At some point in every academic career, students will need a little help. Perhaps they have missed some classes, or are struggling to keep up, or maybe they want to improve their grades for college or they need assistance getting back into their adult education program. Whatever the situation, a one-on-one tutor is the best way to get your student the help they need, when they need it most. Here are some essential traits to look for in your potential tutor.
A great tutor will start with an in-depth interview with the parents, teacher and student. Each of these parties will have unique insights into the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Speaking with the teacher will help to get a feel for the curriculum, ascertain what upcoming tests, assignments and exams to prepare for and the level of confidence your student has in the classroom.
A good tutor will establish the student’s learning style so that they are able to present information in a way that has the greatest effect.
One of the most essential ingredients is chemistry. A good tutor will take the time to connect meaningfully with the student and their family. They will be caring and compassionate, but also professional and organized. Having a good rapport with the student will move a tutor from good to great.
Tutors should ascertain which building blocks the student is missing in their foundation of knowledge. Filling in these missing building blocks will establish a strong foundation on which they can build. Tutors should check for understanding as they go and constantly build confidence so that the student feels like their abilities are improving.
When a student feels confident, wonderful things begin to happen. Their curiosity is ignited and they are more likely to ask questions in class and read additional texts about things which interest them. They are more apt to participate in class and in experiments and other exercises that will add to their knowledge. Students who are confident trust their instincts and perform better on exams and assignments. They are more likely to complete assignments and hand them in.
A good tutor wants to create a student that no longer requires help and so they instill those executive study skills that will serve the student well in academics and in life. Skills like organization, task initiation, focus and time management are essential to being a great learner.
Tutors should work at these skills as much as at the curriculum to create confident, independent learners.
Tutors can be an exceptional asset to a family if they are committed and caring. They should relieve the stress that struggling students place on themselves and on their families and make learning simple and fun. A great mentor and tutor can create happier, more confident students who will go on to achieve their dreams.