What Makes a Great Tutor?



Let’s all be honest for a minute; we’ve all had our moments of doubt before tutoring a student. Be it lack of confidence or lack of preparation, this happens more often than not, even to the best tutors or classroom teachers out there. And in most cases, it’s just our minds playing tricks on us. So this got me thinking, what really makes a great tutor?

There are quite a few amazing ones out there. Those who show up on time, those who graduated top of their class, and those who are really good and do not charge much (parents’ favorites). The list is endless, and is quite frankly subjective.

I have been tutoring for a few years now, which has exposed me to different situations and has given me the chance to meet all types of students and parents. Most of the time, I get to teach courses that I know like the back of my hand, but every now and then, I find myself in a situation where I need to work really hard to deliver a concept to a student. You see, I realized that all classroom teachers and tutors face challenges that make them either doubt themselves or inspire them to work really hard and overcome those problems.

Great tutors are the ones who are willing to commit themselves entirely to that one student in that hour or two. Preparing for a lesson, tailoring that lesson to the student’s needs and the way he/she perceives concepts, and trying to make the subject interesting, if not enjoyable, is what really matters. Those who are willing to go home and think of solutions for problems they come across while tutoring are in my opinion the greatest of all tutors.

For many parents, great tutors are the ones who graduated from well-known universities with the highest scores. As for students, they tend to love tutors they get along with, who are flexible and friendly, and know how to deliver a message in a way they understand and can relate to. For me; however, great tutors are the ones who help students learn and grow, not the ones who teach them facts. I read somewhere that the difference between a teacher and a tutor is that teachers must get a class from point A to point B. Unfortunately, you’ll always find some students who lag behind while others pick up concepts and new information quickly and easily. A tutor; however, teaches at the pace of the student, ensuring that he/she is learning effectively while motivating him along the way.

Great tutors understand that students probably lack confidence in the subject they need help with, because of that, they must be able to clearly communicate concepts in the simplest of ways. Great tutors are also passionate about the subjects they teach. Their enthusiasm for the subject can easily inspire students and rub off on them.

Being a tutor is a great responsibility, but it can also be an incredible, rewarding experience if one has passion, dedication, and empathy towards students.

But hey, that could be just me.

What do you think makes a great tutor?

Written by Dania Mousa — Co-founder & CMO @instatoot

Also published on Medium.

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