What Makes a Successful Tutor?
After 20 years of tutoring, some things became evident to me. In the first place, the number of students who are working with tutors continues to increase. Two, working one-on-one with students is extremely rewarding, both for the tutor and for the tutee. And three, a few distinct yet generalised qualities of all great instructors begin to crystallise in the minds of their students.
Personalized tutoring satisfies a need that cannot be met only by today’s educational institutions. When it comes to schools that use blended learning programmes, tutoring is becoming increasingly frequent. The Gates Foundation is awarding funding to forward-thinking online tutoring organisations such as Tutor.com and Khan Academy to help them innovate. In recent years, increasing numbers of parents and educators have concluded that tutoring goes to the heart of the learning by personalising the meaning and instruction of the subject at hand. Due to all of the distractions in today’s hyper-technological environment, students require some face-to-face connection in the form of mentoring, tutoring, and coaching to succeed.
I’ve discovered numerous similar elements that consistently result in great tutors who can boost student academic achievement while also increasing students’ self-efficacy in their learning.
Tutors that are successful in their endeavours develop deep, personal relationships with their pupils.
Tutors play a distinct role from instructors and parents, which puts them in a unique position to assist students in their academic endeavours. A student’s success is built on personal relationships; the more attached a student feels to his or her tutor, the more the tutor can instil trust and respect in the student, both of which are necessary factors for successful learning. When a tutor pays attention to his or her student and invests time in developing a relationship with him or her, the tutor can:
1) Successful tutors build strong, personal relationships with their students.
According to our research, 95 per cent of our students were more likely to improve their assignment completion and accuracy when they worked with a tutor who developed a close, personal relationship with them. Our students were also 86 per cent more likely to create goals, use their weekly agenda, and improve their basic study skills and organising tactics when compared to the general population.
2) Successful tutors listen and communicate early and often with parents and teachers.
Communication and teamwork with all stakeholders are critical to the success of students in their studies. The concentration of tutors on goal setting, the creation of benchmarks, and the planning of lessons backwards prepares pupils for academic success. Successful tutors collaborate with their students to develop tailored learning plans in partnership with parents and teachers, allowing them to benefit from the insights of important adults in their kids’ lives and map a more effective path to success and accountability. The researchers discovered that when tutors talked with teachers, kids were 83 per cent more likely to participate in class and 72 per cent more likely to be involved in school activities.
3) Successful tutors have specific content expertise.
A genuinely great tutor can make learning real, relevant, and rigorous by including students in the process. Such instructors are subject matter specialists in their academic subjects; they are intimately familiar with the concepts, ideas, and difficulties that they are teaching. However, even though the majority of tutors will never have the opportunity to supervise a custom project-based learning session, they can discuss and introduce the rigour of real-world applications to students. The ability to transform school assignments into project-based activities and provide opportunities for real, hands-on work, rather than abstract assignments or rote worksheets, would help tutors engage students more fully. Tutors who can make learning relevant to students’ interests result in a greater number of pupils who are interested in what they are studying. Finally, tutors who make learning suitably rigorous — that is, challenging enough to keep students interested but not so difficult that they become discouraged and give up — see a visible improvement in their students’ development. Using tutors who were subject matter experts, we discovered that 90% of our students improved their academic accomplishment as assessed by grade improvement, and 71% improved their standardised test scores when using tutors who were subject matter experts.
The Ideal Partnership
Tutoring is available anywhere. Good tutors must understand the necessity of connecting their instruction with what is happening in the classroom. Teachers and parents see their children daily, so a tutor who works one-on-one with a student even once a week for an hour must recognise how much learning is taking place while he or she is not present.
When teachers make use of the tutoring resources available to them, it is extremely beneficial to the pupils. During my tenure as high school math and science teacher, I did not have the time to provide sufficient personalization for my students. Check with your student’s tutor to ensure that they have your syllabus and are up to date on your student’s grade. Teachers: It is preferable to contact regularly with the tutor (weekly, monthly, or whatever “regular” means to you) to keep track of the student’s progress and to identify their strengths and weaknesses. I would urge that younger students communicate with their tutors on a more frequent basis.
It is common for parents to set the tone for their child’s interaction with a tutor and to use this chance to reinforce lessons learned. If you’re a parent, make a point of checking in with your child’s tutor frequently, in addition. Several parents have informed me that they get a great deal from working with their child’s tutor, assisting their daughter in preparing for each session and, as a result, discovering something new every week. Learning occurs in both directions, from the tutor to the student, from the student to the parent, and back again. An excellent technique to boost understanding is to ask your youngster to teach you something that you learned in school today (or something that your tutor instructed you on).
The top tutors and educators understand the necessity of continuing their education throughout one’s life. Even the most experienced tutors may always enhance their skills! Tutors, set goals for yourself and track them using key performance indicators (KPIs) that may be measured on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Consider the following questions:
Approximately how frequently do you check in with parents and teachers?
How frequently do you check in with your pupils on their progress toward their objectives?
What criteria do you use to evaluate student growth and progress?
What possibilities for professional growth do you take advantage of regularly?
In addition to meeting and talking with other tutors to discuss best practices, look into Tutor.com and Khan Academy (both of which were beneficiaries of Gates Foundation grants), as well as what Education Week has to offer in the way of teacher professional development. Check out what local schools and nonprofits have to offer, talk to teachers about the books and articles they’re reading, and keep up with various educator websites, such as Edutopia, for the latest information.