Teachers have a calling to help students
Think about the best teachers you had growing up. Maybe you had a teacher whose passion for learning kept you engaged and excited no matter how mundane the topic, or maybe you had one with saint-like patience who went the extra mile to make sure you understood the material. Now let’s compare these options for an Algebra tutor: a college student who scored 99th percentile on the Math portion of the SAT, or a 3rd-year Algebra teacher in your local district. Which of them is more likely to have the energy and thoughtfulness you’re looking for in a tutor? We’d prefer the person who chose to make a living as an educator.
Teachers know how to teach the subject matter
You may be thinking “well yeah, but teaching certificates aren’t required to help a child with homework.” That’s true! However, don’t discount the training in pedagogy and instructional methods that comes with a teacher’s certification. That training gives teachers practical tools and methods by which to channel their calling to educate students. Let’s revisit the whiz kid Algebra student who tutors on the side. They certainly have sterling credentials and can probably teach your child some tricks to find the right answer, but the professional teacher not only knows the material backwards and forwards, but also knows the specific learning objectives that your child will be tested on when district and state assessments come around.
Teachers have experience meeting your child’s learning needs
We value on-the-job experience for everything from handymen and heart surgeons, there’s no reason tutors should be any different. Beyond the classroom, every state requires teachers to complete annual professional development. Many teachers earn extra money and go a step further by participating in mentorship programs, pilot programs, and conferences. These formal and informal channels keep teachers abreast of the latest instructional methods, tools, and activities. Besides being subject matter experts, teachers are trained to assess and evaluate student progress, and adapt teaching methods to match student needs.
Teachers are vetted professionals
All teachers must pass a rigorous background check as part of their hiring process, and rightly so. When you and your child meet with a teacher for tutoring, you know you’re sitting down with a vetted professional. With other tutors, the best case scenario is a word-of-mouth reference from a friend or colleague.