Tutoring College Students: 7 Tips
Incoming college students often find themselves struggling to juggle their new workload and responsibilities.
Students seeking tutoring, either in a paid or unpaid setting, face unique challenges. They may develop unrealistic expectations of their abilities, or they simply might not know enough about the subject matter to get started on their own. Regardless of the situation, here are some tips for becoming a successful tutor.
If you’re a tutor, it’s important that you can help these students stay on track—and even get ahead! In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for tutoring college students effectively.
1. Be Sure To Set Clear Expectations Upfront
First of all, be sure to set clear expectations upfront. College is very different from high school in terms of how much work is expected. Make sure your student understands exactly what they need to do each week and that there are no surprises when assignments start rolling in. Having good communication with the student will make it easier for them to come to you with questions on an as-needed basis, rather than waiting until the last minute.
2. Know The Material And The Students
Secondly, it’s important that you know the material as well as—if not better than—the student, so they can trust that what you say is true. This doesn’t mean that you have to read textbooks cover-to-cover and memorize every detail; instead, just focus on understanding how the concepts are used in real-life situations, so you can help your students more effectively with their homework projects.
3. Cater Your Assistance Accordingly
Make sure to find out where your student is struggling and cater your assistance accordingly. For example, if they need help finding sources for a research paper or organizing their thoughts into an outline before writing it all down, these are things that might require specific techniques best learned from a tutor. By taking the time to understand where your student is struggling, you can give them the best possible chance at success.
4. Be Patient And Understanding
Be patient and understanding when explaining difficult concepts or working with unmotivated students. Not everyone learns at the same pace and some people just don’t want to learn certain things. As a tutor, it is your responsibility to make the material understandable and engaging for your student, regardless of their ability or motivation level.
5. Be Willing To Invest Time Outside Of Scheduled Tutoring Sessions
Be willing to invest time outside of scheduled tutoring sessions into helping students that need extra support between visits. This can include emailing them specific study tips or providing them with links to helpful resources online. The more you can help students after individual tutoring sessions end, the greater their chances will be of succeeding in their coursework over longer periods.
6. Take An Interest In Your Student’s School Life And Career Goals As A Whole
Take an interest in your student’s school life and career goals as a whole, not just the subject matter you are tutoring them in at any given moment. You may have some valuable advice or insight to offer about their plans that they are not considering. Showing a genuine interest in your student as a person will make them more likely to trust and respect you as a tutor, which will, in turn, lead to better results.
7. Always Be Professional And Respectful
Finally, always be professional and respectful when working with students, even if they are not always receptive to your help. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and remain calm in frustrating situations. Remember that you are there to help the student learn, not to be their friend, so keep your interactions focused on the task at hand.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an effective college tutor! Just remember to always keep communication open with your student, know the material inside and out, and focus on the areas where your student needs the most help. With a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your student has all the tools they need to succeed in college—and beyond.
For more related articles, check out IELTS tutor Melbourne.