Students often find themselves having to fight thirty of their peers for their teacher’s attention. It is in such a scenario that private tutoring becomes an important determinant in a child’s performance at school. Often enough, however, tutors can do more harm than good despite their best intentions. It is important to be able to differentiate a good tutor from a bad one. The following article discusses some of the warning signs of an ineffective tutor.
Tutor, Not Teacher
The two jobs may seem the same, but they are actually quite different. A teacher explains the concepts while a tutor helps students overcome hurdles that they may face in applying that concept. If your tutor spends more time lecturing, he is not listening to the needs of your child. A tutor must help the child think for itself. A tutor who, for example, solves an arithmetic problem for a child will impart nothing of value to it. Further, a good tutor will not stop your child before it makes a mistake. Instead, he will let it make a mistake and then point out where it went wrong.
A good tutor must know how to communicate effectively and more importantly how to communicate with a student. If you find your tutor using terms that are too hard for your child to grasp, the tutor will not succeed no matter how well he knows his subject. Further, a good tutor uses examples to facilitate the students understanding. These don’t even need to be related to the subject. Successful tutors have been known to explain statistics through examples of food.
Establishing a Rapport
Regardless of the tutors expertise in a subject, if your tutor cannot develop a positive relationship with your child, it will take away very little from the tutoring sessions. An effective tutor will treat the child as an equal rather than an inferior. This does not mean that he will allow your child to flout his authority, but he must be careful not damage your child’s self-esteem when it doesn’t understand a concept. This quality also requires the tutor to know his own limitations and accept some of the responsibility for not explaining effectively. Tutoring is a two way process so if your tutor shifts the blame on your child, he is in all probability not aware of or willing to accept his shortcomings.
Body Language and Listening Skills
There is more to conveying a message than simply speaking. Your tutor may verbally congratulate your child but still cause it unease. Effectively body language is, therefore, an important factor in judging a good tutor. If you spot the tutor displaying bad body language during the session, he may not be genuinely concerned about your child’s education. While a tutoring session is about studies, a good tutor will always engage in some small talk. Not only will it make your child feel more at ease, but often tutors use this as a way to gage its personality and learning style. If your tutor keeps instructing your child from the first minute of the session to the last, he may be focused solely on the subject and not the student.