How to encourage tutees to contribute
Whilst some students take very easily to private tuition, others can struggle with the intensity of a one-to-one session – it may be very new to them and, particularly if they lack confidence in their abilities, they may find it hard to contribute at first.
You’ve been employed to help raise attainment, plug skills gaps or enhance subject knowledge, so taking time away from curriculum learning to focus on communication skills can sometimes seem unnecessary, but by encouraging your tutee to contribute more, their engagement and understanding will start to improve and they’ll be likely to build more confidence at school – all of which can be part of improving results and passing exams, so a bit of effort at first is well worth it.
– Talk to parents/guardians and/or teachers who may be able to recommend approaches that may work or suggest reasons why your tutee isn’t responding well. Class teachers are likely to find this level of communication particularly useful, as you may be able to tap into new ways of motivating and encouraging particular students through 1-1 learning, that is harder during whole-class learning.
- Give regular rewards and encouragement to motivate your tutee, particularly during the first few sessions. Many students who receive 1-1 tuition may lack self-belief and, in a classroom situation, are likely to feel they often have the wrong rather than the right answers. Encourage your tutee to feel confident about contributing by praising them when they make even very small improvements.
- Give regular and constructive feedback that motivates them to progress and seek to work through tricky areas. Help your tutee to understand why they’re not making progress in certain areas and work together to establish a plan of action. Feedback should be constructive, looking at positive ways to progress rather than dwelling on setbacks.
- Avoid spelling out the answers, however tempting it may be with quiet students. Instead, try re-phrasing the question, breaking in down into small chunks and making incremental steps that lead towards answering the full question. The tutee will feel fantastic when they eventually manage to solve the problem, giving then greater confidence to tackle questions next tie round. Patience is the key here!