One of our goals as tutors is to show our students that they are capable of much more than they think they are able to do academically.
Actually, as a tutor, I don’t feel successful until I can take my student to that point. The point where they recognize they are smarter than they think, stronger than they knew and able to push through when they don’t think they can. That is success!!!
And that’s the point where students get excited!
So how do you take your student to that point?
Relationship, Relationship, Relationship!
Even more important than your skill, is your ability to relay to your student that you are on their side. You are rooting “for” them. When they understand that you believe in them, they will reach deep inside and push themselves for you.
Oh, don’t expect it to be easy. One of the most often repeated line for all students is: “I don’t want to!”
They aren’t going to perform just because you want them to and they know you believe in them. But it will take persistence. Pushing your student requires wisdom, timing and finesse.
You don’t do it by trying to motivate the student. Instead, you come alongside them and show interest in them.
The first step is to build your relationship with your student.
Not sure how? Try these tips:
- Be authentic – Show you care. (If you don’t like the student please allow someone else to tutor them.)
- Being totally present during your tutoring sessions – Don’t text or fiddle with your phone, be attentive to your students.
- Laugh together. Don’t compromise learning to become their friend, but enjoy your time together.
- Make eye contact with your student when they talk
- Don’t always insist on your way – give in to their suggestions
- Show them you care – remind them you are there to help them and you genuinely want them to succeed
- Encourage them not just in their academic achievements, but also in the good character traits you see them exhibiting when you are together or as they tell you about their day/life
Even though you are getting paid as a tutor, your student should see you as someone who cares and is investing in them. The one on one time that you spend with your student will naturally help you build a valuable relationship.
When you have a positive and encouraging relationship with your student you will be able to be a more effective tutor.
This is especially true if you are encouraging them and pushing them beyond what they think they can do! There is a unique bond between a tutor and student when the tutor is rooting for the student’s success.