Tutoring is an art, not a science. As such, regardless of whether you’re a first-time tutor or a ten-year veteran, there is always something tutors can improve on. We’ve compiled below eight tips that will make you a better tutor and help your students achieve better academic results.
1. Learn about your students
No two students are alike. Each student has a different level of motivation, dedication, interest, and ability to absorb new information, among other traits. In fact, students even had different intervals for restroom breaks. So while a teaching schedule is always a good thing, be flexible with it until you’ve spent some time with the student. Learning about them could make all the difference in the long run.
2. Establish boundaries
Establish an emotional bond and mutual trust with students is important. However, keep in mind that they are still children who may not have attained the desired level of maturity. So please establish clear boundaries and expectations early in your relationship. You can provide support without compromising on discipline. Otherwise, students could take advantage of you by not turning in their homework, refusing to read provided reading materials provided, taking excessively long phone or tea breaks – the escalation of these kinds of behaviours will reflect poorly on tutors.
3. Apprise parents of your plans, expectations and methods
Parents are not educators, so tutors need to take the time to explain to them the schedule, methods, syllabus and plans you have for their children. Once they know their child is in capable hands, they will be less worried and less prone to check up on you. With the parents firmly in your corner, you can focus completely on the child now. Do remember to keep them updated periodically.
4. Improve comfort and minimise distractions
Make sure the area where the session is being held is comfortable. Cosy chairs, balanced desks, proper air circulation and thick curtains are just some of the things you need to keep an eye on. Discomfort can cause distractions and disrupt the absorption of information. A happy and comfortable student will perform better. Oh, and a glass of water is handy to have around as well.
Uncomfortable chairs cause distractions – and even back pain! Image courtesy of Pixabay
5. Keep abreast of latest changes in the curriculum
Human knowledge is constantly growing and evolving. As such, keep abreast with the latest changes in syllabi and textbooks. There is nothing worse than feeding students with outdated or incorrect information. If you don’t have easy access to the current syllabus of the topic you’re teaching, just schedule an appointment with the headmaster of the nearest school to you. Most of them are only too happy to help!
While there are many other tips you can follow, focus on these five first to put you in a safe, secure and trusted position.