Well, here you go! Your first tutoring session is coming up, and you may be a bit nervous about how effective you are going to be, right? Don’t let nerves get the better of you-relax, and go to your first session secure in the knowledge that you really do have the ability to teach someone how to improve their grades. If you have a great personality (as far as you know) and are able to develop a rapport with your students, you should have no problem showing them how to improve their grades, perform well in the classroom, and eventually catch up with their fellow classmates if they have fallen behind.
It’s really important that you have a discussion with this student so that you are better able to understand what kind of problem they are having. Gathering this information will make it possible for you to develop a program that will be suited for them that can help make things go much smoother as you progress. Perhaps they don’t need to start right from the beginning, but have encountered something along the way that they fail to understand. It may be that some of the newer concepts of the course are hard to grasp, and by working with a tutor they can hope to see things in a new light. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that it is only going to take one or two study sessions for things to improve.
Then there are the students who have been hopelessly lost right from the start of the school year. These kids are the ones who are going to require more effort on your part, a deeper understanding of the problem, and the ability to help them start over from scratch. Got the patience for a task like this? There may be times when you are at a complete loss as to what to do, especially if the problem is severe and requires more work than you anticipated. Now it is up to you to come up with a plan of action that best addresses all of the issues they are facing. You know that you have to find a way to erase from their mind everything they have learned so far, and start right from the beginning.
You may find that in a situation like this that you have to meet quite frequently with this student at first. Take your time, and don’t have any illusions about your teaching abilities. Some situations are a lot tougher than others, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to be an effective tutor. Be patient, be willing to go over something again and again if need be, encourage him or her to ask you questions if something is not clear, and above all, keep the lines of communication open. Being able to talk freely to each other is the key to success.
Once you begin to see progress, give lots of praise and encouragement. This is a great way to help build the confidence of a student who has had no faith in himself or his abilities. They very often see themselves as failures, and in doing so may lose interest entirely. Believe it or not-part of your job is to help rebuild that confidence, and a great tutor will be able to accomplish that over time. By using homework assignments and regular progress reports, you will be able to track their success, and also catch any other problems as they occur and address them immediately. Make sure you also keep their parents updated as to what is happening during your study sessions, if for no other reason than to let them know that your services are worth it and it was the right idea to contact a tutor.
Success often takes a lot of hard work and effort on both your part and the person you are working with. Help your student set goals that are realistic and attainable, not something that is too far out of their reach at first. Not reaching a goal that is to difficult can result in him or her becoming discouraged and disillusioned, and you don’t want that to happen. Keep it real and take one step at a time.