What Makes a Great Tutor & How To Find One
One of the questions we regularly get from our students is on how to find a good tutor. This is both an important question and one that’s not easy to answer because it’s hard to really know how good a tutor is until you get lessons from them. So we went and asked a great tutor working with our friends at the LearnMate tutoring agency to tell you how to find a tutor that’s perfect for you!
So, What Makes a Great Tutor?
Don’t go it alone if you need help or simply want to improve!
When enlisting a tutor, remember that simply having one is not enough: you need to choose a tutor who is perfect for you! But how do you work this out? As someone who has both benefited from tutoring and been a tutor (for 2.5 years and counting!), let’s explore some ways to make the process of discerning less painful.
Firstly, there are some very important qualities to look for in a tutor: knowledge, adaptability, and excellent communication. If you happen across a tutor who you think possesses these qualities, enquire about a trial lesson, as many tutors offer discounts or even a free first lesson! Now, you can assess whether they are a good fit for you.
Knowledge or expertise is probably the most obvious quality – you need someone who knows what they’re talking about. Keep in mind that some of the greatest tutors don’t always have a perfect study score; look for someone who is passionate and committed to creating an environment of continual improvement. This should be pretty easy to spot, because a tutor’s passion about their area of expertise is contagious!
Next, adaptability is really crucial: the best tutors always adapt their lessons around the learning style of their student. If a tutor spends some time asking questions, and getting to know you and your goals at the start of a trial lesson, this is a really good sign that they are committed to shaping lessons around you, rather than just working from a pre-determined list of topics. One size does not fit all with tutoring.
Finally, communication is key, as organising tutoring can become a logistically complicated process. Look for a tutor who can easily communicate what they offer to the student, as well as someone who is organised with their time and resources.
Now, I’m aware that many associate tutoring with a culture of intense competitiveness, symptomatic of a society which sometimes values numeric results over uniqueness. What differentiates a great tutor from an average tutor is their ability to not only help you with school results, but to also teach you skills and frameworks of learning which you can carry on beyond your schooling. A great tutor should be able to teach you content and ways to learn and conceptualise information.
My absolute favourite compliments to receive from students are to do with their continual learning: for example, if they tell me I’ve helped them with a grammar point they’ve never understood before, or if they admit that they actually enjoyed a school book for the first time!
I see it as a privilege and a responsibility to be in a position where I am trusted by students. Of course, as a tutor, I’m aware that I rely uncomfortably on results-driven concerns of some students to be able to work in a field that I love. There’s nothing wrong with being driven or having specific goals, and your tutor should always support you in pursuit of these. However, this becomes a problem for some students if they aim for a 99 ATAR not because they want it, but because they feel pressure to want it.
To combat this, my aim in tutoring is to provide a challenge, venturing to instil a long-term love of learning, and to be your biggest supporter in this part of your life, rather than to look at a number as the culmination of an entire year’s work.
The most important help a tutor can give is to have passion for what they do, which is the biggest secret to “success”.
Written by Lydia McClelland, a tutor with LearnMate tutoring agency
Do you have any interesting experiences with tutoring? Share the good, the bad and the ugly in the comments below!
Share this with friends
Copyright © 2018
All Rights Reserved.