7 Characteristics of a Quality Tutor
A good tutor can make all the difference for students who are struggling at school. Tutoring can help student fill in gaps in knowledge and skills. A tutor can also assist with organisation, time management and exam preparation.
Multiple studies have found that quality tutoring can boost learning to the ‘equivalent of students attending an additional 3-15 months of school.’
Whether you’re looking for a tutor, or thinking of becoming one yourself, here are seven characteristics of a quality tutor you should be aware of.
1. Good communication
A tutor needs to be able to explain concepts, ideas and processes in a way students can understand. They must use clear and concise language and know how to ask the right kinds of questions to draw students out.
The purpose of tutoring is not for the tutor to do all the talking. A good tutor is also an excellent listener. They grasp what students are trying to say and know how to build rapport and trust. A tutor also needs to communicate effectively with parents about their student’s progress.
One of the great benefits of working with a tutor is that students can learn in their own time. They are not required to keep up with the class and can take as long as they need to learn a skill or concept.
Often tutors need to go over the same material multiple times without rushing students or becoming frustrated. They need to have the ability to remain calm and composed to ensure students always feel supported.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Patience and emotional intelligence tend to go hand in hand. A patient tutor will usually also understand how students are feeling and work with them to achieve their goals.
A tutor must be able to demonstrate empathy and understanding while still encouraging students to stretch themselves and achieve their best. A quality tutor recognises when a student is becoming overwhelmed and switches tasks or suggests a break to reduce pressure.
Tutoring sessions do not aways proceed as planned and tutors need to be able to adapt quickly. Sometimes the material may prove to be unsuitable for a range of reasons or a student might want to work on an assignment the tutor is not familiar with.
A good tutor can easily adapt existing learning materials to meet their student’s needs. They will also have a variety of other materials with them, and they can come up with ideas and approaches to an assessment task on the spot.
5. Subject Knowledge
Thorough subject knowledge is a must for any tutor. Most tutors have formal educational qualifications in their subject, but it’s also possible to become a tutor with occupational experience, or if you can demonstrate a strong interest and aptitude in that area.
In addition to demonstrating in-depth subject knowledge, quality tutors are genuinely enthusiastic about imparting this knowledge to others. They enjoy teaching and learning, and this helps inspire students.
Tutoring is not just about imparting subject knowledge. Motivating students also requires creative thinking. If a student is not engaged during a session, a tutor needs to come up with creative ways to catch their interest.
When developing a personalised learning plan, it’s vital to incorporate creative tasks tailored to each student’s individual needs. This may involve designing lessons around students’ interests or incorporating fun activities they will enjoy.
Last but certainly not least, a quality tutor needs excellent self-discipline. They must be reliable, punctual and organised.
One way to gauge the effectiveness of a tutor is by how prepared they are for tutoring sessions. A good tutor will have a solid understanding of each student’s educational background and come to each session with tailored learning materials to meet their specific needs.
How to Find a Quality Tutor
At Tutor Doctor we have a team of specialist tutors who are carefully selected and matched with each student. Tutors work closely with students, teachers and families to identify learning needs and build a targeted program for each student.
Our assessment tools, tutor matching program and quality control processes ensure that all our tutors are of the highest quality.
Contact us today for a free consultation.