7 Things Tutors Should Never Do

28 Jan 2019

Avoid these mistakes during your tutoring job.

An effective tutor can mean the difference between failure and success for someone struggling to learn. Here is a list of professional don'ts to avoid when preparing your pupils for success. 

1. Make your private life public 

While tutors are expected to privately oversee the academic progress of their pupils, it’s also important that certain social boundaries be in place. Avoid discussing deeply personal topics unless it is relevant to your subject matter. This will keep your professional relationship just that -- professional. 

If a friendship evolves, often the student or tutor can take advantage and use this as an excuse to do less work.  

Creating social media relationships with your pupil can also blur the professional lines of your relationship and should be avoided when possible. Tutors should not initiate social media interaction with their students.  

Are you looking for students to teach? Find a job in your area now

2. Be physical 

Everyone loves a good hug now and again, but unless your subject matter calls for it, then its best to keep physical interaction between you and your pupil to a minimum. Tickling, wrestling and other overt physical expressions should be avoided while on the job. 

Physical expressions such as high fives should be the absolute limit of physical interactions. Standing over students can also be intimidating and make them uncomfortable.  

3. Arrive underprepared 

A tutor who arrives late with an incomplete lesson plan can create the impression that he or she is uninterested in the job. 

Never come unprepared. Tutoring is a job, and like any job tutoring requires preparation. Go over the current assignments beforehand and try to inspire the student to be prepared as well. If both parties are prepared it will be easier to learn. 

4. Lose your cool 

While you may feel like pulling your hair out in exasperation, you should keep your emotions in check and avoid expressions of anger or frustration. Tutors should also avoid talking down to their pupils as this can undermine the learning process. 

5. Be inflexible 

Each person learns in a different way, so creating a one-size-fits-all lesson plan or approach to teaching should be avoided. While it may save you time, it can hinder your ability to recognise the specific learning challenges of each of your pupils. 

Tailor lessons to each individual student. Take their progress level and learning abilities into account. Students will learn faster when you personalise their lesson plan.   

6. Go too fast 

Rushing through material simply to stay on schedule should also be avoided when tutoring, as it can further confuse pupils and create feelings of shame when concepts are not sufficiently absorbed. 

7. Over-promise 

If your student is barely passing Spanish, don't promise them that your tutoring will land them A’s for the rest of the term. If he or she doesn't succeed they might blame you or your student might feel cheated or hopeless. 

When done well, tutors have the ability to truly enrich the lives of the people they serve by building confidence and igniting curiosity and passion. Don't let bad habits undermine both your efforts and your pupil’s potential for success. 

Read Next: How Tutors Can Talk to High-Pressure Parents 

Read Next: Getting the Most Out of Your Tutor 

Read Next: Find the Right Exam Tutor 

Leave a comment

Create a free account with Care.com and join our community today.

You may also like

How much should you pay for a babysitter?