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Spring is in the air. With Spring comes time to freshen up again. As tutors and educators, we need to freshen up on our skills, our transportation, and our teaching methods. With a fresh new attitude, we endeavor to raise our student's altitude. We freshen up to allow for more fun in line with the new season. Here is my essential chores check-list to tackle when Spring arrives:   Month of March >This year, daylight savings time(DST) begins on Sunday, March 13. Go to sleep early the night before and remember to set all your clocks and watches one hour ahead >Update your own assessments to match new test requirements e.g. EOG tests, PSAT, SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, GMAT, etc >Work on your own promotional materials >Advertise through usual channels such as social media and bulletin boards   Month of April >Seek ways to improve your tutoring by adding in new games, fun activities, or even stories >Take a class or learn a new... read more

1. Teach the tutor: I like to have students tell me what they know.  This helps to build their confidence up.  If there is a fallacy in their knowledge, we work to correct that in a positive manner.    2. Checking-in:  How is the student feeling?  Did they have a bad day at school? Did they rock their exam?  Showing that a tutor cares helps to put the student at ease.  Just taking a couple of minutes to check-in can make all the difference when a student is embracing material that is difficult to him/her.   3. Real World Homework:  Why should I care about this? I hear this a lot.  If you can connect the lesson to something that impacts the student on a regular basis, then it makes the concept more tangible to the student.    4. Smile, be Happy!  The students don't need you to be in a bad mood.  Many subjects are difficult as they exist already, and a tutor being in a bad mood can turn... read more

School can be tough sometimes- really tough. When after-school tutoring, intersession (extra time in the classroom during breaks), and individualized attention isn’t enough, what do you do next? What can you do to ensure your child’s success? How do you know when it's time to get some extra help? 1. Homework is an exceptionally difficult chore- for everyone. When your child is exhibiting avoidance behaviors when you bring up the subject of homework, it might be time for outside help. Avoidance behaviors with homework usually take the form of bargaining, whining, excuses, ignoring homework, or even disappearing to a bedroom or friend’s house when it’s time to do homework. If your child is actively avoiding homework, it might be a sign of poor comprehension, poor time management, or a lack of motivation. Either way, a private tutor can help address these problems. 2. Tears are common during homework time. It might not just be your child who has tears... read more

I just tutored my very first Online tutoring session.   No, please don't get me wrong.  I've done plenty of tutoring!   I've tutored 14 and 16 hour-days straight helping students prepare for their final exams, and I've gained, in my best reasonable approximation, well over 10,000 hours of experience tutoring.  Because I used to do it full time!  And now I am again. Part-time full-time.  :)   However, I had never wanted to leap that big hurdle of creating my own platform or set-up to do online tutoring!  it just felt like so much to trouble-shoot and research, and... frankly, as a working mother with 3 children and volunteer positions, it just had never felt like the direction to be putting my time!   Maybe it would have been worth it in the end.  I don't know.   But I am so happy!!  Because WyzAnt now offers a great online tutoring platform.  (Plus, they do the majority of my marketing... read more

As a tutor who works mostly with children I can say that the chief issue I encounter with my students is that they are just not interested in the work that they struggle with. They wont care about a subject unless they are invested in it. So, here are some things I do to help make it more engaging. 1. I like to use props. Especially with English students. Instead of writing a sentence I act out a sentence and make them identify the parts of speach that my sentence has. This also works with math if you use change to teach fractions. 2. I apply the work to them. I don't use made up word problems I use situations in my students lives to make word problems. This is why it is important to really get to know your students. 3.  I talk to them. When a student doesn't want to focus and just wants to talk I listen until they say something that can be applied to the lesson. They love this because to them it seems like their idea, and therefore a good thing. 4... read more

1) You can have fun and be silly, but still increase focus on the subject   When I taught piano lessons to a 5-year-old girl, I would start off by asking her to find the weirdest, funniest sound that she could find on the keyboard, and then ask her to play the song she had practiced for that week in that sound! She always would laugh and make faces, but it made the repetition of practicing the same song over and over less monotonous and more fun! This would start our lessons off on a great note, and they would be more of a game or exploration of music than just a class.   2) Take a snack break     After about 30-45 minutes of studying the same subject, it can get tiring and hard to focus. Our brains need a break! Stopping 30 minutes into a tutoring session to have a quick snack or drink can really help to give your mind the rest it needs to be able to refocus and start refreshed after the break!   3) Talk about your worries... read more

Greetings, reader!   I am new to Wyzant but have been a part time tutor in a variety of subjects for 6 years. One of the most common subjects I help students in is English/Writing, and it is by far the most difficult. The challenge is not knowing how to write a great essay given the prompt, but how to get the student to write the essay using his/her own voice, style and structure. I have gotten used to walking the razor's edge over the years, but the temptation to write parts of the essay for new writing tutors can be tremendous. Particularly when spending minutes on word choice and sentence order, the prospect of doing some ghost-writing is undoubtedly alluring.   So how does one persevere through those silent, deep-thinking sessions? What I find motivating is the knowledge that my role as a tutor is not to tell the student what to do, but to give him/her an alternative set of tools that he/she does not get in a classroom that will help them express themselves... read more

(This is actually a modified version of an article I posted a while back - Parents wait! Why a study skills tutor is what your child REALLY needs. But I think tutors should consider this idea of study skills even more than parents should.) After a dozen years as a classroom teacher and private tutor, I know the routine well. Like clockwork, October and March bring new report cards and parents start to get nervous. “An F in chemistry? I’m afraid I can’t help you there; let’s find you a good chemistry tutor.” This is the kind of dialog I imagine taking place in many households around this time. And chemistry is just an example – insert subject here and the reaction is the same. But that low letter grade on a report card can indicate many things – maybe the teacher is bonkers; maybe one major assignment was weighted too heavily; maybe the student can’t see the board and is afraid to say anything; maybe that particular class is a source of social anxiety; etc...... read more

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