Private Tutor NYC | Identifying the Right Private Tutor for Your Child

So, your son is no longer eight years old and learning how to multiply 5 × 2 or how to classify animals into mammals and amphibians. When he sits down at the kitchen table to do his homework at night, you see sine waves and notes on thermodynamic laws. And if he doesn’t understand some information he learned in school that day, he googles the answer or calls his friends because he knows there is no way that you can help him anymore. But being the great parent you are, you want to make sure he gets the help he needs, so you have decided to enlist the assistance of a private NYC tutor. Finding the right private tutor in NYC is no easy task, so here are some criteria that you should assess when interviewing candidates.

Expertise in the Subject

Expertise goes beyond having a degree in the subject matter. Someone who studied history in school is very likely an excellent writing tutor. Someone who studied physics is very likely an excellent math tutor. Ask potential tutors about their holistic experience: education, work history, and tutoring history. Great private tutors can often tutor in more than one subject, but they should also not hesitate to indicate what subjects they are not qualified to tutor.

Proven Teaching Ability

Hiring someone with subject matter knowledge but no tutoring or teaching experience is risky because understanding a topic is not the same as being able to explain it. Undoubtedly, you want to find a private tutor in NYC who has a track record of success with individual students, but that is not always possible. Some private tutors in NYC are certified teachers, and if the potential candidate at least has some classroom experience, you will be able to inquire with supervisors about that person’s success with students. But a teaching degree doesn’t mean one is a good private tutor. The key is not how a person teaches in a classroom, but how effective he or she is in a one-on-one situation. And if your child is studying a more obscure topic, maybe Korean instead of Spanish or French, finding an experienced NYC tutor can be tricky. Also keep in mind that the most successful private tutors in NYC will be in high demand and therefore more expensive.

Flexible Teaching Style

No two students are alike and good tutors recognize this. While a tutor may have had a lot of success in the past, she won’t assume that what worked for previous students will work for all future students. A private tutor should be able to adapt to your child’s learning style and special needs, from the first tutoring session and continuously throughout the tutoring process as she monitors your child’s progress and as they get to know each other better.

Matching Personality

Similar to finding a teacher who can adapt to your child’s learning style, finding a tutor with the right personality is important. A quiet, introverted student might not do well with a boisterous, loud tutor. Or, on the other hand, she might actually do better with a private tutor who has an opposite personality and can draw her out of her shell. Your child knows the types of teachers she enjoys working with and the types of people she enjoys spending time with, so just ask.


Certainly a tutor should be professional. If he comes to your home, he should arrive on time, be prepared, and keep the student on track with the content. But staying on track doesn’t mean that the tutor is 100 percent business from the time he walks in the door. Building rapport with students is important for the success of tutorials, so don’t be concerned if you hear some idle chit-chat between your child and his private tutor about what happened in school that day or what he thinks about the latest Tarantino movie. On the other hand, if that’s all they talk about, well, then you have a problem. Check in with your child after each session to make sure that the material covered was useful and relevant. The private tutor should also provide you with regular updates about your child’s progress. Also keep in mind that professionalism goes both ways. NYC tutors often have busy schedules, so don’t cancel on your tutor at the last minute or expect him to stay an hour past the agreed upon time. Make sure your child is ready for each tutoring session and not scrambling around to find books and materials. Tutors can’t be effective if their students haven’t completed their assignments.

Private Tutor NYC |Recommendations

When considering tutor candidates, ask around for recommendations. The parents of your child’s friends might have some great recommendations. Someone you have already hired as a math tutor might have a great recommendation for a biology tutor. Another alternative is to work with a tutor from a big box firm like Kaplan or from a smaller national brand such as Varsity Tutors. If you prefer a more personalized experience, you may want to choose  a tutor from a local NYC tutoring company such as Origins Tutoring (this site!) or Partners with Parents. If you go through a local tutoring company in NYC, the tutoring manager should be able to put you in contact with some parents that have already worked with a  tutor the company is recommending. Another way to find a private tutor in NYC is through the Internet. For instance, many tutors advertise on  Wyzant. However, although these tutoring companies say they screen applicants, it is hard for a parent to determine the quality of the thousands of tutors available on these websites, which serve as kinds of centralized databases. Ultimately, your son or daughter is the one who will be working with the tutor. That's why it is a good idea if you and your child both participate in interviewing tutors or talking with tutor recruiters. That way, you can be sure that you have hired a professional, well-qualified private NYC tutor that your child will respect and enjoy working with.