Many public and private high schools require students to enroll in at least one algebra course in order to meet basic graduation requirements. For some students, however, math courses can be especially difficult, creating the need for a qualified algebra tutor. An algebra tutor may be a full-time math instructor, a private tutor for hire, a relative with strong math skills or even a fellow student who has already passed the algebra course.
A private algebra tutor may advertise his or her services in a local newspaper, a personal flyer posted in public areas, or perhaps on a peer-to-peer services bulletin board at the student's school. A school guidance counselor or math department representative may also have a list of potential algebra tutors who have provided contact information. A private algebra tutor may charge an hourly rate for his or her expertise, and could meet with the student in a library, an open classroom or even in the student's home after school hours.
Another way to locate an algebra tutor is to post an advertisement in a local newspaper or create a personal flyer and post it in a public area. Qualified applicants should be able to provide proof of their proficiency in algebra and the ability to stay on task with a student for an entire session. Effective tutoring is a skill, so an applicant should demonstrate both technical and social ability when working with children or adolescents.
A full-time math instructor may also agree to become an algebra tutor for a struggling student, but his or her available tutoring time may be very limited. A parent may want to arrange for a meeting with the math instructor to discuss options such as instructional videos, alternative math courses, or after-hours algebra tutoring. The instructor may also be able to put parents in touch with a substitute or student teacher willing to work as an algebra tutor.
A number of high schools and colleges also offer peer-to-peer tutoring services for both English and mathematics. These services may be offered at no cost to qualified students, or the tutors may receive compensation through federal funding. A student seeking an algebra tutor would register with a tutor coordinator, who in turn would determine the best peer tutor available for the applicant. This form of peer-to-peer tutoring is often the most effective, because students can often explain difficult concepts with other students in a way many adults could not.
There are also professional learning centers such as Sylvan which offer tutoring in various subjects such as math, English and science. These educational centers hire certified instructors, but they can be cost prohibitive for some parents. If a student requires long-term remedial help, a professional learning center may be a route to explore, but many students only need short term advice and guidance in order to successfully pass a required algebra course.