The Role of the Tutor

If a student hires a tutor, some people think that he/she is struggling to keep up in school. But more people would actually think that tutoring is part of a normal education of a student. Moreover, the role of a tutor in a student’s life is very essential in one’s journey to success. Below, eight important roles of a tutor are presented and discussed:

1.)  A tutor explains.

Before anything else, a tutor explains the lesson that the student needs to take up. In the process of explaining, the tutor must do it in a way such that the student grasps the topic in the easiest way. Since there is a big possibility that the student asks for a tutor’s help because he/she cannot understand how the teacher discussed it, thus, the tutor must be creative on how to explain the lesson properly.

2.)  A tutor evaluates.

Sometimes, students aren’t aware of the reasons why they don’t understand the discussion. The tutor can either take a look at the previous work of the student in his/her class, or give some lesson exercises to the student in order to assess his/her weaknesses and strengths. After the assessment, the tutor must help the student on those areas that needs improvement.

3.)  A tutor works with the class programs.

The tutor is responsible in supplementing to what the student learns in the class. The tutor must also be able to help the student meet all the necessary requirements needed in class. Thus, a tutor is not only there to help the student understand a certain topic, but the tutor is also there to help the student become equipped on his/her next class. In addition, the tutor can help the student identify questions that he or she needs to ask the teacher to get more help in class.

4.)  A tutor checks improvements.

It is not proper for students to always rely on the tutor. It is always better if the student becomes capable of answering his/her own assignment. Remember that tutors are there to guide the students in answering the assignments, not the tutor answering the assignments by themselves. Hence, the tutor must check if the student has any improvements in his/her performance through giving constant tests and quizzes, or checking the student’s assignments.

5.)  A tutor plans.

The tutor is also responsible of planning for the student to master his/her lessons. The tutor can possibly assist the student in establishing and attaining his/her goals like becoming a topnotcher in class, or having a perfect score during periodical exams.

6.)  A tutor teaches discipline.

Discipline is one attitude that a tutor must impart on his/her student. The tutor must help the student stay focused while studying. One simple way of teaching discipline is to let the student come on time during tutorials and attend tutorial sessions regularly.

7.)  A tutor is supportive.

Sometimes, students become discouraged when faced with difficult lessons in class. The tutor should be the one to accompany the student and encourage the student to get beyond the frustration. Then, the tutor must give more positive feedbacks when the student gets the lesson correctly so to inspire the student to continue studying.

8.)  A tutor teaches study skills.

Not all students who fail need tutorials because they have low intelligence quotients. Sometimes, students just don’t have the proper studying methods. Hence, the tutor is also responsible of teaching the student the correct studying skills and managing study time. In this way, students get to learn better and faster.

Setting the Right Goals Before Engaging in Tutoring

It is not proper to engage into tutoring without setting goals ahead. Tutors should avoid expecting a lot from the student because this can cause disappointment and barrier between the tutor and student. Thus, establishing the right goals, and attaining them is essential for the whole duration of the tutorial to be successful. The goals agreed upon at the start of tutorials can benefit both the tutor and the student and can make tutorials become enjoyable.

The following can be of good help for setting and achieving the right goals.

1. Define your goals.

As the tutor meets the student for the first time, list down realistic and achievable goals that will be met after an agreed amount of time. Make sure that you (the tutor) and the student are agreeable with these goals.  Do not set goals that are impossible to reach – this will make your student feel frustrated and eventually make tutoring a lot less enjoyable.

Goals can be short-term and long-term. Short-term goals are those that can be achieved in the very near future such as in a day, in a week, or in a month while long term goals are those that can be achieved over a longer period of time such as in one semester, in a year, in 5 years, etc.

Long-term goals are more meaningful and important. However, it takes a longer time to realize them. This is why some people procrastinate and take them for granted. As a result, some people have difficulties staying focused and maintaining a positive attitude toward reaching these goals. Here, let’s introduce “enabling goals” which are special types of short-term goals that are written to achieve long-term goals. They are like short steps that help you measure your progress toward reaching a bigger and long-term goal.

Here are some examples of short-term goals that you can set:

   a) Learn how to multiply numbers from 1 to 10 after 1 week.

   b) Have a score percentage of 85% or higher on the upcoming test (test will be in 1 week).

Here are some examples of long-term goals:

   a) To increase the first quarter grade from 80% to 85%.

   b) To be the valedictorian in the class.

2. Meet your goals.

It is important to monitor the performance of your student in order to be successful in your listed goals. Advice your student to do assignments, projects, or extra studying in school or at home. This is to remind the student that tutoring is just one part of attaining the goals and that a little extra work will be of good help to raise his/her grades.

3. Do some assessment every now and then.

Doing some assessment once in a while will help you keep track of the developments of your student. If your student is doing extra work and is on the right path towards getting good grades, then praise your student and encourage him/her to keep up the good work. But if you notice that your student is struggling and does not take the goals seriously, you may try to redefine your goals. Your student may have a goal of being a topnotcher in class but you observed that it really is not attainable for the specific grading period. Thus, be realistic and set a new goal like attaining a good grade even if it doesn’t mean being a topnotcher. In this way, your student will not be frustrated and still be encouraged to achieve the goals being set.

As a Tutor, you are accountable for the academic performance of your students. You have in your power the ability to influence and shape them.