I didn't realize how much I relied on this website until it went down! Sorry for the inconvenience everyone. But we're back now!
Dole Academy is thrilled to announce that we're now offering Tutoring On-Demand. Our main methods of delivery continue to be in-person and online, however we recognize that sometimes you can't find time for tutoring in your busy schedules and just want to study alone. But who has the resources to know what to study? Even if you knew the topics to study, where are you going to get the material? Ask Dole Academy for help!
Dole Academy will work with you individually to determine exactly what you want to accomplish. After gathering the needed information from you, we'll help you define your topics and we'll prepare your materials. What could be simpler?
Ask Dole Academy about Tutoring On-Demand pricing!
You've found the perfect tutor! Did you ever think this day would come?
While it's impossible to prepare for every possibility, there's much you can do to prevent misunderstandings in the future. Before that first lesson and before you say, "You're Hired" take the time to talk about a few things. You'll be glad you did.
Of course you'll want to talk about the location, time, and frequency of the lessons. But here are a few very important topics that often get overlooked.
Rate: Yes, the tutor probably has a listed rate (and if not, you might be able to negotiate the rate). Be sure to ask about discounts. Many tutors will offer discounts for things such as: Military, pre-payment, lessons scheduled during off-peak hours, and multiple hours at once. Even if the discounts aren't advertised, it can't hurt to ask!
Cancellation Policy: What happens if you need to cancel a scheduled lesson? How much advance notice is required? If you are charged for a lesson, can that charge be applied to future lessons? What happens if the tutor cancels a scheduled lesson? Does the tutor respond with a free lesson?
Payment Policy: What methods of payment are accepted? You might be surprised. More tutors are now accepting methods of payment besides cash. Some even offer PayPal. If checks are accepted, what is the policy if a check bounces? When is payment accepted? Most tutors expect to be paid at the time of the lesson. However, if you schedule frequent lessons, you might be able to arrange to make payments less often. I have many students that pay once weekly.
You've narrowed your field of prospective tutors down to just two or three. It's time to meet! A meeting will give you information about the tutor that can't be determined from e-mails alone. Plan to meet in a public location for safety.
Things to look for:
Your tutor should dress professionally. You want a tutor that takes this job seriously and promotes themselves as a professional.
Your tutor should be friendly as well as professional. You don't want someone who shows no personality. The learner will respond better to someone who is friendly and caring. On the other hand, you don't want someone so friendly and relaxed they are like another child. The tutor needs to demonstrate an ability to take charge when needed.
Your tutor needs to ask questions. Is the tutor curious about the learner? Does the tutor want information about the learner's needs before beginning lessons? Questions asked by the tutor will demonstrate how interested the tutor is in being prepared to teach and tutor and how well the tutor knows what information would be needed (would demonstrate application of experience and education).
On-the-spot responses. While it's great that the tutor can answer questions in an e-mail, can this tutor answer questions on-the-go? A good tutor needs to be able to immediately respond appropriately during lessons. Tutoring happens now! Not tonight, after the tutor e-mails you.
Join us tomorrow as we conclude the series Choosing A Tutor...Decisions, Decisions! when we talk about Hiring Your New Tutor.
Armed with some solid information, it's time to start contacting tutors. WyzAnt and Craigslist both allow you to place your own ads looking for tutors as well as respond to individual tutors. WyzAnt specializes in tutors that will meet you. Some will come to your home, others work out of a library.
When you write your ad, include all specific information. Give the age/grade level of the learner, the subject(s) in which you need tutoring, and details regarding your needs. The details should include information about overall learning (such as is the learner doing well in all other areas and just struggling in this/these area(s) or does the learner struggle in all areas), how long the learner has been struggling (the learner has been doing well until this year, the learner has been struggling for a number of years), the degree of difficulty (the learner is able to keep up grades but spends four hours every night doing homework, the learner does hours of homework but can't pass any test, the learner can't understand any of the in-class work), the learner's general attitutde toward school, and any other specific information (the learner has been diagnosed with ADHD). The more information you give at the beginning, the more information you should expect in your first dialogue with the tutor and the more time you'll be able to cut-out of your search.
A response from a prospective tutor should address everything you included in your first ad or e-mail. Look for those tutors that took the time to fully read about your needs and tell you what they would do. Narrow your list down to the top two or three. These would be the tutors that responded appropriately, you felt a connection with, have teaching techniques that match the learner's style of learning, are prompt with their responses, are friendly, and match as closely as possible the list you created before you began. Ask the tutors to meet with you (do not choose a tutor based solely on e-mails!)
Our next installment of this series will help you through the interviews with tutors. Join us tomorrow for Choosing a Tutor...Decision, Decisions! Part Four - Interviewing Prospective Tutors.
Now that you've made some important decisions about your tutor, it's time to do a little research. The first question is: Where should I look? You actually have a lot of options. Just like when you go shopping for a new car, you shouldn't limit your options just to what's available in one location. Instead, you can begin your search by talking with your child's teacher. They may be able to give you suggestions for a good tutor in your area. If not, they may be able to give you some ideas of places to look and things to look for.
Craigslist is a great resource (http://stlouis.craigslist.org/ for the St. Louis area. (For those of you outside the St. Louis Metro area, there are links on this page to take you to the listings for your city and state.) Of course, the downside to using Craigslist is that everyone can hide behind anonymity. However, you will be interviewing your prospective tutors before you hire them, so that doesn't have to be a problem. Another great source is WyzAnt.com. WyzAnt is a well-respected directory of tutors. There are tens of thousands of tutors listed. A tutor's profile can include information about the tutor's experience and education, as well as a picture of the tutor and a description of what they do. You will see the rate the tutor charges, the subjects offered, and their location. You can check out my WyzAnt profile at http://www.wyzant.com/Tutors/B_D_Tutoring. There are many other, less well-used used directories of tutors. Some of these are https://www.uniiverse.com/, https://www.care.com, https://www.sittercity.com, https://apps.facebook.com/youandischool/, and http://www.geektutors.com/ to name a few. If you decide to go with a chain, some of the more popular and larger chains in the St. Louis area include: TutorDoctor, Sylan Learning Center, Kumon Center, and Mathnasium. There are many smaller companies available.
Now that you have a few places to look, should you jump in and start contacting tutors? NO! Before even speaking to one tutor, you need to see what's available. After seeing what your options are, you need to do a little comparison shopping. What's the going rate for tutors in your area? What's the difference in rates between those that are certified teachers and those that aren't? Between tutors with degrees and those without? Between private tutors and companies? See if you can find tutors that do most of the things you listed yesterday. Will you be able to find what you're looking for? How much should you expect to pay? If you can't find tutors that are offering what you want, are all the things on your list non-negotiable? Are you willing to accept less than you originally planned? If you do find tutors that offer what you want in your area, you're ready to start talking!
Join us tomorrow when we talk about what you should expect when you talk with and meet your prospective tutors.
With the choices among tutors seemingly endless, the task of choosing the right one may seem overwhelming. However, there are several things you can do to help make your decision a little easier and help you choose the RIGHT tutor for you.
One of the most important parts of the tutor search is done before you even start looking. Before you begin looking for tutors, you need to spend time considering exactly what you want. Determine your goals. Specifically, what do you want the tutor to accomplish? Common goals include homework completion, raise grades at school, shorten the homework time, and teach a skill. Of course there are many other possibilities. If you have multiple goals, be sure to identify them. The answer to this question will help determine the answer to the other questions you need to ask. Other questions to ask yourself: Will you provide the material or do you want the tutor to provide the material? Do you want private lessons or group lessons? In-person or online? Will you go to the tutor or do you want the tutor to come to you? Do you want a tutor that is just available when scheduled, or will you want additional access? If the tutor comes to you, where do you want to meet? Do you want a private tutor or a chain?
You may be thinking all this is unnecessary. All you want is some help. Consider the employer who needs some help at the office. Would they send out a general request for help, or would they write a complete job description? You are the employer. You need to know exactly what you want. Any warm body shouldn't be good enough to provide your (or your child's) supplemental education.
That's a lot to think about! But, once you have definite answer to these questions, you're still not quite ready to look for your tutor. Now that you have this information, it's time to start your research. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at some of the research you should do to prepare yourself to talk with tutors.
In the past, we've taught SAT preparation. However, I didn't feel we were as successful as we could be so that option was removed. I see a great need for preparation assistance for standardized testing. Therefore, I am actively working to prepare Dole Academy to be able to successfully help prepare students for the GED, SAT, and ACT. Look for us to add GED, SAT, and ACT prep to the Compas test prep very soon!
A current student is learning computer basics. Although the topic is somewhat simple, my biggest task has actually been in gearing my instruction to him. He is not able to hear any thing and has difficulty seeing well.
I've been having a lot of fun using different Windows7 tools to make computer use easier for him. He's learned to use the magnifier and how to change the color and size of the mouse pointer.
Dole Academy is now offering assistance with preparing for the Compass test. The Compass test is the placement test given at area community colleges. Two main areas tested are reading and math.
Don't walk into your Compass test confused! Call Dole Academy today to find out how we can help you get ready.
Stay tuned for more additions!