I have worked at several different tutoring establishments, as well as private tutoring. Every tutoring centre has its own unique method of teaching, different worksheets and workbooks, and because of this, I feel that I have acquired a good sense of what works, and what does not work. Here is a list of tips for tutoring.
1. The main point of tutoring is to have the student become an independent learner. You want them, at a certain point, to be able to find the answer on their own. By giving them the answer after two tries will not help them succeed later on. You want to teach them ways to find the answer- the 'how-to's' are much more important than just giving the answer. In math, this would be seen as teaching them the steps and equations needed to find the answer. In English, this can get a bit difficult. The potential goal would be to show them how to read a text, and how to look for the answer to a question, or how to find a thesis statement. The important aspect here is giving them the strategies and tools that will help them find the answer on their own. Guided learning will absolutely be needed during the process, but we want to turn that into independent learning.
2. Be prepared. You only have a limited time with your student, so use it wisely. If you know in advance what they will be working on, and it is part of the curriculum, make sure you read the expectations and go over the material before hand. If it is worksheets that are part of a centre, then make sure you have extra material for the student to work on afterwards. Some students finish their work quickly, and something that worked well for me (as well as other teachers I've worked with) was having a 'Topic Box'. This box included a bunch of fun questions that the students would answer in their copybooks if they finished their work early. Also on the topic of limited time, keep the breaks to a limit as well. I understand that some students may need more breaks than others, and that's fine. You need to understand your students' needs as well. However, if you only have 1 hour with them, use your time as effectively as you can.
3. Sometimes, the main reason a student may not be improving, is due to shyness. I have worked with a student before who was so painfully shy that I did not know what language he understood better in (French or English), and I did not know what he understood from the worksheets. Take time to built a trusting relationship with your students and create a comfortable atmosphere. It can be intimidating and scary for them, and they may feel bad about not understanding.
4. In relation to shyness and building a trusting atmosphere, you also want to make your student knows that it is okay to make mistakes. I have seen students get visibly upset when they got a few mistakes on their work, and it hurt me to see this. I've often told my students that 'mistakes mean your brain is growing'. Create an environment where they should not be afraid to make mistakes, and not understanding something isn't wrong- it's why you're there to help them. Try and implement the growth mindset in your students.
5. Be patient. This is probably something that you have heard over and over again, but I cannot stress how important it is- especially when tutoring. Students may need to go over something a few times, and you need to have the patience to do that. Students are being tutoring because they don't understand something, and you need to be aware that it may take several different strategies to help them understand and succeed. You need to be open to trying out these different strategies and techniques- patience is so important.
*Also check out my blog post on colour coding, where I work with a student with special needs, as well as ABA Therapy. I give a few tips on there as well!
** I'd love to know other tips and strategies from different teachers, tutors or even students, so feel free to comment below! **