Tutoring during Covid-19, finding an on-line tutor.

  • Posted on: 4 June 2020
  • By: Johanna

Covid-19 has had a big impact on the education system in Canada. Initial shut down of schools left parents scrambling to find things to keep their children engaged. Schools moving to on-line learning has had varying results, great for some kids, further detrimental to others. Depending on province/location/situation, some schools are starting to open back up to students, but all in a limited capacity.

The effects of disruption to the education system is going to be felt for some time. If you are fortunate enough to not have significant loss of income during the shut down, you may be considering getting a tutor. Whether it’s to get your child to reengage with learning, extra support due to limited instruction or to do some catching up, a tutor can help.

The shut down certainly has had an impact on tutoring as well. In the height of the shutdown, I recommend to all tutors that they do not do any in-person tutoring. This has lead many tutors to either take a break from tutoring, or transition to providing tutoring on-line. Although it’s up to each individual to decide their risk level for meeting, physical distancing is still the best way to avoid spread of Covid-19 between people. What ever initial adjustment required to the sudden shift to on-line tutoring has been worked out, and many tutors are reporting better than expect resulting in providing tutoring on-line.

Students have also had a chance to practice receiving instruction on-line, so now is an ideal time to look for a tutor to provide extra support on-line. Here are some tips using findAtutor.ca in your search:

First, I recommend you use the search options above (they are on every single page of findAtutor.ca, so always convenient to find) for the subject and location you are in. We do provide an option that tutors can use to indicate if they are an on-line tutor, you will see a bold “on-line tutor” in their listing. Just because this is not present doesn’t mean that the tutor isn’t providing on-line tutoring. This marker is used by tutors that primarily tutored on-line in the past, and are seeking students from across Canada. Right now almost all tutors have moved to offering tutoring on-line at least temporarily. Read through the listing to see what further information the tutor provides about delivering their services. Although on-line tutoring can be provided from anywhere, everyone wants to support someone local, and there could be a tutor right in your neighbourhood that you might get to meet in person one day!

If you don’t see your city in the list of areas, check out our map to find someone nearby, or you can skip the area selection completely and do a search for the whole province (as curriculum is mostly province based). Of course on-line tutors have been providing support to students across Canada, and some to students all over the world, so they are also an excellent choice even if there is no one local to you.

Even though I’ve asked tutors to update their listing, not everyone has. One way to check if the listing has been updated recently is look for those marked as “updated.” This large green tag is hard to miss next to listings, and is placed there if the listing was updated in the last 30 days. So even if they don’t specifically say they are tutoring on-line, they certainly are aware of the current events when the tutor logged in and reviewed their listing to confirm the information is accurate.

Read through all the listings that come up in your search. 10 listings are included per page, so when you get to the bottom, look to see if there are more pages of listings. The perfect tutor for you may be further down the list. Newer listings start closer to the bottom of the list, look for listings that have the “new” label. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily new to tutoring, just new to listing on findAtutor.ca and are eager to expand their client range.

Contact more than one tutor! So many people come, contact the first tutor they see on the list and then express frustration they never heard back. Remember each tutor is an independent business and are as unique as the students they tutor. Although I would expect tutors to reply promptly, many things may prevent them from getting back to you right away. Send a follow up e-mail, or try giving them a phone call to get in touch. It’s always best to talk with a number of different tutors, you get a better sense of the kind of person they are from a conversation than only reading the limited information in their listing.

You may be new to on-line tutoring, so are many of the tutors. Remember that anything new takes some learning time and adjusting. Be patient. I’ve had mature students that wanted to give up on technology when it wasn’t instantaneous, even though they normally would have been commuting for 15-30 minutes to meet in person. Giving 5-10 minutes to work out kinks in communication software is short by comparison, and gets easier each time we meet on-line. Teenagers that use on-line communications among themselves all the time seem more accepting to technological shortfalls, so take a cue from the teens and just keep trying or try again later.

Parents are concerned about learning loss as school closures extend on. Take these challenges as opportunities to learn together with your child. Your modelling of how you meet these challenges is instructional in itself, and there is lots of learning gained besides the basic academics of school.

Good luck to everyone out there, and please stay safe and healthy.

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