Tutor characteristics – section two

tutor and student 3This is section two 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.

And now … on with section two:

Empathy: Does this tutor recognize when the student is having difficulties
(with the material; or emotional or health or other difficulties in other
areas of their life)? Does the tutor notice when the student is discouraged,
and find ways to encourage and provide a sense of confidence? Or when the
student is excited about their progress, does the tutor congratulate and share
the student’s enthusiasm? Does the tutor take time to really listen to the
student? Does the tutor understand the limits of his/her own professional
abilities, and be willing to recommend help from others if needed?

Enthusiasm: Does this tutor encourage their students, and provide them with
a sense of accomplishment for genuine efforts and successes, even small ones?
Does the tutor emphasize on-going building of successes, or is the focus on an
end-goal? Is the tutor’s enthusiasm more directed toward the student’s
success, or focused on his/her own success as a tutor? Does the tutor put
excessive pressure on the student or show respect for each of the student’s

Emergency preparedness and safety: Is the tutor’s lesson location safe,
clean, and easily accessible for all students? If there are accessibility
issues, is the tutor willing to meet the student at a more suitable location?
Does the tutor have basic first aid training, and/or a plan – agreed to in
writing between the tutor and the parents/student – for emergency situations
such as sudden illness during a lesson?

Fairness: Does the tutor treat all students fairly and with equal effort and
encouragement, or is the tutor known to favour some students, while treating
others less enthusiastically?

Flexibility: If the day’s lesson plan – or even an entire course of study
the tutor has worked hard to develop – is not working, is the tutor willing to
search out and develop alternatives? If the student is having a rough day,
does the tutor have a “plan B” available which will be easier for the student
to deal with, but at the same time encourage learning, whether in the specific
subject area, or in general learning skills? If the student/family has an
emergency situation on occasion, which makes it impossible to attend a lesson,
is the tutor willing to arrange an alternative plan? On the other hand, does
the tutor have basic rules about these situations, so that other students are
not inconvenienced. Is the tutor flexible, but at the same time, not easily

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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