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    Have I Got The Right Attitude For Tutoring?

    What is the right attitude for tutoring?

    If you are passionate and enthusiastic about your subject, you will soon find that your private tutoring becomes more of an enjoyable hobby and less of a job. Tutoring solely for profit should be avoided. The best tutors have a true vocation for teaching.

    It is essential to have a positive attitude when teaching. Remember that your student will come to you for that extra help that will make all the difference between success and failure at school. Private students often face a situation where they are failing a subject and feel they cannot catch up on their own. But it’s not just their knowledge of a subject that you need to improve. Their level of confidence will also need a boost if they are to believe in their potential.

    - Always verbally reward your students for their efforts: positive feedback is essential to success (e.g. “it’s very good”, “well done”, “excellent point”, etc.).

    - Positive criticism is the only efficient form of criticism! Remember that students that come to you will often feel frustrated by their seemingly “incapacity” to understand or succeed in a topic. They may feel intimidated or ashamed. It is your role to bring their confidence back!

    - Monitor their progress and show them the improvement that occurred in the time when you have been working together. This is good method to encourage your student, and also a great way to advertise and validate your teaching skills!

    - Remember that all students are different. A method that worked with one student might not be successful with another one. It is important to reassess your method in order to find something that works for your student. Avoid commenting on you past success or comparing learning speed between students, even if you think this could trigger competitive feelings and extra motivation. Students usually suffer comparison at school and are more likely to be discouraged by such comments. Ideally, you should treat your student as if he was your only student.

    - Be professional but accessible. Allow - appropriate – humour in your teaching, a smile goes a long way and humour help students to relax.

    - Try to introduce unusual material in your teaching: mathematical games, historical gossipy anecdotes, words play or other interesting facts are always welcome and help regaining students attention when going through a less exciting patch of the curriculum.

    - Always try to be honest and fair in your teaching. The relationship between tutor and student is based on trust.

    Next we will discuss the need for tutors to provide their own resources, how to get past exam papers, and contact details for examination boards

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