The most important qualities of a private tutor
The private tutoring industry and grown substantially within the last decade which means that there is a huge opportunity for private tutors to earn a living and have a flexible working lifestyle. To succeed and become a successful private tutor, you must have key skills and attributes. Although having a degree in your chosen subject or closely related is desirable, not all private tutors have formal qualifications, but instead have a lot of experience or industrial skills.
There are some core skills listed below, highlighting some key areas that private tutors must focus on to ensure they develop and improve their tutoring sessions.
Active Listening: This sounds quite obvious but it would surprise you how many people just passively listen and not concentrate on what is being said. When a student is explaining a problem, goal or something specific relating to the course they are studying, an effective tutor should actively listen and ask questions and come up with solutions to solve problems. This in turn gives the student confidence that the tutor is listening to their requirements and needs. From here, the problem can be addressed properly.
Organisation: Tutors must have the ability to organise themselves and their students. Setting short term and long-term goals is extremely important and demonstrates that there is structure to the sessions, which again will give the students confidence. You are much more likely to achieve a goal if short-term and long-term goals are set. Following the acronym, SMART (S=Specific, M = Measurable, A = Achievable, R = Realistic, T = Time) can remind tutors of how to set specific and manageable goals, which are also achievable and realistic in a given time frame period.
Knowledgeable: Being a private tutor doesn’t require you to be extremely qualified, it does however, require you to be very knowledgeable in the area that you are tutoring, and familiar with the course content. The majority of the time students will seek help for the most technical elements of the course which means that tutors must have exceptional knowledge in these areas to tutor and ensure that the students can understand the concepts.
Flexible and Adaptable: Parents and students are really busy people and having a private tutor who is flexible and can schedule sessions to suit the students weekly timetable is extremely beneficial to both the students and parents. Often students require tutors to be available late in the evening or at the weekends when exam time is approaching.As well as being flexible and adaptable with time, tutors must also be able to adapt to a preferred teaching style for their students. Every student is different and will require to be taught in a way that suits them best. Therefore, tutors must be able to adapt and tailor tutoring sessions to each student’s needs. Some students prefer to be taught using textbooks and written examples, whilst others prefer the use of visual aids, such as online tutorials etc. The main point is that tutors must recognise the most effective way in which each individual student learns.
Inspirational: Tutors must inspire their students and give them the motivation and drive to succeed. All too often students are seeking private tutors because they lack the inspiration and motivation to do well. Having the ability to motivate students is a key skill that tutors should possess.