1st November, 2017

6 Challenges Tutors Face (And How to Overcome Them)

By Rachael S


Tutoring can be a challenging job. However, if a tutor understands the challenges they may face, overcoming each hurdle gets so much easier.

Every student arrives at tutoring sessions with some prior knowledge, experience, and skills. It's the tutor's job to find out what the student already knows and which skills he or she needs to develop to meet their academic goals.

Unfortunately, the process is far from seamless, as tutors may face many different problems.

Here are 6 most common challenges tutors face and tips to help you overcome them and create a learning environment that brings the very best results for students.

1. Lack of motivation

Tutoring is usually about studying on top of full-time studying. For many children, that may be just too much. It's not easy for them to motivate themselves and make acquiring new knowledge fun.

However, it is the responsibility of the educator to motivate the student to learn. One way to motivate a student is to learn about their interests outside of the classroom. Once you know what your pupil likes, you can apply their interests to the learning process. It's smart to provide real-world situations that translate the learning content to the topic the student is interested in.

For example, if your student is interested in drawing, you can ask them to visualize an area of knowledge you are studying in the form of a short comic or a beautiful mind map.

This is also where parents can help by communicating with the tutor and letting them know what their child's interests are.

2. Stress and anxiety

It's likely that students who enter tutoring sessions have experienced a problem with learning in a traditional classroom setting. Their parents might be putting additional pressure on the student to make the most of their time during tutoring.

These students feel that they are coming to a tutor because of their failure. If they associate learning with failure, they will never consider it as improving their potential for success. That's why tutors first need to understand the student's learning style fully. Connecting learning and adventure is a smart move. It's critical that anxious or stressed students approach their work with a sense of excitement.

Tutors should experiment with various methods that align with the individual needs of the student. This is easier in a one-to- one setting. If you don't see any progress, you can quickly adjust your instruction style. As you become more knowledgeable about your student's needs, you will be able to anticipate problems in the existing knowledge and address them as soon as possible.

3. Bad behaviour

All teachers have encountered students with bad behaviour at least once in their career. 

Tutoring sessions usually offer an opportunity to get a closer look at the student and anticipate their problems.

For example, if your student has a troubled home life and tends to act out in class, you will need to adjust your instruction style to contain the bad behaviour and channel the negative energy into positive learning.

Remember that every student will require a unique approach. That's why tutors should first reach out to parents. They are the best resource to improving student behaviour By communicating with parents, you will be better prepared for carrying out your tutoring session.

4. Laziness

Sometimes tutors work with students who just don't deliver any work. What happens is that they lack the mental hooks or drive for learning and understanding.

If you're dealing with a student who ended up in tutoring because of laziness or other problems that prevent them from delivering work, you need to focus on building on their prior knowledge and skill set. Individualised learning is the answer here.

Since you're dealing with a single student, you have all the time to decide what approach will work best. Sometimes, tutors find the best mental hooks to come as a rewards or incentives for completing assignments. The prizes can be given in fun educational games in which students can participate once they finish their work. The objective is to use these methods to kick-start the proper behaviour Eventually, the student will get a sense of accomplishment, and that will become the reward in itself.

When tutoring a student who doesn't want to complete their work, the best thing you can do is to show enthusiasm for their progress every day.

5. Problems in acquiring new knowledge

You might be dealing with a student who needs extra time to practice and master new knowledge before using it as a building block for further learning. If you are teaching a new idea, the best way to introduce that type of knowledge is through educational games. These will provide an environment for students to practice skills and learn new things. The students will not only learn a new concept or skill but also have a way to practice it instantly.

6. Pressuring parents

When it comes to learning, parents are always part of the process. Dealing with high-pressure parents is challenging for every tutor.

Sometimes children of high-pressure parents focus so hard on getting the perfect score that they fail to understand the concepts that are being taught. As a result, their knowledge retention suffers, and their level of anxiety rises, especially when students struggle with a topic.

Tutors are there to teach students that lack of perfection at the beginning isn't a failure. In fact, tutors should encourage students to experiment and not be afraid of getting a wrong answer.

How to deal with high-pressure parents? It's important to maintain open communication about the progress of the student and the activities you carried out to facilitate help. This will allow parents to feel more in control. Sometimes it's a good idea to suggest a way for parents to help the student at home. That way, parents will feel less anxious about their child's performance and lessen the pressure they put on the child.

All in all, tutoring is about solid support and encouragement for learning.

As a tutor, it's your job to keep the students focused on their accomplishments to help them gain confidence, tackle more complex tasks, and move through their education path swiftly.

Author's Bio:

With her unquenchable love for writing, Sienna Walker works as a careers and business blogger. Deeply interested in self-growth and education, Sienna is often found sharing her tips with students, teachers, job-seekers and employers alike, supporting DirectorStats

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