Access to encouraging, adequate academic support is vital for high school and college students to succeed. Tutoring is one type of support that has so many positive outcomes. By dedicating time to tutoring, students can increase their confidence and strengthen learning skills beyond the assignments you’re getting assistance with. The key to benefiting the most is choosing the right tutor. But no matter your skill level, tutoring is an excellent way to sharpen your skills as a participant or even as a tutor yourself. Here are three major benefits of tutoring, plus some tips to make the most of your sessions.
1. Overcome shyness
Requesting tutoring services—and even becoming a tutor—requires a high level of vulnerability and courage. Tutoring pushes students to step outside their comfort zone from initially seeking assistance to being encouraged to ask questions and actively participate in the experience. Some students who were previously afraid to raise their hands may feel more motivated when in a safe space; you may feel less intimidated to admit what you don’t know. Tutors can also assure students there are no wrong questions or stupid ideas.
2. Hone your skills
Both prospective tutors and students seeking tutoring can gain further proficiency in a subject and work on a variety of skills through many different opportunities. The purpose of tutoring isn’t just to get a specific assignment done; peer tutors often organize lessons based on student progress, which requires critical thinking, communication, and time management. Students will also need to stay organized by keeping their tutoring materials separate from regular class materials. This prepares students for higher education and creates a nourishing environment to do coursework. Individualized attention via tutoring offers a more personal experience and the chance for students to realize what tools work best for them.
3. Build supportive relationships
Professional and peer tutors are responsible for creating a trusting relationship with students by offering a variety of strategies to overcome obstacles. They also provide emotional support for demanding tasks. Students who are tutored will also learn better methods for building relationships, a skill they can utilize in the classroom and later in college. These relationships are foundational for success once the tutoring relationship ends.
How to get the most out of tutoring
The benefits of tutoring are only equal to the strength of your motivation to participate. Students who are adequately eager to learn will gain the most from the experience.
Ask yourself these questions before you start
A growth mindset is necessary to benefit from tutoring sessions. If you believe you can improve, you will. It’s also crucial to consider these guiding questions so your tutoring experience has a greater impact:
- Am I prepared to invest the time necessary to improve?
- Am I willing to work with my tutor to create a low-resistance experience?
- Am I capable of learning in different environments or with different methods?
- Am I able to trust my tutor, whether it’s a professor or peer tutoring me or a group?
Don’t expect concrete answers
Tutoring isn’t necessarily a place to obtain answers. A proper tutor will give you the resources and tools to find solutions yourself. Procedure-oriented learning allows you to involve yourself more deeply in work instead of focusing on obtaining surface-level knowledge. A good tutor will help learners think critically about what they’re tackling. Through this practice, students can understand patterns in their weaker subject areas. Eventually, you’ll develop constructive ways to adjust to obstacles and relate to the material.
Set realistic expectations
Having realistic expectations creates the ideal learning environment. This will ensure retention for whatever subject, project, assignment, or test you aim to excel in. There’s no need to rush through your tutoring sessions, as the unnecessary pressure could cause the value of your learning to decrease. Even medical students understand this firsthand while preparing for licensing exams; after tutoring, repeat test takers have a greater likelihood of passing depending on the area.
Find your motivation and tutoring style
It’s helpful to also consider your tutoring style options depending on your personality and skill set. The most crucial decision in your tutoring journey is recognizing the subject you’re most concerned about. It may not even be a class you have poor grades in; plenty of other factors drive students to seek tutoring. This includes perfecting a specific concept in an otherwise comfortable subject, overcoming obstacles with a big project, or needing an accountability partner on specific assignments you tend to struggle with.
Then consider what you want your tutoring sessions to look like. You could pursue one-on-one tutoring, group studies, or supplemental instruction given by instructors to guide you. Not all tutoring methods look the same, but they all provide educational development. Recent studies show an over 80% effectiveness rate for tutoring programs, depending on location and demographics. Picking the option that feels more comfortable may work, but consider what would be most beneficial given your motivation for tutoring.
The choice to receive tutoring or be a tutor can be as simple as you make it. The journey should be advantageous to all parties involved. Both students and teachers can learn from what they do in study sessions. With this advice, you’ll feel increased confidence in yourself, competence in your subjects, and trust in the future of your education.
Find a lot more advice on how to improve your grades and study skills in our Majors and Academics section.