How to Hone Your Personal Tutoring Style

By Ian Acosta on July 31, 2017

If you are a tutor, you realize how important it is to pass along what you know to someone else. I am sure you know that more than anyone.

Tutoring has many shapes and styles. Because of that and the myriad of ways that people learn, it is imperative that you customize and hone your personal tutoring style to better suit the need of the person you want to tutor.

What are some efficient, yet constructive ways to go about bettering your personal tutoring style? Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to become the best tutor you can be.

Consider different types of tutoring

Let us preface the ways you can make yourself better based on how you choose to present your tutoring. There are a few different types of tutoring to consider.

Consider the following: one-on-one tutoring, group tutoring, online tutoring, and tutoring a classmate. While these all have different characteristics by nature, the one fact remains the same: a student learning from a mentor. The way you go about tutoring via face to face interaction will no doubt be different than tutoring someone online. It is important to account for not only who you are tutoring, but the medium over which you are relaying the instruction as well.

Similarly, one-on-one interaction will be much different than how you instruct a group of students learning from you. You will no doubt have to keep in mind how each one is progressing but also be mindful of the pace, interaction, and structure of how you are teaching. It is a tall task no doubt, but being able to hone your personal style is going to be based on the different types of tutoring in which you participate.

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Be personable

The whole point of tutoring is to help. A huge role in helping someone is getting to know them better first. This is why being personable is a great first step into developing your own style of tutoring. A strong personal relationship will help build a foundation of trust and support. This in turn will lead to a more easygoing and relaxed tutoring atmosphere allowing both tutor and student to grow simultaneously and really get the most out of each other’s time together.

In addition, by being a more personable tutor and building that initial relationship, it will allow both tutor and student to identify where the student is excelling and more importantly where the student needs the most help. By identifying strengths and weaknesses and personalizing the student’s tutoring, it will allow them to grow and grasp concepts and lessons much faster.

Be mindful of communication

You can still be a tutor or mentor outside of the scheduled time you have with a student. To be a successful tutor, communication should not be limited to just the tutoring session. If a student has taken the time to seek out help and put his or her trust in you, their tutor, you should pay them back and take a vested interest in their success and create a plan to sustain it.

What does this involve? Great communication. Check in on how he or she is doing when not with you. Make sure they attend lecture and put aside time to study the concepts on their own instead of being solely reliant on a tutor. When it comes right down to it, the tutor cannot be there for the student every step of the way. The job of a tutor is to not only teach, but to be a support and mentor for when the student needs more than just study tips.

As for communication while tutoring, be mindful of how your student is responding to you. If they simply nod their head and say yes every time you ask if they have grasped a concept, they are more than likely confused. You must be able to pick up on these cues and take the time to reflect on how you are relaying the information to them.

If they seem to not be getting it, maybe try switching up the pace or even your style of tutoring until you see an improvement in the student’s work. The results will not be instant but you must be able to also better yourself as well as the student.

Listen to feedback

Who better to tell you how to improve than the person you are teaching? As stressed before, communication is key. The best way to connect with someone, especially someone you are tutoring, is to listen to their feedback and criticisms. Have them tell you what you can improve on and explain better. It is an important relationship to foster and the better the feedback for both parties involved, the better you can both grow.

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