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10 Tips That Will Make You A Better Tutor
Tutoring is a terrific way to share your knowledge and skills while making a difference in the life of a young person. A regular tutor can help a student develop better study habits, improve their academic performance, and improve their social skills.
As you help your student reach their full potential, we want to make sure you you reach yours as well. Whether you’ve been tutoring for years or you just started, we’ve provided some tips that will help you and your tutee get the most out of your time together.
1. Establish a rapport
When you first meet the student you will be tutoring, spend some time getting to know them. Find out what their interests are outside of the classroom and what they like to do for fun. This will establish trust, communication, and most importantly – it shows them that you care.
2. Show up on time
You may have limited time during your tutoring session, so punctuality is key. Arrive on time and ready to work. Your tutee may not always be organized and ready to go at the beginning of each session, so it is important for you to set a strong example. If possible, have a plan laid out prior to the session so you can hit the ground running when you arrive.
3. Eliminate distractions
In today’s world, distractions are everywhere. Try to find a quiet environment where you can work uninterrupted during your session. If your tutee needs to work on a computer, sit next to them rather than across from them so you can monitor their activity. If necessary, establish a rule of no cell phones/calls during your time together.
4. Set goals
Whether they are short or long-term, setting goals will help ensure you and your tutee are making progress. When you arrive, decide what you plan to accomplish during that session. It could be as simple as completing a math assignment or creating note cards for a presentation. If you know larger projects are on the horizon, such as a research paper, plan out your sessions ahead of time. Work on different components of the project during different tutoring sessions.
5. Define strengths and weaknesses
As you get to know your tutee, find out where they are succeeding academically and where they need extra help. If your tutee generally excels in math, but struggles with reading, it may be more advantageous to focus your sessions on reading
6. Ask questions
Learning is a process, and everyone does it differently. Find out what works best for your tutee – are they an auditory learner, or do they learn better visually? Is it helpful for them to watch you complete an algebraic equation first and then try it themselves? If they arrived at an incorrect answer, ask them to explain their logic. The more you understand how your tutee thinks and learns, the more you will be able to help them.
7. Show enthusiasm
Not all students have a positive attitude when it comes to studying, so it’s important that you do. Try to help your tutee get excited about the material and make it relatable to them. If you can find a way to make learning fun and enjoyable, it will help your tutee stay engaged.
8. Be patient
Tutoring isn’t always going to be easy, so remember that patience is a virtue. As you work through challenging material, there are bound to be moments of frustration. It is your job to help your tutee through these trying moments and to let them know that failure is sometimes part of the learning process.
9. Be resourceful
In working on a variety of subjects, you’ll come to find that you don’t always have all the answers. That’s ok. You can still be resourceful and help your tutee find the information they need to complete their work. If you can plan your sessions in advance, you can do some preparation beforehand to brush up on subjects you are not familiar with.
10. Provide positive feedback
One of the most rewarding parts of being a tutor is watching your tutee achieve success. Whether it’s getting an A in a subject they thought they’d never pass or completing a difficult assignment – let them know how well they did. These positive affirmations will help build their self esteem and give them the confidence they need to work through challenging material in the future.