Interaction with parents and students

Interaction with parents and students
Tutor Training Course
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Interaction with parents and students
Interaction with parents and students
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Interaction with parents and students
It takes a lot to be a great tutor. Great tutors accept responsibility for their students, cheer for them in their successes and help pick them back up after their failures. Great tutors are more like coaches; they bring out the best in their students with patience and positive reinforcement. When a student does not understand something, typical tutors blame the student. But the best tutors evaluate themselves and teach the concept differently.
Course Content
Interaction with parents and students
With both parents and students, keep conversations light and on-topic. Though don’t be afraid to make small talk with the parent occasionally. It helps build rapport and makes you more likable. Small talk should be limited exclusively to the comfort level of the client. If you find a common interest between you and the parent, that is a good candidate for small talk.
With your students, establish a friendly yet professional relationship. Do not discuss your personal life unless it is related to the subject you are teaching and you are using it as some sort of an example. You want the student to feel comfortable enough around you not to be intimidated, but you want to remain superior. As soon as the student sees you as an equal, you lose all authority. You want them to do their homework and work diligently during the lesson. You bring out the best in a student when they are most comfortable but still subordinate. Striking that balance is difficult to do, but very possible.
You can build a more friendly relationship with your student by asking them: 1.How their day at school was 2.How their clubs/extracurriculars are going 3.How school in general is going
This goes without saying, but no “personal” relationships with your students. That does not mean be emotionally detached during your lessons, just outside of the lessons keep communication solely focused on helping your student learn. Besides the obvious liability concern, personal relationships can distract from the real reason you are there: to help the student learn.
This simple yet dreaded question makes all tutors think twice before they say anything. To answer, you must have a detailed response, a simple “good” is not enough. Parents expect you to know exactly where their child is with the material and what the plan is moving forward. If your student has been performing well, you can say something like “I’ve been very pleased with [student’s name]’s progress. They have been doing *this* and *that* and getting x results on their exams”. However, if your student has been performing not so well, the question becomes a lot more tricky.
It is important to keep the parent well-informed of their child’s performance, even if it is bad, while keeping the overall outlook positive. The best way to do this is by sandwiching the negative information with positive information. Start by saying something positive about their child. Then, bring in your concern. Then, finish the discussion with another positive observation. An example of this would be:
“Blake has been demonstrating excellent proficiency with solving systems of linear equations recently, however, I noticed that he has a bit of trouble with graphing exponential functions. Though he is working diligently on his homework and I expect that he will learn exponential functions in no time.”
Here, we sandwiched the bad, Blake not being able to graph exponential functions, with two positives. Those being, his ability to solve systems of equations and him doing well on his homework. This keeps the parent smiling but still informs them of their child's struggles.
Depending on the age of your student, it is almost impossible to expect exactly what your student will be like. The first and second sessions must be used to gauge your student’s tendencies. Do they complete their work diligently? How well do they know the material? Do your personalities blend well? Understanding these basic principles early will help set you and your student up for success in the future.
Over time, the student will be more comfortable with you and the learning pace will likely increase. Though keep in mind, every student learns differently and it is important to be able to explain something in a completely different manner on the fly- not all of your students will understand the same explanation for the same topic. Learn your students well, and the student will learn from you.
Many students learn in different ways, adapting your teaching style to different learning techniques is an important part of being a tutor. Some students learn visually, audibly, kinesthetically, or by reading/writing. To learn more about the different styles of learning, and even find out your own style, go to vark-learn.com
Most parents that hire a tutor because they passionately care about their child’s education. However, expectations of you can differ greatly among different types of parents. Some may want an update every couple of sessions, while some want an update every few months. It is important to understand what the parents are expecting of you and to perform accordingly.
The most important tool you have is asking for feedback. Parents won’t be afraid to tell you if they think something’s not right. Every few sessions, at the same time you give an update, ask if they have any feedback for you. If it is positive, great. If not, don’t take it personally. They want the best for their child and expect you to conform to their needs and wants.
Almost all parents will ask that you give their child supplementary homework outside of the lesson. Picking the right amount of homework to give is tricky. Depending on the subject, you do not want to add more than 30 minutes to your student’s already-busy schedule. However, you do not want the parent to have to ask you to give their child more homework. Try to gauge your student’s time management skills, or even ask him/her how much homework they can sustain.
For students, use texting as a tool for them to ask you homework questions. Try to be available to answer their questions in a timely manner. If your schedule does not permit you to be able to answer questions on the fly, make sure your student knows to ask you with as much notice as possible to compensate.
For parents, try to keep things in-person. They appreciate the face-time and your dedication to take the time to talk to them personally. Use texting more as a scheduling tool. For student feedback or anything of the sort, it is best to discuss in-person at the end of the session rather than over the phone.
It is appropriate to exchange phone numbers with the parents and students. However, as said before, it is not appropriate to have extended off-topic conversations with them outside or inside the lesson. (A bit of off-topic is okay). Be their professional friend, not a traditional friend. The student must respect you, and it is much easier for them to slack off if they don’t.
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Interaction with parents and students
Basic Conversation:
With both parents and students, keep conversations light and on-topic. Though don’t be afraid to make small talk with the parent occasionally. It helps build rapport and makes you more likable. Small talk should be limited exclusively to the comfort level of the client. If you find a common interest between you and the parent, that is a good candidate for small talk.
With your students, establish a friendly yet professional relationship. Do not discuss your personal life unless it is related to the subject you are teaching and you are using it as some sort of an example. You want the student to feel comfortable enough around you not to be intimidated, but you want to remain superior. As soon as the student sees you as an equal, you lose all authority. You want them to do their homework and work diligently during the lesson. You bring out the best in a student when they are most comfortable but still subordinate. Striking that balance is difficult to do, but very possible.
You can build a more friendly relationship with your student by asking them:
1.How their day at school was
2.How their clubs/extracurriculars are going
3.How school in general is going
This goes without saying, but no “personal” relationships with your students. That does not mean be emotionally detached during your lessons, just outside of the lessons keep communication solely focused on helping your student learn. Besides the obvious liability concern, personal relationships can distract from the real reason you are there: to help the student learn.
“How are they doing”?:
This simple yet dreaded question makes all tutors think twice before they say anything. To answer, you must have a detailed response, a simple “good” is not enough. Parents expect you to know exactly where their child is with the material and what the plan is moving forward. If your student has been performing well, you can say something like “I’ve been very pleased with [student’s name]’s progress. They have been doing *this* and *that* and getting x results on their exams”. However, if your student has been performing not so well, the question becomes a lot more tricky.
It is important to keep the parent well-informed of their child’s performance, even if it is bad, while keeping the overall outlook positive. The best way to do this is by sandwiching the negative information with positive information. Start by saying something positive about their child. Then, bring in your concern. Then, finish the discussion with another positive observation. An example of this would be:
“Blake has been demonstrating excellent proficiency with solving systems of linear equations recently, however, I noticed that he has a bit of trouble with graphing exponential functions. Though he is working diligently on his homework and I expect that he will learn exponential functions in no time.”
Here, we sandwiched the bad, Blake not being able to graph exponential functions, with two positives. Those being, his ability to solve systems of equations and him doing well on his homework. This keeps the parent smiling but still informs them of their child’s struggles.
Understanding your student:
Depending on the age of your student, it is almost impossible to expect exactly what your student will be like. The first and second sessions must be used to gauge your student’s tendencies. Do they complete their work diligently? How well do they know the material? Do your personalities blend well? Understanding these basic principles early will help set you and your student up for success in the future.
Over time, the student will be more comfortable with you and the learning pace will likely increase. Though keep in mind, every student learns differently and it is important to be able to explain something in a completely different manner on the fly- not all of your students will understand the same explanation for the same topic. Learn your students well, and the student will learn from you.
Many students learn in different ways, adapting your teaching style to different learning techniques is an important part of being a tutor. Some students learn visually, audibly, kinesthetically, or by reading/writing. To learn more about the different styles of learning, and even find out your own style, go to vark-learn.com
Understanding the parents:
Most parents that hire a tutor because they passionately care about their child’s education. However, expectations of you can differ greatly among different types of parents. Some may want an update every couple of sessions, while some want an update every few months. It is important to understand what the parents are expecting of you and to perform accordingly.
The most important tool you have is asking for feedback. Parents won’t be afraid to tell you if they think something’s not right. Every few sessions, at the same time you give an update, ask if they have any feedback for you. If it is positive, great. If not, don’t take it personally. They want the best for their child and expect you to conform to their needs and wants.
Almost all parents will ask that you give their child supplementary homework outside of the lesson. Picking the right amount of homework to give is tricky. Depending on the subject, you do not want to add more than 30 minutes to your student’s already-busy schedule. However, you do not want the parent to have to ask you to give their child more homework. Try to gauge your student’s time management skills, or even ask him/her how much homework they can sustain.
Out of lesson communication:
For students, use texting as a tool for them to ask you homework questions. Try to be available to answer their questions in a timely manner. If your schedule does not permit you to be able to answer questions on the fly, make sure your student knows to ask you with as much notice as possible to compensate.
For parents, try to keep things in-person. They appreciate the face-time and your dedication to take the time to talk to them personally. Use texting more as a scheduling tool. For student feedback or anything of the sort, it is best to discuss in-person at the end of the session rather than over the phone.
It is appropriate to exchange phone numbers with the parents and students. However, as said before, it is not appropriate to have extended off-topic conversations with them outside or inside the lesson. (A bit of off-topic is okay). Be their professional friend, not a traditional friend. The student must respect you, and it is much easier for them to slack off if they don’t.