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Tutoring students is an admirable, yet challenging task especially when they have a difficult time paying attention. Despite your best intentions, there are just some occasions when students seem to lose focus on the session or topic at hand.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help improve your students’ attention during tutoring. The following tips are meant to help tutors become more successful at teaching their students by improving their students’ attention and engagement during tutoring sessions:
1. Connect The Studies To Real Life
One way you can work to get the attention of your students is to find a way to connect their studies with real life. Making school material relatable to real-life occurrences can help the student to absorb it, understand it, and effectively pay attention. This is especially the case with younger students who may be struggling to understand the subject material. Rather than trying to hammer home what the textbook says, think about how it can translate into things happening in their own life.
2. Mix Things Up So Things Stay Unpredictable
When it comes to how you teach the lesson, look for ways to mix it up. This will keep your students engaged and on their toes as they don’t know what to expect next. You can use case studies, demonstrations, have a discussion, read to them, or whatever you like. Because it can be hard to just wing it and come up with different ways to teach the lesson, it’s a good idea to do a little advanced planning. You can also keep track of the methods you’ve used in the last couple of weeks so you don’t repeat them too soon, and to track what works with your students.
3. Get Your Students Involved
Rather than looking at the session as you being the teacher and them the student, think of how you can get them involved in teaching. Ask them to tell you about the content they have been learning, encourage them for feedback, and let them take the reign from time to time. This will also help to show you how well they’re absorbing and understanding the content you’re teaching them.
4. Use Props and Visuals
For some students, sitting and reading textbooks during their tutoring session can be quite boring. One way to combat the boredom is by using props and visuals. Try implementing things like a dry erase board, videos, podcasts, picture books, websites, or anything else that can help hammer home the message of the lesson.
5. Make Sure You’re High Energy
Your students will feed off your energy during your session. So, if you’re putting out low energy vibes then you’re going to get low energy in return. You want to head into your session with a positive mood and high energy. These attributes are contagious and, before you know it, your students will be showing that same level of energy.
6. Provide Praise and Encouragement
Students love to hear that they’re doing a good job and are on the right track, so as a tutor, you should make it a habit to point these out. If they are doing a good job listening, focusing, and learning, let them know. By providing praise you’ll be helping to show them what your expectations are. They will then understand how they need to behave in order to have a successful session. Additionally, praise and encouragement can also be motivating for them to try harder and pay more attention.
7. Use A Reward System
This particular tip is best used with younger kids. A reward system is meant to identify when a student is doing a good job and then reward them. You could make a sticker chart, they can collect points which can be used for a “prize” or “treat”, they can collect free minutes where they’ll work to earn free time, etc. At the same time, points can be taken away in this system when a student is misbehaving, not listening, and isn’t on task. Just be sure to explain the system to them fully before you start, so they know what they need to do.
Attentive, Focused, Engaged Students Are Possible
By using these tips, you’ll start to see a real change in the attention and focus from your students. This can result in a more successful tutoring session, a happier student, and a more relaxed environment.
Neeraj Singh: Neeraj has helped many families to find the perfect tutor to help their children flourish in life. Neeraj enjoys helping others and with the help of online tutoring website Heytutor.com, this dream has become a reality. In the spare time Neeraj has, it’s well spent enjoying and experiencing life.