Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to choose a dyslexia tutor

In this dyslexia blog article I give some tips and hints about how to find and choose a dyslexia tutor:

Many parents may feel they need the help of a professional to assist their dyslexic child.They may feel out of their depth and need specialist help.In some cases children may work better with someone from outside the family,rather than with a mother or father. Of course, financial aspects need to be taken into account when considering whether to hire a tutor.

To find the right tutor for your son or daughter can take a lot of effort and time . In Turkey it is much harder to find the right match as there are very few experienced and qualified dyslexia tutors available!! Unfortunately this shortage of qualified teachers is due to the fact that there is a desperate lack of specialised dyslexia training courses for teachers in Turkey.
(N.B There is a course for teachers etc. run in Ankara by the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Learning Disabilities Association (Özel Öğrenme Güçlüğü Eğitmenlerin Eğitimi - Dikkat Eksikliği Hiperaktivite ve Özel Öğrenme Güçlüğü Derneği).

In order to find a suitable tutor parents need to be prepared to do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions.Very often parents in Turkey are reluctant to ask searching questions, however it is crucial if you want to find the right person for their child.

First of all ask for recommendations from other parents ; or if your child is seeing a psychologist you could ask them.They are a number of online internet sites where private tutors advertise.

Contact those tutors you think may be suitable and ask if you can arrange to see them to discuss their experience and qualifications.Check if they will charge for this initial visit.

Talk to your child before them come and explain to your child why you want to hire a tutor and how they can help them with their school work.Remember that if you can get their co-operation from the outsight they will work better with the teacher !

Interview several tutors preferably with your child.Remember to get your child’s opinion about those tutors you have interviewed. Don’t forget it is crucial that the tutor relates well to your child !!

Ask for a copy of the teacher's CV.

You could ask the tutor also for references which you could follow up.

Consider the following factors : teaching qualifications, experience of teaching dyslexic children, plus any specific dyslexia teacher training.Consider who well they relate to your child. Have they a friendly and approachable manner ?? Ask them how long they have been tutoring and how many dyslexic students they have tutored…

Of course it is preferable if the tutor has experience of dealing with children with dyslexia.However in Turkey is not easy to find properly qualified and experienced dyslexic teachers .You may find someone who has a background in special needs teaching ,guidance teaching ,or psychology maybe a possibility to consider.You may also want to look at students who are studying teaching etc ..

Ask about their teaching style and approach .For dyslexia students they need a mutli-sensory approach. Mutli-sensory teaching means helping a child to learn through more than one of the senses .Tutors need to try to make lessons fun and enjoyable as possible.A tutor should be willing to prepare a number of short , varied activities to do in the sessions in order to keep the child’s attention and interest.

Discuss how much the lessons will cost per hour and the terms and conditions.Remember if a teacher has more qualifications and experience expect to pay more.If you hire a student you should pay less.

Ask about the length of the sessions – 1 hour is the maximum for a lesson.Remember dyslexic children generally suffer from concentration problems so too long a lesson will be counter- productive.

Ask about what happens if you cancel or miss a lesson and if you have to purchase books or other materials.

Discuss when and where and how frequently lessons will take place.

If possible, arrange tutoring for the times of the day when your child is ready to learn.If the lessons will take place after school remember to allow some break for your child before they start their private lesson.

Generally two lessons a week is recommended for dyslexic students. It may be better for lessons to take place at your own home as your child may feel more relaxed in his/her own environment.

If you have a report from a psychologist concerning your child you should show this to the tutor.

Set clear goals for the tutoring. Is there something specific your child needs help with ? Are they just going to help them with homework or are they going to assist them with areas they are struggling in ; for example mathematics, reading , writing.. ?

Discuss how they will interact with your child’s school – If you have a good relationship with your child’s teacher and school then you can discuss with the tutor how you could all work together to assist your child.Sadly often it Turkey very often teachers and schools do not wish to co-operate in such a way !!

Ask if the tutor will give homework and how much.Remember your child will already have normal school homework to do .It is important however for children to go over topics covered in the private lesson briefly in order to re-inforce learning.

Ask your child’s tutor to give reports regularly to update you on progress.

From time to time try to observe your child working with the tutor and assess how the lessons are going.

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