8 Signs it’s Time to Switch Tutors

Not every relationship is forever, and that includes tutors. Each tutor has their own style, and that style might be a bad match for your child. Have patience, however. It can take some time before a student starts showing improvement, especially if their foundations are poor, they struggle with test anxiety, or they’re unhappy about being tutored. That said, sometimes the tutor is the problem. If so, it’s better to make a switch than push through. Here are 8 signs it’s time to move on.

1. Poor communication
Your tutor should give you feedback on what issues your child is facing, how they’re going to solve them, and their plan from now until test day. If a tutor doesn’t regularly give you this feedback, it’s a bad sign. After a warning, it’s grounds for dismissal.

2. Continually rescheduling
onsistency is important in learning. Everyone has to reschedule once in a while. But if it’s continual, there’s a problem. Why are their plans always changing last minute? Why are you the ones that have to rearrange your schedule? A tutor should never make you or your child feel unimportant, and constant rescheduling does that.

3. Inflexibility
A tutor needs to adapt if their method isn’t working. If you’re not seeing an improvement after six weeks, and your child says the tutor’s style doesn’t work for them, make a change.

4. Not scheduling mock exams
For standardized test prep, every student should take at least two mock exams outside the home, if possible. There’s a big difference between working at your own pace at home and taking a timed exam in an actual test setting. If a tutor doesn’t have the space to give a mock exam, they need to find a one for your child through another company. Not doing so sends your child into their exam unprepared.

5. Creating anxiety
Students learn better when they’re relaxed and confident. If your child is growing more anxious, the tutor isn’t caring for their emotional well-being, and they could be using fear as motivation. This is rarely ever a good idea in the long run, and it’s a sign that you need to switch tutors.

6. Extended Plateauing
Some tutors are great at getting students from bad to good, but terrible at getting them from good to great. If your child has plateaued for more than a few months below their target score, move on.

7. Becoming your child’s friend, not their tutor
Your child and tutor should have a strong rapport: most students work hard for people they want to impress. But there’s a point when the relationship becomes too friendly and the tutor loses authority. When this happens, make a switch.

8. Burn out
Sometimes, students and tutors burn out. It’s not anyone’s fault, but the student stops listening to the tutor and the tutor stops pushing the student. If you notice that they’re both just going through the motions, find someone new.

As always, adapt this advice to fit your child. Some students try to sabotage tutoring to get out of doing the work. In this case, let your child know you’re committed to their tutor, and they need to give the relationship a chance. But if your child is trying and not seeing results, and you notice one of the eight signs above, make a change.

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