Tutoring is a skill that can be learned and nurtured. However, despite your knowledge of the subject and your experience, tutoring can still be a draining and stressful job, especially when you are tutoring kids.
Here are some pieces of advice, and techniques to make tutoring a stress-free experience:
• Setting Boundaries
Being your own boss means that you have the power to manage your time and energy freely. However, it can also be difficult to find the right balance between your personal life and your work life.
If you’re not careful at achieving the right work-life balance, problems can start to creep in your relationship, rest periods, and hobbies.
So how can you set work-life boundaries?
First, create a schedule for your work and your personal activities. If it is time for work, refrain from any activity that is not related to your work and is not productive.
This allows you to finish your work on time so when it’s time to relax, you can have guilt-free enjoyment.
It is so easy to get distracted with your phone by surfing the web, scrolling through Facebook, or watching videos on YouTube. What you should do is that you can determine the things that distract you and take actions to remove them.
Remember to be realistic, though. There will always be instances wherein you have to prioritize one over the other such as emergency classes or family trips. It’s important to be flexible and not beat yourself up when you have to change your plans.
• Having a good relationship with your student
One of the main factors that contribute to the stress of being a tutor is not having a good relationship with your student.
Your student may choose not to listen to your or may not cooperate with you, and this can test your patience.
Often, students act out because of their lives outside your tutoring. By getting to know them better, you’ll be able to understand the things that cause them stress.
Communicating well and knowing what makes your student tick can make the tutoring sessions stress-free for both of you. To do so, you must first assess your student’s capability.
Perhaps your lessons are too advanced for him, and he needs to master the basic lessons first. Perhaps your student needs more time on one particular subject. Or maybe, your tutoring sessions are too long and draining.
Fortunately, you can employ several techniques to boost your relationship with your student.
For starters, you can ask questions that take more than just a yes or no answer. Have your student speak up. When your tutoring sessions start, start a small conversation before starting the lesson.
You can ask how your student is feeling and then gradually shift it to subject-related questions such as how he or she is holding up with the lessons and the assignments.
• Always enter your session prepared.
This tip effectively reduces stress from your tutoring. Before your tutoring session starts, check all your needed materials, such as books, pamphlets, etc., needed during the session.
If you are an online tutor, prepare the presentations you will be using during the session.
As a teacher, you must be very knowledgeable of the topic and should be prepared to answer your student’s questions. Once you have prepared everything you need, double-check. You don’t want to distract the flow in the middle of a lesson when you realize you lack materials or forgot some essentials.
Every lesson must have a clear goal and a set of objectives to be achieved. You can then conduct a short test or an activity to assess your student’s understanding of the lesson.
Plan your lessons. Your lessons must also be structured. You can design your lesson plan to cater to your student’s capabilities.
If he is a fast learner, then perhaps you can increase the workload. If it takes him more time to absorb a lesson, then you can split a lesson into two sessions to ensure that the student fully understands the lessons.
You can’t proceed to the next topic in math if your student has not previously mastered the prior topic.
For example, in teaching basic operations, you have to start with addition and subtraction as knowledge of these topics is required for division and multiplication.
For English tutors, another example is in English; you must first ensure that your student has fully mastered words and phrases before you can start teaching him how to write short sentences.