The Best Tutors in the Business

iStock_000012428708Large blur 50Great tutors not only teach the content that they were hired for, but also form strong connections with their students, consistently work to improve and educate themselves, actively seek out feedback and data that can inform their instruction, and make sure that they are communicating with the student’s parents and teachers.  Tutoring is a multi-faceted job that not everyone can be successful with.  It requires great compassion, flexibility, aptitude, and the ability to react to the unexpected.

Great tutors have a combination of talent and experience.  They are few and far between, and can take a lot of searching to find.  It is our goal to only hire the best, because we believe that is what our students deserve.

In this blog, I’ve addressed some of the common questions that I get about how we select our tutoring staff.  We are always striving to hire the very best.

1.      How Do You Hire Tutors?

One thing that truly sets us apart from other tutoring companies in the area is our level of selectiveness for hiring.  We hire less than five percent of all applicants and there are several different tiers to our hiring process in order to ensure that we are building a team of the very best tutors in the area.

Our staff first hand picks applications that fit all of our criteria on their resume.  The criteria include an absolute minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and previous teaching or extensive tutoring experience.  We require that that applicants not only provide a resume and cover letter, but answer several questions that demonstrate their level of skill and teaching philosophy in order to ensure that they are a match for us.

Once our candidates have been carefully selected, they are required to go through a rigorous interviewing process that includes a phone consultation, a face-to-face interview, testing in any content areas they may be tutoring, and a mock lesson.  We don’t make exceptions based on our current needs and always put our students first when making hiring decisions.

2.      How Do You Match Your Tutors?

When we match our tutors, we aren’t just looking for a “warm body,” who knows the content we are teaching.  We work diligently to gather a variety of information on every student that we place.  This information includes not only the areas that the student is struggling in, but any information they have about testing they’ve had, grades, classes they are taking, extracurricular activities that they’re involved with, and what kind of teaching style/personality types they work best with.  What truly sets us apart is the intensity with which we work to match our students with the best possible tutor.

The relationship between the tutor and student hugely determines how successful sessions will be.  Before any progress can be made, the right student-tutor fit must be in place.  It is because of this that we consider the whole student when making a placement, right down to personality traits they work best with.

3.      How Do You Make Sure You Have the Best Match Possible?

The vast majority of our clients are satisfied with the first tutor that we match with their children.  We strive to get it right the first time by asking questions that will allow us to best understand the student as an individual, and working as a team to hand-select a tutor who we feel will be the best fit.

However, we don’t just leave it at that.  We have our tutors log session notes after every meeting, which we then review and forward to parents in order to maintain open channels of communication.  If we ever see any issues, we address them with both the parent and the tutor in real time so that sessions can continue to move forward productively.

We also regularly check in with parents to make sure that we are maintaining open communication and receiving honest feedback that will educate us on our decisions and allow for us to address any concerns that may arise.  We let the tutors know when they are doing well as well as what they could improve so that they know what works.

In the rare case that our clients feel as though the match isn’t going to work, we always make sure that we prioritize getting a  new tutor in place above all else, and also try to understand the reasons that it didn’t work so that we can constantly improve our processes.

4.      How Do Your Tutors Plan Lessons?

At EC, we always make sure that we hire strong professionals who can make their own decisions regarding what is best for their students.  We do this because we believe that customization and differentiation for every learner is the key to success.

As opposed to handing our tutors a pre-packaged, prescribed curriculum, we instead empower them to make their own decisions by taking a holistic approach with each student—talking to their parents and teachers, reading any reports that they have available, talking with the student, and making adjustments along the way.

We provide tutors with trainings with the intent that they will add the strategies they learn to their “toolkit,” and allow them to exchange ideas and resources with other professionals.  Our trainings are mostly tutor-centered and require that they actively contribute to the session.  Many tutors bring questions that they have about individual students to these sessions so that they can get different perspectives on how to creatively help their students tackle any challenges they may be having.

It is for these reasons that we believe our tutors are the best.  We are constantly striving to improve how we hire, match, and support our tutors, and we are always student-centered in our decision making.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to comment on this post and we will respond!