Tutoring: There Is More Than One Side

Tutoring simply put is the act of providing additional support for students.

It can be one-on-one or in a group setting.

The person providing the support is known as a tutor whiles the one receiving the support is called a student or a tutee.

The main purpose of tutoring is to assist students to know how best they can learn for themselves.

To put it another way, tutoring serve as a guide that helps student to the point where they no longer need a tutor.

Tutoring is a means of training students to the point where they can now be considered as independent learners.

This is important because as children grow through various stages of life, they are bound to face many challenges and struggles.

The only way to overcome these difficulties is the ability of the students to learn new things, research into and find solutions and this is where tutoring comes in.

Thus tutoring must not always be seen as a means of getting better grades but rather, it must be looked at as a way of helping students help themselves.



Types Of Tutoring

Tutoring is usually done privately since it exists independent of the normal schooling system.


Let us take a look at 5 different types of tutoring:


In-home tutoring

In-home tutoring is a form of tutoring that occurs in the home.

Most often the tutoring relates to an academic subject or test preparation.

This is in contrast to tutoring centers or tutoring provided through after-school programs.

In-home tutoring most often involves one-on-one attention provided to the student.


Online tutoring

Online tutoring is another way for a student to receive academic help, either scheduled or on-demand.

Sessions are done through an application where a student and tutor can communicate.

Common tools include chat, whiteboard, web conferencing, teleconferencing, online videos, skype, whatsapp and other specialized applets which make it easier to convey information back and forth.

Online tutoring has become popular as a means of providing tutoring services in contrast to the more traditional in-person tutoring.


Read Also: 16 Reasons Why Home Tuition Works


Peer tutoring

Peer tutoring refers to the method of tutoring that involves members of the same peer group tutoring one another.

The characteristics of a peer tutoring group also known as pairing vary across age, socioeconomic class, gender, and ethnicity.

More often than not, the strategy employs peers as one-on-one tutors to provide individualized instruction, practice, repetition, and clarifications of concepts


Group tutoring

Group tutoring comes with a lead tutor going through topics with students.

The study sessions of group tutoring can be a great forum to bounce questions off everyone involved.

However, in most group sessions, you will not always find one person leading the discussion on the topics, sometimes; it could be a group discussion.

In group setting, it is likely for you to hear questions or ideas you may not have thought of beforehand brought up by others you are learning with.

This makes it great for students who want to learn new ideas or topics that you may be struggling with or may not have thought of before.

One drawback to group tutoring however, is that it could be difficult for the tutor to gauge the progress of each individual learner.

For instance, if you are still unsure on a topic while it seems everyone else is all set, the tutor may move on without waiting for you.


Academic Tutoring

Academic tutoring also known as academic coaching is a type of mentoring applied to academics.

Coaching involves a collaborative approach.

The student is taught how to learn well and also how best to operate in an academic environment.

Tutors help students learn the material in individual courses while coaches help students learn how to be successful in school.

In college, that includes such topics as: study skills, time management, stress management, effective reading, note-taking, test-taking, and understanding how to use a syllabus.

Academic coaches meet with the student regularly throughout the semester.

Coaches work with students in all kinds of situations, not just those who are struggling academically.

Academic coaching also serves to help students prepare for entrance exams to gain entry to schools or universities.


Read Also: Summer School Vs Home Tutoring – Which Should You Choose?


Other Sides Of Tutoring

Dedicated tutoring can transform a child’s academic future.

It can mean the difference between a bad grade and a good one or between being accepted to a top school or missing out on a place,

Reinforcing a child’s education doesn’t begin and end with hiring a tutor.

Parents and students all have a vital role to play in making tutoring effective.

Let us take a look at the role of a tutor, parent and student in tutoring.


Role of a Tutor

Knowledge is an essential ingredient for a tutor; however, to be truly effective, a tutor must combine knowledge with empathy, honesty and humor.

Empathy requires a tutor to understand the emotional states, attitudes and perceptions of their students.

Empathy is the ability to see others from their personal frame of reference, and to communicate this understanding to the person involved.

In order for tutors to establish a supportive relationship with their students, tutors must be open and honest.

Students are often reluctant to talk with a stranger about their academic problems.

If a tutor is perceived as genuine and having a strong desire to listen, students will be more willing to open up and discuss their problems.

Humor can also play an important part in a tutoring session.

Humor can also reduce tension.

Shared laughter is a powerful way to reinforce learning.

Humor can set students at ease and increase rapport.

Humor can also be used to compliment, to guide or to provide negative feedback in a positive manner.

In addition, a successful tutor demonstrates a caring attitude.

Caring consists of being organized for the tutoring session, being punctual, establishing a learning relationship with the student, developing unique tutoring strategies, and becoming familiar with the learning process.

Ultimately, tutoring is sharing yourself with another student in a way that makes a difference in both your lives.


Read Also: 10 Qualities Of A Good Math Tutor


Role of a Parent

There can be a tendency to feel that once a good tutor is found a parent’s role in the process of tutoring is over.

And this is understandable especially when paying for a service.

However, just as a doctor will struggle to treat a patient that fails to take care of his own health, a tutor in the same way can only do little to help a student who is not academically stimulated outside of the lessons.

Parents need to understand that they are a critical – perhaps the most critical – component of their children’s educational journey.


Let’s look at few things parents can do to help:


Check Homework Daily: Parents have to check the children’s homework daily.

It does not matter whether they understands it or not.

What matters here is that doing so will help them determine the kind of learning that the children are getting and how well they are faring.

Don’t just leave your role at asking the children to tell you if they have homework.

Ask to see the homework to be sure that the homework has been done.


Help Kids to Structure Time:  Additionally, parents need to help their children.

The little ones may struggle with the issue of time management.

Most kids would prefer to do something other than attending tutoring sessions or complete homework from the tutor, if given a choice.

It is easier for them to focus on playing video games, visiting friends, or spend time on other activities that have nothing to do with the books.

Therefore, help them to structure or restructure their time so that they attend the sessions and finish their homework.

This helps ensure that they reap the most from tutoring.

Structure the time in such a way the kids still will have time to rest and do other house chores too.


Create Perfect Environment for Studying: It is imperative that parents give their kids a quiet surrounding to study.

In this case, parents can make their homes as less noisy as possible.

Activities that involve shouting or creating too much fuss around the house should be reduced to a minimum until the little ones finish studying or doing their homework.

The reason for this is the kids do not need distractions.

They need an environment that promotes full concentration.


Demonstrate the Importance of Reading and Education: Most kids learn through observation.

Parents provide the best platform for kids to learn plenty of things from.

For this reason, parents ought to demonstrate a lifestyle of reading.

They have to demonstrate why educational excellence is important in life.

What is more, parents should be available to help.

However, there is a difference between helping and doing the actual work for the kid, which helps nobody.

Parents should provide guidance but let the kids solve the problems they encounter.

By providing a tutor, the right environment, and staying informed on progress, parents can track their children’s’ academic progress better.

Being more involved in it also assures the kids’ safety and comfort and shows that they care.

Therefore, whenever you get a tutor for your children, don’t adopt a hands-off approach.


Read Also: Role Of Parent In Education


Role of a Student

For tutoring to be effective, students also have a role to play.

Let us take a look at the traits, habits and factors that shape a good student:

  1. Show interest: In order to be a successful student, it is fundamentally important that you are interested in and engaged with your subject.

All of the other characteristics here depend upon you caring about your studies and your specific topic.

Of course, everyone finds some topics more interesting than others, but the willingness to find something worthwhile in whatever issue you are currently studying will help to keep you on form during your studies.

The best way to maintain your curiosity is by observing others who are good at what they do, and then asking questions about anything and everything you don’t understand.

Questioning experts is the best way to learn how something works.

If asking questions fails, in the modern day and age there are endless resources for finding something out – books, journals, and of course Google.

  • Be Brave: Brave kids are going to be the ones who take risks and amass experiences.

They can use those experiences powerfully in their learning and growing.

They quickly establish what they love and loathe and then they are more likely to create a life they love.

They are also going to be the students who take learning risks that lead to lateral, out of the box thinking.

The world needs that kind of thinker.

Bravery is about taking on daunting challenges; feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Bravery is not the absence of fear.

Sometimes when we talk to our kids we say, “Don’t be afraid” or “Don’t be silly, it’s going to be fine”.

This implies that fear is something to be ashamed of. But it isn’t.

Fear is human and to be expected, but it also needs to be overcome.

That won’t just happen by magic. It comes with modelling, teaching and explaining.

  • Be Organised: A high school student can study as many as nine different subjects with nine different sets of expectations.

It is impossible to thrive under those circumstances unless a child is highly organised.

Fortunately, organisation is something you can learn.

We can also employ aids like diaries, planners and study schedules.

  • Consistency and Persistent: Learning happens slowly and consistently.

Take for example the process we went through when we learned to read. 

There were steps, from holding a book the right way up, to recognising letters to phonetics, years of practising and finally fluency. 

It’s not actually that hard to learn to read for neurotypical kids, but you do have to develop building blocks and commit to regular practise.

It is the willingness to practise that contributes to success as a student.

Consistency is becoming less common in adolescents.

Some of the areas most affected by teens’ lack of consistency are mathematics, music and languages.

In each of these areas, there needs to be a mastery of some basic skills that only comes with practise.

  • Dealing With Failure: Failure is one of the greatest tools in the learning process.

Unfortunately, too many people are simply overwhelmed by the feeling of failure rather than being able to stand back and look at the lessons it can teach us.

Having the tenacity to stare down failure is an extraordinary skill.

Teach kids to look at failure in an analytical way.

What is the size and gravity of the failure?

What are its consequences?

What can be learnt from the experience?

  • Sets Goals: Goal setting focuses a student’s attention towards certain behaviours and information and away from distractions.

Research tells us that incremental goals are far more effective than large goals.

If a student is able to break down a big goal, like solving a big problem, innovating or achieving a higher grade, into small bite-sized pieces they are more likely to be successful.

If they can incorporate the feedback they receive on each occasion, the small wins eventually lead to big achievements.

  • Connect Learning To Life: A successful student is able to see their studies in the context of the wider world.

If a child has read, observed and discussed the world, issues and ideas on a regular basis, they will be able to place their learning in context.

Without context, it is easy to understand why a child would think, “What’s the point?”

It is up to parents to ensure children are exposed to a multitude of ideas and rich resources and experiences.

It is up to teachers to ensure that what happens in the classroom is linked to what exists in the wider world.

That sense of relevance is vital for developing in kids a love of learning.

It gives school relevance beyond just doing well in testing

  • Partner With Tutor: A child’s relationship with their tutor is fundamental to their success at school.

Effective students recognise that their teachers are their allies.

We tend to see this relationship as being completely in the hands of the tutor.

That isn’t the case. Effective learners contribute to the creation of this strong relationship.

They recognise their tutors as valuable resources whom they need to work with in partnership.

These students are easy to recognise, they participate in class, they stay after class and ask extra questions, and they make appointments with their tutors to get help if they need it.

  • Values education: Finally, if a child is to achieve success in tutoring, they need to value education.

In life, we very rarely persist or strive in an endeavour if we don’t think it is valuable.

Studies show that children are more likely to embrace education and succeed in homes where education is valued, where there are books and where parents are engaged in learning.

  1. Be open if you don’t understand

One quality of great students which is often overlooked is the ability to admit when they don’t understand something.

Often you may feel embarrassed to admit the gaps in your knowledge, but in fact this is the only way to learn.

It’s fine to say that you don’t know something, or that you don’t understand it – this way, the teachers or other students around you can help by explaining the topic more clearly, and you will benefit in the long run.

This comes hand in hand with intellectual curiosity.

If you aren’t able to admit you don’t know something due to fear or embarrassment, you won’t be able to utilise your innate curiosity – and it’s curiosity that leads to innovation, creativity and originality.

  1.  Share what you learned.

Knowledge is inert.

Unless it’s passed on, knowledge is lost. Good learners are also tutors who are committed to sharing with others what they’ve learned.

They write about it and talk about it, and they can explain what they know in ways that make sense to others.

Because they aren’t trapped by specialized language they can translate, paraphrase, and find examples that make what they know meaningful to other learners.

They are connected to the knowledge passed on to them and committed to leaving what they’ve learned with others.

Read Also: Role Of Students In Education

Other Resources

For more articles on tutoring and how you can make it effective, please check these:

  • Why you need a personal tutor
  • What to look for before hiring a tutor
  • The hidden cost of cheap tuition
  • 12 ways of making science fun for primary school kids
  • The complete guide for better grades


Tutoring is a natural path in education.

Some associate a negative stigma with seeking out tutoring because some may see tutoring as a weakness or a sign of not having intellect.

This is simply not true.

Seeking help or clarification on a topic or idea is, rather, a sign of willingness to succeed and of persistence.

What one needs to figure out is what type of tutoring fits their situation or style of learning the best?

The most profound education that students can receive in tutoring is not about a specific subject but about understanding how to learn, and about their personal role in that process.

Of course, there is more than one side to tutoring.

And it doesn’t always have to be about tutors.

Parents and students as well can make a difference.

If you like the content and the information in here makes sense to you, please share with your friends on Facebook, twitter, instagram, LinkedIn and all your other social media platforms.

Also leave a comment below so we know what you think.

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