Being a tutor can be both challenging and exciting. The pressure is on to help struggling students master a subject. Layer on the need to maintain their interest, and the challenge increases. But when they finally have a good grasp of the material, it’s rewarding to see their confidence grow. Here are some ways to help your students feel energized and motivated so they can get past the boring or tough parts.
Everyone loves the “fun” teacher because they make coming to sessions a joy. A student is more likely to be excited about learning when they see that you are excited to teach. If you love what you do, let it show!
Show the student that you can adapt your tutoring to their learning needs and preferences. Some students may prefer a more structured approach, while others may prefer a more relaxed, conversational style. Whatever the energy level, you can always find ways to connect on their level. Ask about their interests and hobbies. Let the student know that you care about them as a person and believe in their ability to succeed.
There is an old saying: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Try to make your tutoring sessions as much about doing as possible so the student is actively involved and more likely to connect with the lesson.
Ask questions, encourage discussion, or have them teach you how to do a new task. Try some hands-on activities using things they have around the house. Practicing multiplication and division using their own Lego blocks might help make the subject more concrete—and colorful.
Visual aids and multimedia can make learning more engaging and interesting. Using educational YouTube videos, digital graphics, and other multimedia resources can help your students understand the material better.
Use whatever means you think will speak to your student. You might make up a rap about Pythagoras with your student or play a Schoolhouse Rock song on your ukulele. Unique examples not only help them learn; they’ll feel delighted to come to sessions with such a creative tutor.
Students often find it easier to understand concepts when they can relate them to their everyday lives. They become more invested and interested in the outcome. It’s also easier to build lasting neural connections when you tie the material from their lessons back to things they already know.
Maybe a student told you that one day they want to own a home with a swimming pool. You might explain that building a swimming pool in the backyard requires the use of several different types of math to estimate the area of the hole they need to dig, the weight and volume of the water to be added, and the behavior of the concrete once it’s subjected to the stress of all of that water.
Or you might have them work out how the gears on their bike make the wheels turn to illustrate mechanical and mathematical principles. Now they’re doing math because they really care about the answer. And they’re learning practical applications that may help them in the future.
Set realistic goals and expectations together to help get ahead of the feelings of failure that may lead a student to disengage with your program. One way to do this to create an “I can” list with the student that outlines what they can do and what they hope to eventually be able to do.
In your sessions, offer assignments that will help them advance through their list of goals, and provide feedback on their work during the session and encourage them to ask questions. Then, review the list periodically and celebrate with your student when they make progress toward or achieve a goal. Remind them of the hard work they’ve put into making those achievements and encourage them to continue striving for success.
As a tutor, you know it’s important to help students feel confident and inspired to conquer their learning goals. When you create personal, creative, and purposeful sessions, your students are more enthusiastic about the steps it takes to achieve those goals. Check out Remind’s tutoring resources now to help you deliver even more engaging, exciting programs, or sign up to tutor with Remind.