Tips for Tutors

I. Tutor Responsibilities

II. Tutoring Do’s and Don’ts

III. Tips for Tutors

I. TUTOR RESPONSIBILITIES

Be Prompt: In order for our tutorial program to be effective, students must be able to count on tutors being available during the posted hours. Not doing so creates doubts about our reliability and breeds frustration and disappointment.

Be Prepared: You are compensated for preparation time. Use it diligently! Know the current assignments and work through the solutions beforehand. Plan ahead!

Be a Resource: Refer students to the LSC Study Skills workshops and any other campus resources you feel may help them address their academic needs.

Be Professional: Tutors should be understanding of students’ frustrations without criticizing their classroom teachers or second-guessing a teacher’s grade. Students should be encouraged to address such problems directly with their instructors.

Tutors must be honest about their own limitations both with regard to content and to patience. When the limit of either is reached, refer the student client to another tutor, instructor or resource.

Never be afraid to tell a student that you do not know the answer to a question. That is a perfectly acceptable response. However, you should offer to find the answer to the question and get back to the student later.

Occasionally, tutors may get complaints. Depending upon their nature, it may be advisable to direct them to the LSC instructor. You do not need to shoulder the weight of trying to deal with them personally.

II. TUTORING DO’s AND DON’Ts

DO:

  1. Report to work on time.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Notice the body language of the people you are tutoring.
  4. Listen carefully to what the student says.
  5. Be adaptable.
  6. Be able to recommend available resources.
  7. Be ready to present information in various ways if needed.
  8. Exhibit patience.
  9. Ask questions.
  10. Be relaxed. It helps set people at ease.

DON’T:

  1. Do homework for the students.
  2. Be afraid to say that you don’t know the answer, or can’t think of another way to explain it.
  3. Ignore people who need help.
  4. Rush students.
  5. Talk down to students.
  6. Minimize or maximize the task.

III. TIPS FOR TUTORS

  1. Use simple language. Remember, there is a difference between understanding a topic and teaching it.
  2. Paraphrase what the student says.
  3. Provide information that the student needs, rather than what you know.
  4. Ask one question at a time.
  5. Use “wait time”.
  6. Avoid asking “yes” and “no” questions.
  7. Check to see if you have been understood.
  8. Ask a student to explain back to you the steps that were needed to solve a problem.
  9. Admit when you don’t know the answer.
  10. Avoid being condescending.
  11. Refrain from commenting on how easy a problem or concept is to understand.
  12. Provide realistic feedback about learning from high school vs. university perspective.
  13. Listen actively.
  14. Keep a positive attitude about the person you are assisting.
  15. Be conscious of your body language.
  16. Show enthusiasm for learning.
  17. Look for opportunities to encourage and affirm the student’s work.
  18. Actively teach study skills.