How to help students tutor students who clearly don’t want to have tuition?
As discouraging as some students’ attitudes are, nothing should negate the fact that as tutors, we have an opportunity to take a closed and negative mind and replace it with an open and positive one. In essence, that’s our number one priority…to get students to think.
When a student doesn’t like the idea of tuition and has been forced into the tuition by their parents, it can be troublesome to provide them with high quality tuition – however it still can be done! Consider that the student is only going to improve if you can help them. There are several reasons why a student might not want to be tutored. They range from lack of confidence around strangers and other insecurities, not wanting to admit they need help, dislike for the subject and general dislike for education.
The first part of the answer is considering why the student might not like the idea of tuition.
Take into account a few aspects about the student:
- Their age, gender and ethnic stereotypes that may be having a negative impact
- Any predispositions (what they want to do when they grow up, their hopes/fears, levels of interest in school and other areas)
- Their current level of knowledge in school – how well they’re going this year in all subjects and how their track record looks
- Why they wouldn’t like to have tuition
Sometimes it can help to picture yourself as the student and think about what you would want from a tutor to really engage you. The goal here is to try and think how you could best relate to the student to help the student feel like you’re understanding, supporting and helping them. Once you have listened to the student, try and use good judgement about what will encourage your student to do the work. For example, do they need you to be more energised and bubbly or do they need slow and clear explanation or do they need to be convinced that being intelligent won’t allow them to lose their friends.
We really want to motivate the students to improve, because once the student wants to learn, they will! On some level every student wants to learn and wants to do well and utilise their brain, some students however can pick up negative attitudes which need to be altered.
Motivation is an individual matter. Students differ; in personality, in background and experience, in sociability, in creativity, in intelligence, in their interests. Different kids are motivated by different things. No effort at motivation will succeed unless it works with these differences. One of the cardinal rules of teaching is that students will not believe in you until you first believe in them and what you’re teaching them. This makes it more important to really know your material and your student to make sure you can motivate the student to do the work.
It make take a few lessons for the student to really warm to the message and messenger (the tuition style and yourself) however it is a huge obstacle you’re helping them deal with- so stay at it!