While there are many excellent reasons for you to take an online class, no one ever said you had to do it alone. For many students, the road to success still relies on an experienced tutor that can get you through some of the rougher spots on the road to skills mastery.
Unless you’re lucky enough to be an autodidact, at some point, you’ll want the help of a good tutor, too. However, you shouldn’t just click the hire button on the first online tutor you see.
Thanks to companies like Preply, deciding WHO is going to help you learn Spanish via Skype is easier than ever. Still, there are a few things you have to keep in mind when deciding who your online tutor will be.
Things to Consider Before You Hire an Online Tutor
It may be a bit crass to start off with talk about money. But since you’re paying an online tutor by the hour, you should take careful note of their asking fee. Compare it to other tutors with similar profiles and qualifications to get a sense of how fair their pricing is.
If you think the price is a little high, you can always try to negotiate a better price if you decide to do a trial session.
2. Educational Background
While you don’t need to have a college degree in order to be a good tutor, someone with a higher education – especially in a related subject area – can make a BIG difference in the quality of the tutoring.
3. Speaking the Language
If you are being tutored for the purpose of learning a new language, it’s best that you and the online tutor try to speak the target language as much as possible. But the rest of the time, it’s important that you can actually communicate well.
If the subject is NOT language learning, but something like mathematics, it’s more important than ever that the tutor can communicate clearly. So when you have a trial run with a potential tutor, pay attention to the quality of their English (or whichever language you prefer).
4. Teaching Experience
Having good subject knowledge is important. But just knowing your facts does NOT automatically make you a good teacher. Ultimately, the only thing that turns a person into a good teacher is experience. So you should pay special attention to the amount of teaching experience a tutor has on offer.
Of course, every online tutor has to start somewhere, but that does not mean that you have to be the person they cut their teeth on.
5. Place and Time
Working online can make many things possible that would not be practical in real life. But even then, it can’t change the laws of physics.
So whichever tutor you consider has to be in a part of the world and a time zone that will work for you. That doesn’t mean that your zones have to match up exactly, but it MUST be possible for both of you to meet online at a comfortable time.
A Helping Hand
If you do your homework, a good online tutor can transform a struggling learning experience into an easy process of skills mastery. All you need to do is practice some restraint and pay attention to the smaller details.
In addition, you should never feel that just because you’ve begun to walk a path with a specific tutor, it doesn’t mean you have to be chained to them. If a tutor is not giving you what you need, you can always end the tutoring arrangement and find someone else.