Being an in-person or virtual tutor is a great idea if you have teachable skills that can help a child or adult in their personal, educational, or career development. Of course, it isn’t enough to just turn up when you’re offering to tutor paying customers. You need to provide high-quality content that is impactful, memorable, and enjoyable. There are many ways to do so; to help you refine your approach, here are five tips for effective tutoring.
1. Structure each lesson
The average person has very little free time. So, you must make every minute count during the tutoring session. Even if you are tutoring young children who may technically have more free time, their parents probably don’t and expect a lot in a short time. These time-strapped parents are paying for the lessons and expect great value for the money.
You can deliver this value by ensuring each lesson is structured in a way that makes the most of every minute. Keep introductions to a minimum (unless it’s the first lesson), but do set goals for each lesson and communicate them to the pupil. Throughout the lesson, be conscious of the time so that you can move things along where necessary.
2. Effective tutoring involves preparation
Preparing for your tutoring session means giving your pupil (or their parents) all the required resources and a simple overview of the lesson a few days before. This approach lets the parents know you’re prepared, lets the pupil know what to expect, and provides an opportunity for them to prepare questions ahead of time.
Also, ensure you’re up to date on the topic you’ll be covering, refresh your knowledge, and gather any relevant materials you may need. If you teach virtually, ensure your home internet connection is reliable.
3. Cultivate a great relationship with the pupil
When the student feels comfortable with you, the tutoring sessions are more likely to be successful. That is because they will be more open to asking questions and letting you know if they struggle with any topics. While your knowledge is key to the lesson content, being a good teacher is also about being personable and approachable.
Relationship-building will also help you get through to students who have barriers to learning or who are simply introverted. Whether you’re teaching adults, teens, or younger kids, the more introverted students need to trust you before they can open up about certain things.
4. Be a problem solver
While you are highly knowledgeable in your area of expertise, your pupil may struggle to receive that information in the format you’re showing it to them. That is because people have different learning styles.
Great tutors are effective because they know that people learn differently. Being a fantastic problem solver and trying out various methods to accommodate different learning styles will enable your pupils to progress in their education.
5. Don’t shy away from the small print
To ensure practicalities never eat into lesson time, the best thing to do is to offer a tutoring contract after an initial session with the client. That makes everything you’ve both agreed on abundantly clear.
For example, you may limit how long you will hold a student’s time slot if they keep needing to cancel. You may also stipulate that compensation is expected if a student cancels within 24 hours of their scheduled lesson.
Concluding words on effective tutoring tips
With the right approach, you can be an exceptional tutor who makes a huge difference in your pupils’ lives. Although it’s a lot of responsibility, it’s rewarding to know that you could have a hand in their personal confidence and successful future.
2 thoughts on “5 tips for effective tutoring”
Hi Christy, this is very sound advice.
Appreciate the feedback, Robbie!