Tutor characteristics – section one

tutor and student 2Note: This is section one of a five-section series on “An A to Z Checklist of Tutor Characteristics.” The other sections in the series include:

Section 1: Adaptability, Assessment, Confidentiality, Commitment, Creativity

Section 2: Empathy, Enthusiasm, Emergency Preparedness, Fairness, Flexibility

Section 3: Friendliness, Honesty, Humour, Knowledge, Learning Centered

Section 4: Legalities, Organization, Patience, Professionalism, Respectfulness

Section 5: Sensitivity, Social Awareness, Written Contracts.

To learn more about this series, click here.

Now on with section one:

Adaptability: Is this tutor able to adapt the tutoring to your particular
abilities, learning styles, learning difficulties, personality, age, and
interests? Is the tutor willing to listen to your ideas? If the tutor works
for a tutoring company, is he/she allowed to adapt their standard program or
even create a truly individualized program? Does the tutor participate in on-
going professional development and keep up to date on educational research?
Does the tutor have a wide variety of materials available, from which to
choose items and activities most suited to your needs?

Assessment: Is the tutor able to assess students to discover gaps in
knowledge, learning styles, learning difficulties, achievement levels, etc.?
Does the tutor also request information from others (teachers, Learning
Assistance professionals, parents, etc.) to help in determining the best
course of action in planning lessons? Is the tutor familiar with and
understand the different testing tools used by professionals, and be able to
use those results to plan an individualized course of learning? Or does the
tutor just “follow the textbook” and expect the student to “get it,” without
trying to discover what may be causing the student difficulties to begin with?

Confidentiality: Is the tutor known for keeping confidentialities, or does
the tutor sometimes (or often) name and discuss students with others? Is the
tutor a gossip?

Commitment: If the student does not show immediate success, does this tutor
give up? Or does the tutor constantly strive to find new ways to help the
student in order to achieve success? On the other hand, if it becomes evident
that the student is not achieving success, is the tutor honest enough to admit
it, and to recommend another tutor, or suggest other kinds of professional
help that may be required? Is the tutor “just doing a job,” or obviously
really loves tutoring and has the needs of the students at heart?

Creativity: Is this tutor willing to try out new techniques, and able to
adapt them to each student’s individual needs? Does the tutor pay close
attention to the success or problems of each session, and creatively develop
new or adapted methods and materials as required? Does the tutor use only
materials provided by the tutoring company worked for; or, if the tutor owns
the business, are all materials commercially purchased — or does the tutor
create unique, individualized methods and products as required? (Hint: Ask to
see samples of the tutor’s own products). If the tutor is helping a student
with a particular course they are taking at school, does he/she “stick to the
textbook,” or locate and use supplementary materials that the student can work
with more successfully?

What other tutor characteristics would you like us to address? Let us know in the comments section. Thank you!

And … if you live in the Penticton BC area, and are looking for a tutor, check out my own tutoring information. If I cannot help you, I will happily refer you to other tutors in Penticton who may be able to fulfill your tutoring needs.

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