancellation policies and if you can pay in installments. Many people will be happy to work with you.

Another considerable factor is the tutor’s academic background. Sometimes a pupil is simply struggling in one subject like English, so finding an older tutor with a degree in the subject can be helpful. Regan Joswiak, 27, a Graduate Peer Tutor, concurs.

“Their experience should definitely be taken into account. I’m a writing tutor, but the university I work for has people with diverse backgrounds. Some specialize in one subject like math,” Joswiak says.


Personalize Learning Goals.


Focus. Work with counselors, faculty, and the tutor to come up with a customized plan for the student. For instance, a learning center might be the best environment for them if they need a specific curriculum.

Take their learning style into account as well. Are they visual or auditory learners? Do they learn better from people of a specific age or gender? Do they need someone who is gentle and encouraging or someone who is not afraid to give them a firm push in the right direction?


Tutors Are Different From Teachers.


A male instructor or tutor is standing in front of a chalkboard.
A male instructor or tutor is standing in front of a chalkboard. Illustration by Mario Maia.


Joswiak notes that caretakers and students should know their goals first.

“People tend to think of tutors as mini-instructors, but we’re really more like guides. In terms of how this works, we’re trying to figure out what you want to do,” she says.

Think of a good tutor as a car. They can get you where you need to be, but you must know the directions to the destination.


Consider Location and Safety.


Where is the best place for a child to learn? Should you get an individual to teach in your home? Would a public place like a library be better? Will a learning center’s environment motivate them the most? Safety should be considered no matter how old the child is. For instance, if you choose to have someone come to your home, it might be safer to meet in a public place like a coffee shop for at least the first session. You can do a safety and experience assessment this way.

Miss Joswiak tutors at the University of Houston Downtown Reading and Writing Center. She currently resides in Texas.


Originally published on the Zealousness blog in 2017. Revised and updated in 2022. Read more personal development related articles on Zealousness blog Personal Development – iN Education Inc. (



  1. “Four Steps to Finding an Excellent Tutor for Your Child.” 2013. Reading Rockets. April 24, 2013.



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