The new term at Action Tutoring has begun and we’re preparing to welcome new pupils and tutors old and new who will be working together for the next academic year towards the pupils’ SATs and GCSEs. Finding the best way to connect with and get the best out of a pupil is a skill a skill that can be honed. We encourage all our tutors to reflect on their tutoring sessions and think about how they can improve. This blog aims to outline a few techniques tutors can use to help their pupils get the most out of their time an Action Tutoring programme.
1. Fostering independence
Aim for your pupils to be engaged in independent activity and thinking. Ask questions that don’t just have a ‘yes or no’ answer. Be self-aware during tutoring and stop yourself if you catch yourself asking yes/no questions. You can go further and encourage them to voice their opinions. Getting students to voice their opinion raises pupils’ self-confidence since, perhaps for the first time in their lives, they can feel like their opinions are valued by their tutor. This fosters a mentoring approach that makes students feel supported and cared for.
2. Know when to be silent
The majority of tutoring time should be spent with the pupils doing independent activities (not you teaching), but when you are speaking it is important to check they understand. To ensure your students don’t tune out when you are speaking, pause often and ask them open questions or to summarise the idea you have just explained. If you are tutoring more than one pupil ask students to summarise what they have just learned to each other. Pupils need time to process information so give them time when you are waiting for their response. It may feel awkward to you, but they are busy thinking.
3. Make it fun!
At Action Tutoring we think it’s so important to make sure the pupils have fun while they’re learning. Our tutoring sessions are not the school classroom (though they may be in one). As tutors, you have the freedom to include some games at the start, end or middle of the session to keep the pupils engaged. Just remember when you were in school or uni – how long could you concentrate for before you needed a break? Programme Coordinators will have some ideas up their sleeves, so ask them for some ideas or come up with your own.
4. Requesting feedback
It is good to request feedback from your pupil regularly. Do you fully understand their preferred learning style, or are you spending enough time on a subject? The ultimate aim is to make the most of your student’s limited time and resources, so feel comfortable enough to find out how best to work together. You can also request feedback from your Programme Coordinator if you want to improve your tutoring technique.
This post was adapted by Jane Maciver, London Programme Coordinator from a blog originally published on www.tutorhubuk.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/tips-for-tutors-teaching-strategies-for-more-effective-tutoring/ on January 29, 2014.