What makes an effective tutor? Understanding your role in a student’s academic success

For tutors

Tutors play an influential role in a student’s academic journey. Usually called in when a situation feels hopeless, you’re hired to help struggling students succeed. Along with guiding students to meet grade-level standards, you may also find yourself working with them to address frustration, build confidence, and develop the tools they need to move forward independently.

Here are five key characteristics that effective tutors need.

1. You can explain material in multiple ways.

The student is working with you for a reason: the original approach to teaching them the content didn’t click. As an effective tutor, you understand that not all students learn in the same way or at the same time. You’re able to find alternative ways of explaining the material they need to know, helping them to build bridges between new concepts and those with which they are already familiar.

2. You respect and listen to your students.

You’re a good listener and you take the time to let your students share. Listening allows you to understand their struggles with the material. You also allow for silence. You have the patience not only to listen but also to let students think and reflect on a subject in silence, without interruption. You show them respect by treating them as equals, never talking down to them or criticizing them, even when they’re having trouble applying or retaining what they’ve learned.

3. You’re empathetic.

There’s nothing more comforting to someone who is struggling than to know someone understands. You’re able to be a sounding board for students who just need someone to hear what is happening in their lives that may be creating problems for them. As a tutor or educator, you’ve experienced many students who require different types of support and teaching to be successful. You apply this experience with empathy and kindness as you help a student who may be dealing with stress and feeling overwhelmed.

4. You’re an encourager.

You understand the difference between praise, which focuses on inherent ability, and encouragement, which is tied to a growth mindset and builds self confidence. You remind your students what they are capable of achieving, even if they fail at a task. You encourage your students to recognize their strengths and build on them, and you align your program with those strengths.

5. You partner with key players to support student success.

As a tutor, you know it takes teamwork to make the dream work, and you’re committed to powering the relationships that help students to succeed. This means you establish strong, frequent communication, not only with your students but also with their parents and other teachers. This way, everyone is on the same page as you navigate the student’s progress together.

Tutors play a powerful role in the lives of your students—and we’re here to support you in creating a positive and supportive learning environment that makes a difference in a student’s long-term academic success. Learn more about Remind Tutoring’s commitment to helping you and your students succeed.