Being a tutor is an important job in which patience is extra important, as you’re coaching the younger ones.
But keeping your cool is not the easiest thing to do when your student is struggling to catch on and you really want them to improve as fast and as much as possible.
I’ve compiled some points that you can use to check in with yourself on whether you have been practising patience with your students.
Always choose the right words
Dealing with a young, impressionable student requires you to always be careful about the words you use with them.
What you say to your student can have a huge, permanent impact on how they feel towards the subject, towards learning, or even their self-esteem in general.
When you see a need to direct them or be firm, there are the right methods to discipline them.
It’s not easy to know what you should and shouldn’t say, especially when you’re in the heat of the moment. It takes practice and lots of cautiousness when you tutor.
But the fact that you’re reading this article shows that you care to find out how you can do so, and that’s already a good step!
Here are some examples of negative statements — that are unfortunately used more frequently than they should be by tutors and teachers — and how you can switch them up to become positive statements to motivate your student.
1) Instead of: “This is so simple, why can’t you get it?”
Try: “This is actually really simple, you will definitely be able to master it by the end of this lesson.”
2) Instead of: “I’ve repeated myself a lot of times.”
Try: “Remember what I’ve taught you?”
3) Instead of: “You’ll never be able to succeed with this attitude.”
Try: “You need to have a positive attitude towards learning so that you can excel.”
Making conscious efforts to manage your students in the proper way is a tough but rewarding aspect of a being tutor.
Remaining calm when your student takes more time
Aside from knowing what to and not to say, actions also speak a thousand words. The way that you deliver your words also matters.
Raising your voice or showing frustration in your tone can also make your student feel stressed and consequently fear learning.
Before you decide to commit to tutoring, it’s important for you to know that the reason students are signed up for tuition is usually that they are already struggling with their academics and need the extra help.
This means that you have to be mentally prepared that your student might take longer to understand your explanations and master the concepts.
Tuition should be a place where your students feel comfortable to take the time that they need to catch up on their academics.
You need to remain patient even if it means having to repeat yourself over and over. It’s part and parcel of a tutor’s job, and that is why being a tutor is so respectable and patience is so necessary for your job.
Being a tutor entails true acceptance of picking your student up from wherever they are in their understanding, and carrying them forward to improve.
Be flexible in adjusting to your student’s learning needs
Because they often can’t get the attention and guided help that they need in the large class sizes in school, private or small-group tuition gives students the opportunity to learn at their required pace.
If your student stays stuck on a topic for longer than you planned, do not rush and allow them to take the time that they need and have a smooth learning experience.
You shouldn’t be fixated on following your lesson plan or simply going through what you need to, but ensure that your student truly understands the topics and concepts before moving on.
Learning is progressive and it is important for the student to always build a strong foundation at every step of the way.
And for this, lots of patience is definitely involved.
Tutoring is not an easy job; it’s not going to be a breeze helping your students to bridge their gaps.
When you take up a student, you are committing that particular time to them every week (usually) and in most cases, tutors commit to teaching the student at least until the end of their academic year.
This is because it gets confusing for students if they have to keep switching tutors, as different tutors have different teaching styles.
Not only that, when tutors don’t have the patience to follow through with them, it is also extremely demoralising for the student and makes them want to also give up on themselves.
This is why it is so important for tutors to be ready for the commitment before they take up a student.
To be a good tutor, having knowledge, good grades, or qualifications is not enough. Patience is a key requirement in tutoring and that means showing positivity in their words and being professional, flexible, and committed.
Tutoring is definitely no easy feat but that is also what makes being a tutor special — it entails important responsibilities along with the duty to educate and help.
I hope that this article has enlightened you on what it takes to be a patient tutor. Good luck!
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