The best tutors genuinely love their work and are fully committed to helping students achieve their potential.
Here we take a deeper dive into what makes a good tutor. This list is drawn from our many years of experience at Tutor My Kids.
A qualified teacher
The best tutors are qualified teachers because they:
- Understand the curriculum so they teach the student what they need to know.
- Can adapt their teaching to the student’s learning styles and level because they have experience of teaching different age ranges and abilities.
- Can use assessment to inform the next steps of the student’s learning.
- Can personalize learning to the student and teach in a way that is engaging to them.
At Tutor My Kids, all our tutors are qualified, experienced teachers who know exactly how to help students reach their full potential.
Takes time to get to know a student
Unlike a teacher with a large class, a private tutor can really get to know their student. By understanding a student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and learning styles they can plan and deliver the most effective lessons.
A great tutor listens to their student, shows a genuine interest in what they say and builds a rapport with them.
When a student is comfortable with a tutor, they are more likely to be engaged in lessons and ask questions to further their learning. They are also more likely to take on board on their tutor’s constructive feedback, so they continually improve.
Adapts their lessons in response to the student
A good tutor will pick up on how a student is feeling on a particular day and adapt their lessons accordingly. There may be some days when a student is feeling more motivated than others, for varying personal reasons.
It is important that a tutor can change their plans on the spot without losing sight of the student’s goals. For example, if a student needs a confidence boost on a particular day, the tutor might start the lesson with a familiar topic or a learning game the student enjoys.
Makes lessons relevant
To have the motivation to do their best, every student needs to be able to see the point of what they are learning. For many students the reason will be “to pass an exam”, but a great tutor can make learning so much more than that.
At Tutor My Kids we use a variety of approaches to make lessons relevant to students. Our tutors connect learning to each student’s individual interests and real-life experiences as far as possible. A child might be helped to improve their grammar skills by reading and writing about football or by writing about a recent trip to Legoland, for instance.
We make sure students have ownership of their learning by offering them choices when we can. For example, if they are learning about life in restoration England for GCSE History, we may start by asking what they want to find out. Do they want to learn more about the slave trade, women’s daily life or the theatre, for example?
Provides constructive feedback
Constructive feedback is important so a student can progress, and delivering feedback constructively is a skill. There needs to be a healthy blend of praise to encourage a student to keep going alongside suggestions for improvement.
Unlike a teacher with a large class a private tutor can deliver feedback both in writing and face-to-face all the time. The tone and style in which feedback is delivered is important to ensure a student fully understands what they need to do to improve and at the same time retains a positive ‘can do’ attitude.
Students need regular, clear feedback to know how they are progressing and what steps they need to take to achieve their goals.
Motivates their student
Making mistakes is part of learning. Our tutors help their students to understand that an incorrect answer is a learning opportunity.
As Henry Ford apparently said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” If people didn’t learn from mistakes we wouldn’t have the motorcar, the lightbulb and even Walt Disney’s cartoons!
Teaches a student how to learn
Knowing how to learn is a skill for life. Our tutors teach students of all ages learning techniques that work for them which they can continue to use in future.
For example, if a child is learning to spell, their tutor might teach them a mnemonic such as “Big elephants can always understand small elephants” to spell ‘because’. This is a technique they can use to learn all kinds of tricky words.
A student who needs to retain information to pass GCSE biology might be advised to read their revision notes and then write themselves quiz questions to answer. This method can be applied to most other exam subjects.
These are just two examples of techniques our tutors teach. Knowing how to learn is the key to being a confident, independent and successful learner.
We know what makes a good tutor
At Tutor My Kids all our tutors have been personally interviewed by Managing Director, Rachel Law.
Rachel is a qualified and experienced teacher herself, so she understands what makes a good tutor. Over the last 11 years she has built a team of talented tutors who share her passion for helping children who need extra support.
If you think your child would benefit from the support of a qualified, one-to-one tutor, please do get in touch with us on 01223 858 421 or firstname.lastname@example.org