Many students struggle in school at some point during their academic career. Math and science can pose the greatest challenges for students. Steve Magat, an education consultant and owner of Tutor Doctor in Richmond, Va., offers tips for evaluating math and science tutors.

Finding the right tutor

  • One of the most important things to look for in a science tutor is experience teaching science.
  • In the younger grades, it can be a matter of reading skills as science requires the ability read and clearly understand complex instructions
  • As students get a little bit older, science actually becomes a function of math.
  • that when students struggle with science, they also tend to struggle in their math classes, algebra in particular.
  • By identifying and addressing individual barriers to learning, a tutor is better able to suggest changes that may make a student more successful in the areas of both science and math.
  • The best tutors possess education backgrounds.
  • Many have teachers’ certifications; some are current teachers and others, due to scheduling or child care considerations, have teaching credentials but aren’t currently teaching.
  • Other things good tutors have in common are that they’re all very enthusiastic, they know their subject matter, and they’re good at relating to students and parents

The right environment

  • When choosing a math or science tutor, parents should consider the environment in which their child will learn best
  • kids do their optimal learning in a safe, comfortable, distraction-free environment.
  • tutoring a child in the comfort of his or her own home can yield excellent results.
  • Kids learn best when they’re comfortable, so private, in-home tutoring is the best way to get kids focused on complex subject matter like math or science

(Source: PTA Parent January 2011 newsletter and compiled by EdNews Parent intern Christina Onpeng)