One of the tricks to being a good tutor is knowing your audience. Sure, you’re getting paid by parents and they usually think they know best, but what you know is students, and you know them well. I’ve come to realize that dealing with parents and students simultaneously as a tutor is an art that can be mastered. If you’re a parent and you’re reading this, don’t panic. We as tutors realize that you think you know your kids’ weaknesses best, and most of the time, you have it spot on. But we also know how to deal with students. This is particularly true when a tutor is close in age to their student, because it allows students to develop this kind of kindred spirit and trust towards the tutor.
When it comes to students who have behavioral problems in class or in a session, the kind who think that they don’t need school and are giving their parents the worst teenage years of their life, all you need to do as a tutor is gain the parents’ trust. Show them that you know how to deal with their kids and that you know best. Doing so will give you the reigns to handle the situation in the ways that you truly know best based on your experience. Now you should know that it’s a huge mistake to think that getting along with your students and gaining their trust you is an easy task. It’s really not. Some of them could give you what may seem like the hardest task you’ll ever face as a teacher or a tutor, some will show resistance, lack of enthusiasm and bafflement, while others will give you that “I cannot wait for the class to be over” attitude. However, if you see the potential in them, and you always will, it’ll be worth all the hard work. As a tutor, nothing feels as good as that feeling you get when you realize you’ve finally gotten to them; when you see them actually starting to believe in themselves, and it’s all because of you. Don’t think I don’t see the selfish factor here, but in the end, it’s a win-win situation.
Obviously, nothing will work out if you don’t know your basics; the better you are as an actual teacher who can provide knowledge, both academically and on a personal level, the more confident you will be when it comes to controlling difficult situations and helping your students shine and reach higher levels of knowledge. If you have that down, the parents are definitely going to let you take over.
So, if I were to wrap this up in a few words, I’d say know your academics, know how to find the keys that unlock your students’ potential, and know how to allow parents to trust you!
Written by Raja’ Urabi, awesome instructor @instatoot
Also published on Medium.