Gaining Confidence as a Tutor

By Jordyn Austin on March 11, 2017

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As a college student, you may have been given the opportunity to be a tutor. Sometimes universities will send out mass emails with tutoring opportunities. Tutoring has a lot of benefits that come with it. You can not only help someone succeed in a subject but also make some extra money as a college student, as sometimes tutoring opportunities are paid.

You may have been presented with a tutoring opportunity and turned it down for many reasons. If you are someone who turned down a tutoring opportunity because you did not feel confident enough, here are some ways to show your confidence as a tutor.

Know your stuff

If you are ever given the opportunity to tutor, it is important to be a confident tutor. This starts with being sure that the subject you would be tutoring is one that you know pretty well. You can look back on the courses you have taken and how well you did to determine whether or not you are good at the subject. If you did well in the course you can be confident that you may be able to teach it to someone else. You do not have to be an expert, but you should know the material well enough to be able to explain it simply to other people.

Be prepared 

If you do accept a tutoring position, you can build your confidence by being prepared. If you need to brush up on some old material, do so. You should also know where to find supplemental material, in case your materials are not really clicking with the individual. All of this starts with preparation beforehand. Study first, and ask questions about your client. You should definitely find out whether they are a visual, tactile, or audio learner. You can find out these answers from the client’s parents or teachers if they are younger. If they are older, you can simply ask the client how they learn best.

You can ask the student or younger client’s teachers for the homework or upcoming textbook chapters ahead of time so you can know which direction the class will be heading and be familiar with the material. You can also prepare by thinking of different or easier ways to explain something to the student. The same concept can be taught in many different ways, so you should have a few different ways of teaching something. This way, in case one method of teaching or explanation doesn’t click with the student, another one may help. If you prepare yourself in this way, you can be confident that you have done your part beforehand to make tutoring sessions go more smoothly.

Stay professional

Another way to show confidence as a tutor is making sure you stay professional. It is perfectly okay to have fun with your student, but staying professional is essential. Professionalism shows that you are confident and taking your job seriously. When others take note of this, they may feel as though you are doing an excellent job and refer you to others in need of a tutor. It does not matter who you are tutoring, professionalism is a very important part of the job and affects your confidence in a positive way.

Keep focused

You can also be confident as a tutor if you know how to keep focus. Sometimes tutors feel inadequate when they run out of time or are not managing their time well. It is very easy to become distracted and digress when you are tutoring someone. However, when you can remain on topic and continue to push through the material, you can achieve a lot. This builds your confidence as a tutor because you know you’re hitting all the points you intended for the lesson plan for that particular day.  Most tutors and teachers do not like to fall behind with their lesson plans if it is not necessary.

Walk and talk confidently 

Walking and talking confidently can definitely shoot your confidence through the roof. Even if you don’t particularly feel confident, choosing to walk and talk like you are may eventually cause your mind to actually believe it. It is easier to begin to feel confident when you tell yourself that you are. Confidence is very contagious so if you walk and talk that way, your student may start to feel confident despite their struggles as well.

Believe in your abilities

One last tip to show confidence as a tutor is to believe in your ability and speak confidently to yourself. You must know that you are good at what you do and have something to offer others. Begin to speak positively to yourself to build your confidence. Tell yourself that you are ready and prepared. There is a lot of power in simply believing that you can. You have a responsibility that you were asked to fulfill, so having that confidence in your ability is so important.

Senior at Kent State University, planning to go to graduate school for Journalism. Aspiring traveling journalist. I'm super excited to be a writer for Uloop News to continue to build my writing portfolio! I hope to encourage college students around the world!

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