9 Sep

Student not motivated, neither are the parents.

Student not motivated, neither are the parents.


Being a tutor is really as much about being a mentor as it is teaching fundamental academic lessons. When you’re teaching a student who has parents that aren’t willing to assist in their child’s tuition (or are very willing to excuse the student from tutoring homework due dates) it can become challenging, however there are several techniques to employ to manage the problem.

1. The most important thing would be to try and speak to the parents without seeming confrontational.

  • In order to do this, you’ll need to think about what you want to say and plan your words to ensure you get the message across without coming across as insulting.
  • While you can be assertive and mention all the positives the tuition will provide with them helping, you want to be diplomatic, avoiding language which can be misconstrued! (For example, it would be good to outline how much more progress could be made with their assistance and why; compared to saying that most parents help out)

2. Become involved – At each lesson (whether it is once a week or fortnight) always ask about upcoming exams or any assignments, even approximations on dates are helpful. You could even provide the student with your email address if they ever needed to contact you. You want to make sure you can manage them as best you can between lessons. This also relates a lot to helping the student to become more organised. If you want some more information on helping organise the student – please read https://ezymathtutoring.com.au/helping-students-be-organised

3. If the parents are not happy to help at all. Then it rests on you to set a positive example about adhering to time constraints, the importance of completing work and doing your best. Have a mature conversation with the student (which they will enjoy when you treat them completely as an equal) about why you are there and how you can really help the student. What do they want to get from tuition?

4. You could even ask to speak to the teacher. Explain the situation, and at least you would have someone else monitoring your student. This could also help to convince the parents to get more involved in their child’s education. Obviously, don’t do this without consent.

5. Accept your responsibility as a tutor – it is our obligation to help the student. Don’t just give up because the student isn’t very motivated and the parents aren’t really helping. Each student is different and therefore this can rely on your creativity to really get through to the student. Every student wants to do well in life; it’s just a matter of pushing their buttons to engage them more.
a. Be patient – it may take several weeks or longer to figure out which approach will work best to manage the situation.

Here is another relevant post:
https://ezymathtutoring.com.au/dealing-with-complacent-parents

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