What Skills Does A Tutor Need?

The role of a tutor is very versatile. For example a tutor should efficiently manage their diary, clearly communicate with parents and students, be able to find study resources or know how to create them, be familiar with the curriculum and what standard of work is expected of students. In this blog we will expand on these key skills tutors must possess, and how to improve or gain those skills.

Time Management Skills

For some tutoring is an extra job they do in the evening, for others, it’s their full-time role. Whichever the case, a tutor should know exactly when they have lessons, what they need to prepare for each lesson and what they need to do after a lesson has been completed. The best way to do this is to create a timetable or use a diary. This can be using your email calendar to schedule in lessons, which then means you can set digital lesson reminders, or you can write it into a nice, perhaps old-fashioned, paper diary. Either way, it’s very important to keep track of what lessons you have. It’s also important to plan your lessons in-advance and to write your lesson report immediately after your lesson, otherwise you may forget the details of student engagement and progress, which are essential to note in order to better track a students progress. Different students will have different availabilities therefore a tutor must know how to use time well, in order to provide students with their most preferred lesson time.

Communication Skills

As a tutor you will work with various people, therefore you need to have strong communication skills in order to provide a smooth service and maintain friendly, yet professional, relationships with all students and parents.  Before you start working with a new student you should find out what they want out of tutoring, where they are at currently with their studies, how they best learn and of course when they want lessons. This can sometimes become tricky, especially if you are allocated several new students at one. Our advice for managing this is to create a spreadsheet, or a simple list, of all new tutees along with their details, and within this list or table you can add in the vital required for lessons.

Finding and Creating Resources

A very good place to start, when looking for materials to use in class, are the examining board websites. For example, the WJEC ‘Knowledge Organisers’ and past papers are an excellent tools for those students completing their GCSE’s and A-levels, however, for younger students we suggest using BBC Bitesize as they offer resources for primary, age 3 to 11, secondary, 11 to 16 and post-16 too.  For further guidance on where to find resources feel free to visit website resource page (https://cardiffvaletutors.co.uk/about-us/resources/).

If you are creating your own resources consider the following:

Is the layout of the resource easy to understand and read?
Is the resource skill level and age appropriate?
Are all student needs considered in the creation of your resource?
Does your resource fit the lesson delivery mode? For example, PowerPoints are good for online lessons, whereas printed worksheets are good for in-person lessons.

Overall, you should keep up-to-date with curriculum changes, which you can do by searching the curriculum requirements on the government website, and keep your subject knowledge fresh so that you are ready to answer any questions students may ask you. The best way to learn organisational and communication skills is by trial and error. Thus the more you do, the more you will learn what best works for you to remain productive and efficiently manage your work load.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, here is the link to our Cardiff and Vale application form:

https://cardiffvaletutors.co.uk/become-a-tutor/ or alternatively, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Written by our English tutor, Aleksandra Dul

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