Although home tuition is catered to students with regards to their needs and helping them improve and reach their academic goals, it’s inevitable that home tutors will also meet with their student’s parents. More often than not, parents are the ones who does the hiring for the tutor. While building a lasting relationship with the student is important and should be prioritized, tutors should also build a good relationship with their parents.
There are many reasons why home tutors should also build a strong rapport with the student’s parents. Reasons such as helping the parents know and realize that they’ve made the right choice in hiring the tutor and for easier and more approachable communications are just some of the key aspects tutors should take into consideration.
However, while there are parents who are very open and supportive, home tutors may also meet with parents with difficult personalities. Unfortunately, in the tuition industry, there’s no guarantee that tutors will not encounter some of these difficult parents, especially those that want to be informed with everything about their child. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some tips for budding home tutors or those that just want to widen their understanding on how to communicate about their child’s progress with parents effectively.
The best way to go about communicating with the parents effectively is setting clear expectations. This isn’t synonymous with the goals that the student and parent want to achieve, but the basis in which the student can go from to reach their goals. Sort out the expectations regarding the student’s academic performance as clearly as possible with the parents.
By setting up where the tuition will start to achieve their goals, the parents will also be able to follow the process and know how it will go. Additionally, they can also help the student improve at home.
It’s also important to understand that communication is a two-way process and involves more than just one person. Tutors need to keep their doors open to the parents and give updates to their child’s learning and also receive updates as to how the student is doing outside the tuition session.
Don’t give half-truths about the student’s performance. You can’t give the parents the assurance that their child is doing well when in fact they’re not. Or giving them a vague notion without explicitly telling their improvement. Reports shouldn’t just be “Okay.”
If home tutors want the parents to know exactly how their child is improving, you need to be honest with them and tell them exactly what is going on. Honesty will help both the tutor and the parent come to terms with another course of action, if needed, or tweaking their initial plan to adapt to the student’s needs.
There are many dangers of not telling the truth to parents. One of these is an example scenario of the student underperforming and the tutor knows this. But when the tutor decides not to fully disclose this to the parent, the parent might think they are, and set higher expectations than what the student is actually capable of. The mere thought of that may put more pressure to the student and will only drag them further because of the added stress.
Tutors shouldn’t be afraid to tell the parents how the student is actually performing. If the student continues having problems, tutors can open this up to parents. Tutors can help the parent understand that they are there to help and will also determine what might have caused the problem to arise in the first place. It’s also imperative for the tutor to help the parents understand that improvements may be slow, but they are still improvements. If everyone is working together, they can help each other resolve issues quicker.
It can’t be helped when some home tutors encounter parents that are quite uncooperative and may even have negative thoughts or show their apprehensiveness in tuition. They may think or say that getting a tutor for their child is a complete waste of money and time because they think the child wouldn’t learn with the tutor’s help.
Some parents are really strict but as stated above, the tutor is there to help with the process of improving the student. If the tutor is faced with this certain kind of parent, again be clear and firm with them and assure them that you are there to help the child. Assure the parent that you have no other motive other than seeing the child reach their academic goals and help them if they are struggling with their studies.
As teachers have their class records, tutors should also have records of how well their student is doing. With this, the parents can track and see how well they are performing. There are many ways for performance to be tracked without the use of exams or quizzes. The tutor can also help the parents understand that hand help them see it in your records.
The tutor can even go further and also include the detail what the student has done so far, what they’ve achieved, and your notes about their progress and suggestions how they can still continue to improve. A tutor may even get the student involved in making the progress report book so they can also feel motivated with their progress and work harder.
As tutors and students spend much time together during their tuition session, they will get a sense of camaraderie and build their relationship. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to know that tutors also influence their students and even their student’s results as well. Students tend to open up more to their tutor once the tutor have set a safe environment for them where they can relax as well as learn about their subjects without the fear of pressure and stress.
This is why, students also sometimes tell their tutors things they don’t normally say to their parents or teachers. While it’s encouraged to speak to the parents about issues that may be bothering the child that they’re not willing to open up to their parents, tutors should also have a sense of confidentiality in matters like this. They can keep whatever their student was telling them to themselves and only relay the matters that the parents should know to the parents.
This will not only preserve the student’s confidence in the tutor but also build trust and respect between them also.
As stated in the tips before, progress reports shouldn’t be given vaguely. For one it’s confusing for the parent to understand and for another, it may be misinterpreted by the parents. Parents need to see an actual example to see if the student is actually improving or not in their studies.
A tutor can provide concrete and actual evidence to support their claims about the student’s progress. The evidences are those collected during the tuition session that would cement the progress report given by the tutor.
There can be many ways to do this also. For example, if the student has a lower grade than expected in the report, the tutor can point out that the student has failed to turn in a homework. Another example is that when they can already understand and answer algebraic questions though it isn’t in their syllabus yet.
No one wants to hear only about problems without offering a solution to these problems. If the tutor has issues or problems they want to disclose to the parents about their child’s education progress, they should also be ready to offer solutions that they can also suggest during the discussion.
Some parents may turn defensive. However, this shouldn’t stop the tutor and work on their expectations to help the student. As an example for a student dealing with homework struggles or concentrating in answering them, the tutor can suggest the parents to make a schedule with the child to set time for homework or they can install a timer to track how much time the student should spend in making their homework.
A parent’s involvement in the child’s education is very important. While the home tutor will be there to help the student with their struggles, it will be the parents’ job to reinforce the child’s learning way beyond the classroom and the tuition session. They are also the one who can also actively relate the lessons to be used in everyday life.
However, as it is a team effort, they should also know how well or how slow their child is improving to increase the effectivity of the reinforcement. They should know how the child is being taught and how they are doing in school and in their tuition session.
Having an effective communication with the students’ parents about their progress will create the openness to work with the tutor to reach their common goal and that is to help the student improve.
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