What Makes a Good Tutor?

What Makes a Good Tutor?

The characteristics of a good tutor

Private tutors, like teachers, all have different teaching styles and all use slightly different methods. Generally, good tutors are friendly and approachable yet maintain a professionalism that reassures students and parents that they are good at what they do. Good tutors have patience and have a genuine interest in working with students and teaching their subject.


Good tutors are:


Well-Prepared and Organised

We’ve all heard the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and it certainly rings true in education. Teachers who take time to prepare their lessons and learning outcomes are more likely to present their lessons to students in an understandable and structured way.


Have Clear Objectives

The most effective home educators take time to create lesson plans that give their students and their parents a clear idea of what will be taught, how they will be graded and what exams or essays they will be writing. Each unit of work should show which learning outcomes are being covered and should explain which skills are being used. The tutor should also be consistent in their grading and return assignments to students in a timely manner.


They Engage Their Students

Good tutors don’t just teach the facts, they encourage discussions and questioning. They ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions to encourage students to think about meaning and consider deeper workings. By being flexible in their approach, they are able to consider things from different perspectives and can see merit in answers which aren’t one hundred per cent correct. Effective tutors are able to keep their students motivated through a variety of different learning methods and exercises.


They Know Their Subjects

Educators who keep up to date with their subjects are more likely to gain the trust of their students. By showing expertise in the subjects and spending time gaining new knowledge, tutors come across and competent and capable. By showing passion for their subjects, good teachers make lessons exciting and fun and motivate students to learn.


They Use Positive Language

Successful teachers try to use positive language as much as possible, even when correcting a student’s errors.  They reframe the idea of ‘mistakes’ into something more encouraging.  When they point out errors, they give constructive explanations with the intention of making students feel enlightened rather than deflated.  By the same account, good educators are realistic and not overly-positive to the extent that they praise mediocrity.  By using positive language honestly and effectively, students know when they have genuinely achieved in a task.


They Show an Interest Out With Lessons

By showing students that they have interests outside their own subjects, teachers are able to gain trust and respect from their students for opening up to them a little.


Set High Expectations For Students

They expect that all students can achieve in their subjects and rather than give up on those who underachieve, they encourage them to keep trying.


Keep in Contact With Parents

As a tutor, It’s important to have a positive relationship with parents, built on trust and honesty. By being honest with parents when discussing a student’s progress, good educators strike a balance between praise and criticism.  Over-praising a student can lead to false expectations for students and parents.


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