More specific WesReads and WesMath tips coming soon..
General Rules of Thumb:
- Keep your energy up! The students can really tell if you are tired, bored, or generally don’t want to be there. Sometimes, you will be the only one excited about the work—this is when energy is the most important!
- Have fun! Even though you’re doing work, the best way to keep kids engaged is to make the work fun. Be creative — do silly voices when reading; instead of saying “2 + 2 = 4”, say “if I have 2 cockroaches and I add 2 beetles, how many bugs do I have?”, etc.
- Make sure you know your students’ names. Even if you aren’t good with names, let them know you’re making a conscious effort to remember. They want to feel like you care about them.
- Be a reliable source. Kids look forward to tutoring and are hurt if you don’t show up, especially if you’re already established a relationship with them.
- Instead of simply dismissing wrong answers, ask questions to determine how your student came to that conclusion. It’s useful for understanding your students’ weak areas, and makes the students feel like they simply made a mistake instead of becoming defeated at getting a question wrong.
- Congratulate students on how hard they work, not how smart they are. If you tell them they are smart when they succeed, they will think they are stupid when they fail.
- Encourage questions. Your students should feel comfortable asking you what a word or question means. Oftentimes there is a lot of pressure to be correct 100% of the time, but tutoring should be a safe place where they are not judged for not knowing everything.