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What Qualities Make a Good Tutor? 5 Traits To Consider in Your Search

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What qualities make a good tutor: An online tutor works at her computer

Hiring a tutor can make a significant impact on further education or even career aspirations. According to a report conducted by Zion Market Research, the private tutoring market is expected to reach nearly $180 million by 2026. This shows an annual growth rate of 7.1% between 2018 and 2026, displaying the growing value placed on education.

If you’re considering hiring a tutor for yourself, your child, or a student in your classroom, you may be wondering, "What qualities make a good tutor?" Below, we share various qualities that make a good tutor and how to make each tutoring session a success.

What Qualities Make a Good Tutor? It Starts With the Student

The one-on-one support that comes from a private tutoring session can help break difficult subject matters into more digestible material and even ignite your son or daughter's passion for learning.

While the below qualities typically make a good tutor, remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tutoring. When searching for a tutor, consider your child’s individual needs and involve them in the decision-making process. Making your child feel heard and like you respect their wishes can make them more receptive to the tutoring process.

With that being said, below are five traits you’ll find within a great tutor.

1. A Good Tutor Adapts to the Student's Strengths

What qualities make a good tutor: An elementary school student works with an online math tutor

In order for your child to get the best tutoring possible, the tutor should adapt to their unique learning requirements.

Every student has a different learning style. The best tutors will be receptive to each student's unique learning capabilities and will modify their lesson plans to ensure each student absorbs the information.

According to Vanderbilt University, there are more than 70 unique learning styles. Unfortunately, even in modern-day classrooms, many lesson plans rely heavily on lectures and textbooks — which might not be the optimal method for your child to absorb (or retain) information.

At TutorMe, we use a number of different tools to ensure each lesson plan plays toward each student's strengths. Google Docs, shared calculators, virtual chalkboards, and video chat are just a few tools the tutor and tutee can use throughout their lessons. To explore our virtual environment, try the various tools in our demo lesson space.

2. An Effective Tutor Carries Positive Soft Skills

Many of us were fortunate to have a teacher, professor, or coach in our lives who doubled as a role model. Whether they were good listeners, carried positive energy, or simply cared about our wellbeing outside the classroom, these compassionate individuals played a role in our success.

A successful tutor should carry these same soft skills. In fact, patience, compassion, a positive attitude, and enthusiasm can be just as important as the tutor's knowledge of their subject matter.

A study conducted by George Washington University, as reported by Forbes, found more than 40% of high school students are disengaged with their schoolwork. Unfortunately, many strategies adults use to motivate students — like standardized exams or threats of failure — do nothing to motivate a group of teenagers.

Instead, studies show that ensuring the student feels competent and valued and using various social rewards (such as giving them a sense of belonging) is a far better motivator. When a tutor takes a personal interest in your child and genuinely cares about their success, your child’s education benefits.

3. An Effective Tutor Helps Students Draw Their Own Conclusions

Many parents search for a tutor because their child has fallen behind in a given subject. Therefore, the emphasis is placed on getting the child caught up with their fellow classmates rather than ensuring the child develops a true understanding of the subject matter.

Educators at Chapman University call this the "homework machine" trap, where tutors take shortcuts to push the child to finish their homework rather than understand it.

When searching for a tutor, find someone who is interested in developing the student's progress rather than simply checking the box on a homework assignment. An effective tutor will be far more concerned with helping the child develop critical thinking skills and teaching them to break a problem into manageable steps.

4. A Good Tutor Will Make Themselves Available

When a child's education suffers, sometimes it's too easy to strip other, more fun activities away — a punishment disguised as motivation. Admonishments like "No soccer until your homework is done" or "You're not going to that dance unless you get caught up in math class" are used to pressure your child to make more learning progress.

However, new research published by Psychology Today shows using deprivation as punishment may hurt — not help — motivation. When you take away enjoyable activities like extracurriculars, social outings, or team activities, the child enters a "nothing left to lose" mindset, which can further damage their progress in school.

Instead, try to use these activities as a reward, and find a tutor who will work around their busy schedule. At TutorMe, you'll find tutoring services available 24/7 and in 30-minute time blocks, allowing your child to squeeze in a learning session between basketball practice, ballet, or Friday night at the movies.

5. A Good Tutor Will Have Deep Subject Matter Knowledge

What qualities make a good tutor: An over the shoulder view of a student working with an online tutor on her computer screen

Lastly, an effective tutor will carry a deep-seated understanding of the subject matter. This tutor, unfortunately, can be difficult to find.

According to research done by the Economic Policy Institute, there is an extreme shortage of teachers in the United States, which could have a negative impact on your child's learning. Due to this shortage, more than 31% of teachers in the U.S. do not have an educational background in the main subject matter that they teach. What's more, the percentage of highly qualified teachers is decreasing, which could be a detriment to students.

At TutorMe, our 4% acceptance rate ensures that each tutor is extremely qualified to teach their given subject matter. With hundreds of subjects taught across mathematics, languages, and even computer coding, you can rest assured each tutor is highly competent in their given subject matter.

Find a Highly-Qualified Tutor on TutorMe

The demand for tutors in the United States is growing. As you search for a tutor for your child, it can be overwhelming to decide which qualities make a great tutor and where to find the right tutor.

A good tutor will show competence in both hard and soft skills. They should be enthusiastic, caring, and empathic toward each tutee they take under their wing. In addition, they should work around your child's schedule and adapt to their unique learning style. Most of all, they should have a deep understanding of their subject matter and help each student problem-solve and draw their own conclusions.

To find a great tutor for your student, try TutorMe. At TutorMe, we have a 4% acceptance rate for our tutors to ensure they are highly competent educators. In addition, tutors are available 24/7, giving your child the flexibility they need to succeed.

Ready to try TutorMe? Get started with two hours of free tutoring to help your child succeed.

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