Don’t think that because you are getting grades that are passing that you have what it takes to tutor someone else. Tutoring is an art, and only people who have the personality, patience, and time needed to commit to the task will be effective at this particular endeavor. Many people tutor, but not all of them have the qualities needed to be successful. Yes, they are able to help their students bring their grades up, but rather than making it fun, it simply becomes a chore to the kids. The difference between a ‘good’ tutor, and a ‘great’ one is that the ones who truly love what they are doing have the ability to make learning fun.
Many tutors think that all that is required from them are plain facts and figures. Go in, lay out a lesson plan, and expect results. No explanations, no rapport, not much communication-just the dry facts pertaining to the troublesome subject. How boring is that? It’s no wonder many students are put off at the mention of tutoring. They know that their sessions are going to be just as much of a pain as their classroom is. Unless they are fortunate enough to locate someone who is actually going to challenge them, make their sessions enjoyable, and spend the time needed explaining what they need to know in language they actually understand.
Students who are having trouble in school are not “stupid” or illiterate. It may be that the classroom is too crowded and they are not receiving the individual attention they need. They may be bored, are thinking about other things, or even have issues in their private life that are affecting their ability to concentrate. There are so many things that can cause a downslide in grades, or even make it hard for them to grasp the subject’s concept right from the beginning of the school year. Their teacher should be the first one to take notice of any problems, and take steps to rectify the situation. Contacting the parents is the first thing that should be done.
Once the ball is rolling, a suitable tutor should be located who is going to be able to help out. This means someone with the personality and understanding, who has a track record of being able to help students, and at the same time, motivate them to show an interest. If they are able to accomplish this, the student is well on his or her way to success. Instilling excitement, showing them that this is not just a chore, and getting them to actually want to learn and look forward to their lessons is a great accomplishment for any tutor. If you have this attitude, you might be the one they need.
If you are seeing tutoring only as a way to make some extra money, don’t really care one way or the other about the kids you are ‘helping,’ and want to get it over with as fast as you can, don’t bother. Not only are you wasting your time, but that of the child and his or her parents. You may be very good in the particular subject, you may have gotten great grades, but if your heart isn’t in it, and you don’t have compassion for the kids you teach, perhaps you had better find another way to make money. You aren’t doing anyone any favors.
If you really want to become a tutor, show kindness and understanding to the students you have been hired to assist. Be able to put yourself in their shoes, feel what they feel, and know that it could very well be you in that position. Show compassion, have patience, and never be harsh or intimidating. Students who need help often feel as if they are not as good as anyone else, and it is part of your job to let them know that just because they are having problems in school does not mean they can’t learn. Set realistic goals and time frames, and together, work toward them. If you can honestly say that you can do this, you are well on your way to becoming a sought after tutor.