It is not all that difficult; however, it does take time and lots and patience. An important thing about this is that tutors are the ones who have to take the initiative (that first step) and things will move on organically from there.
There are several strategies that tutors can use to achieve this, so let’s take a look at what they are in detail!
#1: POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS
A good tutor will certainly not molly-coddle their students, but they will tell their students that they have high hopes for them. This is the tricky part. Either students will infer it as their tutor having the best interest for them in their heart, or they will pressurize themselves to always excel and never make mistakes. Pressure beyond the limit will cause the student-tutor relationship be at risk and unnecessarily, many other things can go wrong from there.
It is of paramount importance for tutors to explicitly say that they believe in their student and that it’s fine to make mistakes. Tutors have to give positive affirmations along the long and arduous academic journey to keep them going and for students to continue believing in themselves.
#2: GUIDE, BUT DON’T GIVE THE ANSWER
This sounds more like a teaching technique but it does have a correlation to the communication between a tutor and a student. As a tutor, if you catch yourself telling your students the answers whenever they are struggling instead of giving them leading questions and allowing them to think, an over-dependence will be created. This over-dependence that students have on their tutors is detrimental to their learning and their relationship with their tutor.
When tutors choose to let their students explore and find answers for themselves occasionally, students would take that as a ‘lack of guidance’ and they would feel that lessons are longer ‘useful’, which will then complicate everything else. Tutors need to give their students the clarification as to what ‘guidance’ truly means.
#3: CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMS
In order to become more knowledgeable, one has to have a thick skin to take criticisms well; there is no other way around it. Tutors need to communicate this fact clearly to their students and remind them once in a while if they have to. Giving constructive feedback strengthens the tutor-student bond and ensures students improve by leaps and bounds.
#4: PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES
Keeping things organic and not being too strict is essential. Being pressurized by the schedule, crazy expectations or a fixed timetable will never help. Tutors have to give their students alternatives, present them with choices and ask for their opinions. All this builds trust and that automatically strengthens communication between tutors and students.
Though it sounds vague, that’s all there is to it. Understand your student’s educational needs, their insecurities and, their strengths and weaknesses. The understanding will enable lessons to be effective and enjoyable.
A good home tutor-student bond is crucial for students to excel in their academics. It may seem challenging to begin with, but over time, it’s all possible, and the results will be evident.