Module 3

Five Steps to Being an Effective Tutor

STEP ONE: Know What is Expected of You As A Tutor

Tutoring is the process of getting students to become independent through questioning. Tutoring should help students develop self-confidence and improve study skills. In addition, the tutoring session should provide students with an opportunity to speak up and ask questions, an opportunity sometimes unavailable or missed in a regular classroom situation.

Tutoring is a well-balanced question/information exchange in which both parties participate and, therefore, both benefit. Tutoring provides the practice and drill in specific course material needed by the student, while giving the tutor valuable review opportunities and the chance to develop and sharpen educational and communication skills.

Tutoring is not teaching. There are important differences between the role of the tutor and that of the classroom teacher. Approaches, relationships, and techniques are different. The tutor works in very close proximity with the student, usually one-on-one. The student may not be accustomed to the close contact and the interchange that occurs during a tutoring session. The tutor may have to consciously strive to develop a good rapport with the student within this environment.

STEP TWO: Setting Up the Tutoring Session

It is important to shape the tutoring environment. This can be difficult in the busy LRC; however, if you follow these simple procedures, you will have a successful session.

STEP THREE: Meeting Your Student’s Needs

Assess the student’s understanding of the subject by asking questions. Determine the student’s need for them to succeed in the subject. Strategies will vary, but do remember to engage the student. Try not to lecture and attempt to use:

STEP FOUR: The Ingredients of a Good Tutoring Session

The following are some of the necessary ingredients for a good session:

  • Greet your Student and give them your undivided attention
  • Have empathy with your Student’s problems.
  • Be honest with your client.
  • Set the Agenda.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Have the ability to “lighten up” a situation.
  • Have a good interaction with your Student, a good give-and-take.
  • Know your Student’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Work through your Student’s strengths to improve his/her weaknesses.
  • Make your Student feel good about him/herself and his/her accomplishments.
  • Know when to stop a session.
  • End the session on a positive note.

STEP FIVE: Ending the Tutoring Session

Do not just say “good-bye” when the session is over. You should:

  • Positively assess the work that was done during the session.
  • 50 Ways to Praise Students.
  • Give assignments if appropriate.
  • Re-schedule for another session.
  • Do any necessary tutor paperwork.
  • Always end the session with a positive comment.