What qualities help you to excel as a tutor? To answer in just a single term, it is ability. More than anything else, the ability of the tutor to explain the lesson and guide students through the process of learning is prime.
Tutoring is a booming business today and every year, more and more families are considering hiring private tutors. The only thing that is required to be a tutor is a skill. The great tutors can come from different walks of life and there is little need for prior tutoring or teaching experience. However, teaching or tutoring experience is always an added advantage.
So, what attributes make you a good tutor? What qualities should you hope to excel as a tutor?
Here are a few tips you can follow.
Evaluate Student Requirement and Devise Teaching Strategies Accordingly
Always remember that “What works for some may not work for others”. Each person follows a different learning strategy. There are chiefly four different learning styles.
- Visual (learns through visualization)
- Auditory (learns through hearing)
- Tactile (learns through touch)
- Kinesthetic (learns by doing something)
Apart from the above-discussed, the experts point out that there is yet another learning style. That is the logical or the analytical learning. The learners of this category learn by exploring patterns and understanding how things connect with each other.
Now, the question is, how can you determine the learning style of a child? Observe the way the child is learning to find what learning strategy s/he abides by and devise your teaching strategies accordingly.
One of the best ways to excel as a tutor is devising teaching strategy depending on the requirement of your student.
Include Innovative Teaching Strategies
Teaching the students in a way that engages and interests them is quite challenging. We live in a short attention span world and keeping the students engrossed in a task is a really tough job.
Take a look at the latest developments ushered in education. You can take the best of these teaching styles and use them up.
You can undertake the following 10 measures.
- Involve students in active discussion
- Relate to students and do not simply talk down
- Listen to the learners
- Allow students to ask questions
- Encourage learners to participate in class actively
- Praise if the student has learned well
- Try to be humorous and share personal experiences
- Show enthusiasm of the things that the students are learning
- Allow some activity or give homework for demonstrating the concept of efficiency
- Make the material enthusiastic to learn
Use the Formative Assessment Tools
The formative assessment tools occupy a significant part of the teachers as they can use it for targeting the learning need of the students. If you know what your students know or don’t know for that matter, you can adjust your teaching strategy thereby meeting the need of the students. If you want to know how well your student is taking in the lessons, how about making use of a few formative assessment tools?
Formative assessment tools are much more effective as compared to the other methods in use to give a boost to achievement. Though the formative assessment tools are more popularly used in the classroom settings, you can also use them to guide instruction as well as determine student mastery.
Maintain Updated Record of the Exams and Assessments
Make sure you know when the exams and the assessments of your students are. Ensure your students are well prepared for the exam. Cover the syllabus well before the exam and then conduct at least two revision cycles. Make sure you are not doing the home assignments. They are for your students, not for you. You can certainly help them with the task but don’t do it for them.
The feedback that students provide you about your teaching is really valuable and can help you to improve as well as refine your strategies. Remember that the consequences of the tutoring strategies you choose are quite likely to be far reaching. Thus, it is vital to get feedback from the students regularly.
You can ask your students how you can improve your teaching. Some students may ask for more realistic examples while some point out that you are going too fast. Change your teaching strategy according to their need.
Last but not the least, make sure that you are communicating properly with the teachers and the parents of the student. Without their aid, you will never be able to help your students succeed in school. It may not be always necessary to communicate with the guardian of the high school students since they can explain the course objective to you but this achieves prime value for the younger students.
This content has been written by Justin Goh for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia