Psychological Aspects of Tutoring

Psychological Aspects of Tutoring
Students you encounter in the classroom may display the following characteristics:
A negative attitude, high frustration: "I studied all night and still got an F on the test. I cannot
do this work!"
A feeling of hopelessness, helplessness: "I'm just too stupid in this subject, I'll never get it."
Uses excuses, inability to concentrate.
Low participation in class, non-involvement, sometimes evident in inattention, boredom
An over-demanding of self, has unrealistically high expectations: "I ought to be able to do this,
nobody else in the classroom has this much trouble."
A student who makes excuses to avoid responsibility, avoids disciplined study, makes defensive
statements: … the teacher asks too much ...
A student who seems to be confused and/or disoriented: "I'm not sure what to expect. I do not
know what to do."
What Can YOU Do??
As a tutor, your task is to help the student see solutions so that he/she can get through the
obstacles and difficulties of the subject or problem. In many situations, you need only to reassure
the student that the situation is indeed manageable, and that others have successfully dealt with
the same problem or subject.
1. Use as many mobilizing techniques as possible – questioning strategies, problems, examples
and give the student mini-tasks to be accomplished by the next day you will see them
2. Reinforce all activities and successes. Reinforce model(s) teacher used in lecture
3. Determine what the tutee does know and reinforce that s/he has some foundation in the subject
4. Provide student with real world examples that he/she knows and understands. In many math
classes it is easy to use money as an example or apples/oranges. Get to know the student and
what he/she is interested in. Think outside the box to provide authentic examples
5. Provide specifics to what is essential and what is not essential
6. Keep student involved by asking questions about the problem or subject – ask open-ended