Tutoring is a career that is fulfilling and satisfying. Giving private lessons to children to boost the knowledge they get in school helps them to excel in their classroom activities. Choosing a career as a tutor is easy if you love to teach, but do not want a conventional classroom setting. Being a tutor isn’t just about teaching children. It is about engaging them in a way that keeps their interest. It involves meeting with parents and keeping them informed of their child’s progress. It also requires sharing information with the school teachers to get a better understanding of what the child needs. All of this may seem daunting if you are new to tutoring, but do not be alarmed.
Here Are Some Tuition Tips To Guide You As A New Tutor
1. Encouraging Students To Contribute
First and foremost, you have to realize that your students may not be cooperative at first. In fact, anticipate that. It is very rare for students to be excited about tutoring. They may get defensive and feel unsure about you, and they won’t participate in the lessons.
As a new tutor, you should anticipate the following issues and resolve them accordingly:
• Your student may feel uncomfortable because they have trouble expressing themselves clearly. In this case, you should avoid asking questions that will make the student feel pressured. Instead, devise other methods to find out what their problems are.
• Because they don’t know what to make of you, the student may try to postpone tuition. Show them that you understand how they feel, and boost their confidence by encouraging their opinions.
• Your student may feel you are judging them, especially the younger ones. Ensure to put them at ease on this point, so that they won’t be nervous about tutoring lessons with you.
• Just as you are new to tutoring, some of your students may be new to one-on-one lessons as well.
Once you have these in mind, you can be more effective in encouraging student contribution by doing the following:
• Giving them support and respect, which they will reciprocate
• Making tuition to be a cooperative activity
• Making sure the students understand the lesson objective
• Making the students aware that their contribution is important
• Using methods that encourage student contribution
• Setting tasks that are realistic and can be accomplished
• Making the students feel very comfortable with you
2. Directing Discussion During Lessons
At the beginning of the lesson, give a short introduction of what you will cover in that lesson. This introduction should also include what you want the students to take away after the lesson. You can end your introduction by asking the students what they think of the lesson plan. This is a great way to start a lesson, as it captures the students’ attention, allowing them to give their opinions on the lesson plan.
This is how you direct discussions during lessons. As the lesson goes on, you can boost the students’ confidence by giving them supportive feedback, telling them ‘well done’ or ‘good job’.
Think about encouraging them to have a more in-depth knowledge of the subject. This makes it easier for them to participate more during lessons.
Also, try to correct any misunderstandings that may crop up, or even before they crop up, to keep everyone on the same page.
At the end of the lesson, make sure there is enough time for you and the students to discuss what was learnt. Ask them questions on how the lesson went to get them to give their opinions on it. If you are giving homework, make time to discuss it with the students. This is to ensure that they know what to do, and how it will help them improve in the subject.
3. Providing Feedback
It is necessary that you give your students constant feedback so that they may know how they are doing. As students, they might not know how well they are doing; they might even be overly critical of their performance. As a tutor, you should let them know when they have done well, or where they need a little more work. You can do this by:
• Remarking on any skills the student/students have improved on, or developed over the course of your lessons.
• Tell them to practice skills they have neglected, positively highlighting them so that the students see them as important.
• Provide constructive criticism, linking to certain examples so that the students can understand what you mean.
• Always be cheerful and encouraging when you remark on their performance.
4. Balancing Tutor And Student Contributions
Don’t be too aggressive in trying to get students to contribute during lessons. As your tutoring progresses, review how often you have had to intervene and make adjustments accordingly.
You should also think of trigger material, and how using certain things may elicit responses from your students.
During your lessons, you may notice some shy, quiet students. Gently encourage them to participate more in the lessons by being open and friendly. Make them comfortable with you, so that speaking up becomes easier.
Feedback is a good thing, but you must always balance it out with space. Constant praise and constant criticism could make the students feel they are too good or they are too dull. Make sure you even out your feedback by allowing some space in between.
Be certain to prepare well before the start of any lesson, so that you can deliver to the students depending on you. Be friendly, but maintain professionalism. If your students aren’t contributing well after a couple of lessons, it may be time for you to re-evaluate yourself and your lesson plans. Carrying everyone along is important, but every child learns in different ways and at different speeds. Try to know all your students and their trials, and work with them in ways suitable to their type of learning. Always give feedback in an encouraging manner, and maintain a balance between tutor and student contributions during lessons.
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