So you have been hired as a Tutor Trooper! (or maybe you have the skills we seek, and are interested in joining our team). You are well-versed in your subject areas, you did very well in school and college, and your grades/test scores reflect positively. However, there are certain “soft skills” that go beyond knowledge of the material. The following tips to improve your existing tutoring skills will help you become even more effective at tutoring, and really be able to make a better impact on your students’ learning and academic performance.
1. Effective communication
Communication goes two-ways; it creates an open dialogue in which you are able to develop an understanding of your students’ needs, and how best to work towards ensuring your student is making active progress. Communication is also about getting your message effectively across to your student. In other words, communication is a dance of two-moves that need to be perfected – listening and speaking. Listening is necessary for effective communication and in building a rapport with students and parents. Many of us do not actively listen, we are often waiting for the other person to stop speaking so that we can get in our two cents. However, if we don’t take the time to pause and actively listen and understand what our student is telling us, we will not be able to properly help them. Speaking is also very important – along with active listening, it is necessary to speak clearly and coherently to get our point across. It is also helpful to read your student’s body language and see if they are insecure about certain things. It will not lead to an effective session if you speak in patronizing manner or lose your patience easily when your student struggles with a concept.
If you have confidence in your abilities, so will your students. Arrive at every session full of confidence, and passionate about the subject matter – and this confidence will rub off on your students as well, making them more excited and driven to learn!
3. Prepare for your sessions: Create lesson plans + Brush up on your knowledge
Take time during the week to prepare lesson plans or agendas to be accomplished during your upcoming sessions. Also, work on expanding your knowledge base so you can become a master in the subject area. Then, arrive at your sessions armed with a plan and confident in your ability to explain and teach the material to your student. A clear plan of study allows for effective tutoring sessions that have a purpose, and are not confusing and all over the place. In turn, your student’s grades will improve as each tutoring session gets right to the point and tackles the concepts that your student needs to work on the most.
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