The Stutors


Due Diligence: Two Questions Every Parent Should Ask

A poor or mediocre tutor will hinder, or even impede, a student’s progress. An exceptional tutor can turn a students educational experience around and set her on a completely different trajectory. Parents need to find tutors who are not just smart and well meaning, but people who know how to teach. Asking these basic questions is the first step:

1) Do you hire your tutors as employees, or are they just independent contractors?

Many companies have nice websites and promising programs, but when you enroll they will just send you someone from a list of independent contractors - someone who they may not have even met in person. Companies like using independent contractors because it's cheap: they don't take responsibility for any taxes and insurance and they don't pay their tutors for any preparation time. But by law, companies that hire independent contractors can't control how their contractors work. There's no training and no teaching tools. So regardless of what been promised, these companies do not have the proper structure in place to provide quality teaching. They are just match-making services, not educational institutions.

2) Do you have a Learning Center with teaching tools for your instructors?

Whether you plan to go to a learning center or get in-home tutoring, it is important to work with an company that vets and trains its instructors, and supports them with teaching tools and resources. One must ask:

  • If a company doesn't have a learning center, where do they vet and train their tutors? Do they really vet and train their tutors?

  • How do tutors prepare for lessons if they don't have access to books and materials? Do they actually prepare for lessons?

Working with an online-only company is a good way to buy a cheap shoe, but it is not the best way to get a quality education. Asking questions will help you assess the strength of the program.

Our answers: Yes and Yes

YES. We hire, train, and support all of our instructors as employees within our company. Each instructor is carefully vetted for content-knowledge and teaching skill. And instructors always have paid preparation time to plan curricula, prepare for lessons, and share assessments and recommendations with parents. This allows us to attract people who really care about teaching and learning, and enables all of us to do our best work.

YES. The Stutors Learning Center is a place for tutors, students, parents, and and the program manager to meet and work. We keep a library of textbooks utilized by local public and private schools, as well as hundreds of good reference and enrichment materials we’ve found over the years. Regardless of where the teaching takes place, our instructors are constantly dropping in to prepare for lessons and find enrichment materials. It is expensive to keep a learning center, but we believe that every professional needs good tools - especially educators.

We do these things (and a lot more!) to ensure that our students are always working with skilled instructors who have all of the tools, time, and support they need to teach solid lessons. We are a good fit for families who make education a priority and share this appreciation for quality teaching and learning.

© 2004-2013 The Stutors. The Stutors is not affiliated with Stanford University.