Realizing Expectations

Getting Started with a Tutor – Realizing Expectations

Our experiences in working with students and parents have taught us a few lessons about how to maximize the tutor relationship. We present this guide in the hope that it helps you maximize the value of working with any third party tutor or academic adviser.

How can your student benefit from a tutor?

Does your student just need a little extra help learning the material? Or does your student need structure or a better organization system? Or maybe you need to make sure your student is completing all of his/her work on time.

By understanding what your student needs, we can align our tutors’ roles to what you hope to achieve.

What Your tutor Analyst Can Do

Depending on the unique needs of your student, the tutor can serve to resolve one of a number of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Time Management and Organization
  • Study Skills / Test Taking
  • Essay and Paper Preparation and Writing
  • General Daily Homework Completion
  • Specific Subject Problems (ie. Algebra 1)

Layout Your Tutor Tool Box

Once you and your tutor understand what the goals are, it is important that both of you are clear about how to achieve them. Unfortunately, the tutor’s effectiveness can bae limited without the right tools. We have prepared a list of some of the obstacles we’ve seen in our experiences and some tools and suggestions for getting past them:

Missing Assignments

Somewhere between the teacher and your student, understanding gets fuzzy. To combat this, free up all the information you can:

Prepare lines of communication between your student’s teachers and your tutor (usually via email) to ensure that the tutor can stay up-to-date with new assignments.

Having the tutor send a weekly email to teachers in problem classes is a sure way to know that your tutor and student understand all of a teacher’s assignments and expectations. Having this knowledge may annoy your student in the beginning, but it can take the mystery out of low grades and make time management successful.

Encourage the use of a organizational planner and support it with good incentive/punishment scheme.

A daily or weekly check of a planner will start a great habit for your student. Support your tutor’s efforts with a well-defined structure, and the rewards will really show. For example, make it clear that if your student doesn’t complete the tutor’s instructed assignments, he/she loses Friday night’s movie out.

One of the most frustrating obstacles for a tutor can be having the knowledge of what needs to be done, but not having the control to make sure it is completed. Help your tutor out by putting some discipline in the background because a great strategy is nothing if it isn’t carried out.

Teenage Angst

Unfortunately this is something that all students go through at some point. Your tutor can be a great value here, acting as a third party who is still young, and most importantly, not the parent. Your student will grow out of this stage and the self-motivation to succeed in school will come√Čeventually. In the mean time, use your tutor to help guide the rebellion’s effects away from your student’s grades.

Your tutor can be a great protection to your student’s future from the consequences of hormones and maturation. When your student finally does grow out of this stage, he/she will have already developed a strong studying system to make things even easier.

In a worst case scenario, your tutor keeps your students grade out of dangerous territory until your student gets the attitude to take care of it him/herself.

In a best case scenario, your tutor guides your student’s aggression away from grades entirely, and your student performs the way you know he/she can.

Missing Books

Make sure your student brings home the books he/she needs each day. All too often a tutor arrives at the home to find the student has forgotten a text book that is needed to do the planned studying for that day.

One possible solution to a chronic forgetful student is an-end-of-the- day locker checklist. Have your student run through his/her planner at the end of the day. If your student forgets something, it is because the planner was not complete. With a good (dis)incentive scheme, this will become a rarity.

We’re Here To Help

Although this guide should help you understand how to get the most from your tutor, we would never expect it to replace the personal discussion we have with you about your specific situation. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.


  1. Realize what your tutor can realistically accomplish
  2. Help ensure that your student brings home her assignments and related materials
  3. Understand when your student is going through difficult times
  4. Remember to keep an open dialogue with us; we’re here to help


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