• Christian Paul

If you want to be a great tutor, be this kind of tutor

[feature_box style=”3″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]Hi Christian,

I’ve been meaning to email you back for some time. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for Nick (and Eliza). Both my children really enjoyed being tutored by you. Considering how much Nick hated maths, that is a miracle! As a teacher, the hardest nuts to crack are those that are disengaged and totally disinterested. The only thing Nick ever said to me about maths was ” I hate maths, I wish I never did it” . Enter Christian. Even though he still hated it and wished he never did it, he said to me one day, ” the best thing about Christian is that he never makes me feel dumb.”  So thank you for cracking this nut. Thank you for your patience and giving both my children the confidence to tackle a subject that did not come easily. You are a great tutor, you understood that learning begins with a relationship first and you built confidence from there. So thank you and a very Merry Christmas to you!


[/feature_box] I got this email last night, a few weeks after Nick had finished the last of his Year 12 Exams.

This is why I do it. And if you are working as a tutor (or thinking about it), this should be why you do it too.

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Learning begins with a relationship


Working as a tutor is so much more than just teaching Maths or answering questions. As a tutor, you want to work hard to make sure you are the easiest person to approach for your student.

If you can position yourself as someone who is approachable, your students will always respond to you. If they feel like they can come to you with questions (especially about concepts they should know), then a student will never be afraid to ask. Most of the time, tutors get frustrated because students refuse to ask questions. If a student is afraid to ask their teacher questions, then they need to feel like they can approach their tutor instead.

Most of the time, tutors get frustrated because students refuse to ask questions. If a student is afraid to ask their teacher questions, then they need to feel like they can approach their tutor instead. In fact, a poor relationship with a teacher is the number one reason students get a tutor. And a poor relationship with a tutor is the number one reason that a student will discontinue their tuition.

Good tutors will help students pass. Great tutors will make students happy

Good tutors know their content well, can explain it clearly and will push their students to work hard and get the job done. They leave work to be completed each week and expect it to be completed. They make their students write a study plan and go through practice questions until the student completes questions properly. And they conveniently and concisely answer any questions the student might ask.

A great tutor is different. A great tutor goes beyond just knowing the content and explaining it clearly. They can get creative. A great tutor will explain a concept three different ways and find out which way sticks best with their student. A great tutor will give real-life anecdotes and examples that a student can relate to the content they are learning.

Instead of pushing a student to work hard, a great tutor can teach a student to motivate himself instead. Instead of getting their student to write a study plan, they will work with the student to show them HOW to write the plan, and tailor it to suit himself. And they create questions to test every facet of understanding that a student might need.

More importantly than anything, a great tutor not only answers a student’s questions upfront but builds up their confidence and gives them the opportunity to ask every question they can think of.

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If a student has a great tutor, they will never be afraid to ask a question. No matter how silly it may seem.


Being a great tutor starts with a relationship

Without a relationship with your student, how can you expect to use anecdotes to explain concepts? There’s no point using an example about chess if the student is a die-hard basketball fan. Having a relationship with your student lets you tap into their own personal experience to help them better understand new concepts.

Without that relationship, your student will never be at that point of asking those silly questions. The ones that might ultimately be holding your student back.

So be a great tutor. Take the time, learn about your students, and help them to ask more questions than ever.

#tutor #tutoringtips #vce


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