The reasons many students and parents turn to tutoring is because of the lack of attention that the teacher is able to provide in a normal classroom setting. With classroom sizes approaching 30 to 40 students, it is impossible for teachers to provide individual attention to students. As the shortage of qualified teachers rise, and the number of students per class grow, many students will unfortunately be left behind.
This is where a skilled tutor can bridge the learning gap. Probably the greatest qualities that a tutor can possess is the ability to empathize with a students learning needs. No matter how difficult a student is to teach, all tutors need to have the ability to communicate the love and passion that they themselves have for learning. Tutors must be understanding and affirming, humble, patient and trustworthy. Tutors need not be highly intelligent or be intellectual achievers, but they must know what it feels like to be left behind or to not understand a concept. Even when a student is doing well, a tutor must desire more and work even harder to bring out the very best - not only from their students but also from themselves. If they lack these qualities, their students will not have the desire or motivation to learn.
Here are some more characteristics of a good tutor:
Preparation - Know what you are going to teach before you teach it. Spend time in preparation and reading before the tutoring session. Make it a goal to learn something for yourself. Don't rely on stock knowledge or what you've already taught in the past.
Positive outlook - A positive, optimistic outlook that no matter how bad or how good a students academic situation is, that it can be improved or made better through proactive responses.
Passion - The desire to help others, to be a servant leader within your limits. It's the gut feeling response, not the cool, pious intellectual response of a person who knows it all. It comes at the point when you take your students learning personally. This does not mean that you loose all sense of professionalism, it just means that you are communicating on a deeper level your faith in your students and your commitment to see them learn and grow.
Open mindedness - Although you are the teacher, you also have your blind spots. There are also other points of view and better learning paradigms. Keep an open mind and you'll learn from any situation - even from your own students.
Reliability - Nothing speaks louder, and builds more trust and confidence in your students than when you are reliable. Reliability isn't just being punctual, its conforming what you say to what you do. Don't fake a caring attitude, don't make promises that you don't intend to keep. People have expectations, and when you are able to confirm what you say, either verbally or non-verbally, you are been reliable.
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