Tutoring requires building a relationship that is filled with trust and respect. For the most part, a tutor should endeavor to understand their students as no two students are alike. At Huntington Learning Center of Turnersville, tutors understand that each student requires a unique learning plan to help them absorb as much as they can and reach their maximum potential.
As a tutor, seeking out effective ways to communicate with students will make your job easier in two ways:
- You do not have to deal with the stress and struggles of being repetitive
- You get to enjoy a responsive student whose academic potential are being unleashed.
To help you achieve the greatest possible success, there are some tips that can be incorporated by every tutor to help them better relate to the needs of their students. We have in this article collected some of the most important tips which experienced tutors at Huntington Learning Center of Turnersville have employed over the years to deliver the best possible results.
For most students, certain subjects appear abstract, especially as these subjects have little to no connection to their lives. Such subjects like calculus, physics, and others may pose a problem for students because they find it hard to relate to. With such subjects as this, a tutor needs to break things down to the basics by being realistic and not being oblivious to the lack of interest exhibited by the students. By working with the student to develop a connection, interest is developed and a student may begin to find such abstract terms interesting to relate to.
To make the learning of such subjects fun and interesting, consider sharing your passion for such a field with the student as this may also motivate them to take up an interest in the subject and field.
Tutors should understand that they only serve as a guide to ensure that their students are on the right academic path and that they are achieving as much as they can. To this extent, tutors should take note to not groom students who are over-dependent on them. Instead, train students to be independent, to attempt tasks on their own and break new boundaries. An independent student is easier to work with because they move at a faster pace, consuming learning materials ravenously and seeking more knowledge.
As part of teaching students to be independent, be open to giving them independent tests and assignments which have been designed to test their critical thinking skills, their ability to take initiative and ability to learn on their own.
Be Flexible with assessment
In most cases, assessments, when not properly structured or applied, may not give a true representation of a student’s performance. There are several ways by which a student’s level of reasoning and ability to learn can be assessed. As a tutor, it is important that you remain open to trying out new ways to assess students so that they are overall well-rounded and ready to face challenges both in and out of the teaching area.
Using Pause Procedure
Students sometimes lack the energy to remain attentive and in cases like this, the tutor’s impact is rendered ineffective. A great way to ensure that your students haven’t tuned out on you is to carefully plan pauses in-between teaching. Using the pause procedure allows you to pause teaching to engage students, check their attention to details and make the classroom a less boring experience for students. You may also choose to ask students to summarize the ideas which have been discussed earlier in class as this offers them a chance to exercise their memory.
Fast-Paced Drills can come in handy
When teaching students on subjects that require a great degree of memory work, a good way to ensure that they are keeping up with the class is by engaging them from time to time during the teaching session. You can use fast-paced drills aimed at making the most important things register fully in their minds.
Teaching and learning can be a bit boring sometimes, especially when either party has lost interest in the whole concept that is being discussed. A good way to spice things up would be to introduce humor in between teaching. By doing this, you are both loosening the students to learn more and also associating fun moments with learning for students, thus aiding their recollection of the subject matter that is being discussed. You want to ensure that students are not tensed up during teaching sessions as this may render the impact of the teaching session inefficient.
Use multi-media where available
When teaching, the use of videos, photos and other multimedia tools can boost overall participation in class retention. Chances are high that students can better associate what is being taught through videos or photos. In other cases, multimedia tools may give students the perfect idea of what is being discussed, thus boosting their understanding.
Effective Questioning Techniques
We are all aware of the value of asking students questions to determine their level of grasp of a subject, but there are ways to make your questions in the classroom more effective. Such inquiries as “Are you sure? How do you know?” and “Is there another way?” encourage students to use some fundamental critical thinking to determine how sure they are in an answer and why. These questions assist to draw attention to areas where there may be several ways to get at a solution.
Reinforcing Effort/Providing Recognition
Building a classroom atmosphere that encourages active learning requires assisting students in connecting the dots between exerting effort and receiving praise. Without anything to provide them the drive to do so, encouraging students to put more effort into their activities can only go so far. Students are already motivated by praise and recognition, so it can be very helpful to shift their focus from being accurate to providing their best effort.
Although it may seem obvious, students are more likely to engage with learning when it is more individualized and piques their interests! This may be challenging to accomplish at first, especially with a class of 30 students, but as familiarity and rapport grow during the year, it should get simpler to tailor activities and even questions to particular students.
Most teachers are likely familiar with the concept of having students work in groups for some classroom activities, sometimes known as “cooperative learning.” It has been demonstrated that the idea of “competitive” collaborative learning, in which student teams compete against one another, has some impact, but caution is urged in case students concentrate more on the competition than the learning.
Explicitly Teach Thinking Skills & Problem-Solving Techniques
Although metacognitive approaches like those stated above increase the likelihood that students will be able to apply critical thinking to a problem, there is no concrete way to guarantee this will happen. Mathematical problem-solving techniques are not always second nature to students. Without them, students frequently make the mistake of attaching significance to a problem’s so-called “surface features,” which we naturally dismiss as unrelated to the math at hand.
Though, once domain information has been mostly obtained, teaching students how to notice and concentrate on the “deep structure” of problems enables them to use their knowledge more effectively. As a result, explicit training of thinking skills is still very important.
These are some of the most essential instructional techniques that you and every other instructor at your institution ought to at the very least have in your toolkit. Nobody is advocating that you employ them in every lesson, but it is imperative that you are aware of what they are and the outcomes you may anticipate if you want to advance your practice. Knowing what is current and supported by research is essential so that you may make an informed decision the next time someone suggests employing a novel or cutting-edge teaching strategy.