A good tutor has teaching ability, not just a high ATAR
Of course marks matter! But only to a certain extent. Just because a tutor has that coveted 99+ ATAR doesn’t guarantee that they will provide quality teaching for your child. Tutoring is so much more than simply passing knowledge from one person to another.
Tutors need to be able to engage the student, relate to the student and be genuinely passionate about helping the student. They need to understand that the student probably lacks confidence in the subject and is struggling at school. Because of this, a good tutor must be able to clearly communicate concepts across to the student in a simplistic way.
A good tutor really cares
The best tutors are not there just to make a quick buck. Developing a relationship with the student is of utmost importance. If the student is able to think of the tutor as a friend, he will be more likely to freely communicate any issues he’s facing in class. This way, he’ll feel more comfortable when the tutor comes and the lessons will be most productive.
The tutor should definitely be concerned with the student’s academic progress. Things like school reports, past assessments, etc. should be frequently checked to see how everything’s going. In addition, it’s a great idea for the tutor to also develop a relationship with the parents and keep them in the loop as well.
A good tutor individualises his/her teaching
Not every student learns in the same way. Some learn through visual stimuli, others learn through repetitively doing the same style of questions. A good tutor will recognise what works best with each student and tailor his/her teaching to suit the individual. Their lessons should complement the student’s schoolwork in order to reinforce concepts and enhance learning. Good tutors will prepare for each lesson, but make sure that there is room for flexibility.
A good tutor aims to motivate the student
They need to understand that the student probably lacks confidence in the subject and look for ways to motivate and inspire the student to work hard. Often, this is done through constant encouragement and positive reinforcement. A tutor should NEVER make the student feel as though s/he is unintelligent.
A tutor should also be passionate about the subject they are teaching! Whether it be creative writing, or science, the tutor’s enthusiasm and love for the teaching matter can definitely rub off on the student. For more on this topic, read our blog post about helping students develop passion.