11 Traits of the BEST Private Tutors

11 Traits of the BEST Private Tutors - Privatetutors.ie

Private Tutors Have Some Awesome Traits…

 “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

A private tutor is more than just another person who brings students through exercises. They are role models who teach through leading. Role models who teach through their own actions…

Not everyone is suitable for private tutoring, and certain traits set people apart. Here are 11 soft skills that the best private tutors have…

Private Tutors Trait #1:


 “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” – Anonymous

Patience is perhaps the most important trait a private tutor must have. Sometimes no matter how many times you repeat yourself, not matter how many different angles you try, your student will still not understand…

It can be frustrating to you as a tutor, but you must remain positive and encouraging to motivate them to understand. An extra 5 minutes could make all the difference. Trust us, the ‘aha’ moment will make all your efforts worth it!

Private Tutors Trait #2:


“The glue that holds all relationships together–including the relationship between the leader and the led–is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” – Brian Tracy

For private tutoring to work, parents must trust the private tutor to arrive on time, not cancel lessons, be an exceptional role model, and help their child succeed…

Often, it’s the parents who determine the effectiveness of the tutor-student relationship. It may sound crazy, but all it takes to ruin a tutor-student relationship is one negative comment from the parents. So, private tutors must earn the parents’ trust…

Private Tutors Trait #3:


“Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency.”– Christina Scalise

The best private tutors plan their lessons in advance so that their students get the most out of their lessons. For example, the tutor will correct homework or create new exercises while their student is attempting a question…

On top of maximizing their efficiency during lessons, private tutors must manage their own lives. (Yes, private tutors have their own lives!) Often, they’ll have to sacrifice one thing for another, so it comes down to excellent organization skills to make things work…

Private Tutors Trait #4:


 “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” – Aaron Goldman

Tutoring is teaching, and teaching is about communicating the meaning of difficult concepts in a simple way. So, private tutors must have exceptional communication skills…

A bonus tip for private tutors is to use a little humour. It can help make those ‘boring’ concepts fun, and ‘convince’ your students to look forward to your lessons!

Private Tutors Trait #5:


“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein

No two students are the same. The best private tutors recognize this and adapt their teaching style and teaching methods to each of their students’ needs. They don’t force students to adjust to them. (Shout out to grinds schools!)

If something doesn’t go as planned, it’s not the end of the world, and the tutor instantly changes the rest of the lesson. No deadlines, nothing is set in stone, the student’s success is what matters most. That’s why private tutors are flexible!

Private Tutors Trait #6:


 “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” – Kahlil Gibran

Students may come to their lesson unprepared. This is not ideal for anyone, but sometimes life gets in the way. So, in order to set achievable goals and make their students feel a sense of accomplishment, private tutors must really get to know and understand their students…

Instead of giving out for not having things done, tutors should compliment their students on their ability to multitask and show them how to improve. Tutors must learn about their hobbies, pastimes, what they’re having trouble with, and help them make a study schedule if time management is the problem…

Tutors must assure their students that their hard work will pay off, and that countless weaker students have been through it all before. So, understanding the student is only the beginning. It’s about using that understanding to motivate the students to achieve even more!

Private Tutors Trait #7:


“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

Who doesn’t make mistakes? We all do. So, if the tutor makes a mistake, just let the student know, fix it, and move on. Tutors should never insist their wrong answer is correct just to seem more knowledgeable. While this will be pretty obvious in right/wrong subjects like maths, it won’t be so clear in creative subjects such as languages…

Taking responsibility as a private tutor is about more than just confessing to your mistakes. It’s about treating your students’ grades as your own. Tutors shouldn’t take only the successes in their stride, but also the failures. (Shout out to grind schools again!)

Private Tutors Trait #8:


“People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

Private tutors must be critical of their students and themselves. They must anticipate slip ups before they occur and always be ready to provide quality feedback. At the end of the day, the goal is to improve their grades…

When giving critical feedback, we recommend the ‘good, bad, good’ technique. That’s complimenting the student on something they did well, then telling them something they can improve on, and ending with something they should continue doing…

Another technique we recommend is for tutors to anticipate the slip ups in advance. Tutors can start their classes by gently warning their student about a difficult concept, then see if they can remember when they reach that concept, and finally ending the class with a spot quiz!

Private Tutors Trait #9:


“What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.” ― Roger Ebert

It’s all about self-improvement. No one is perfect. The best private tutors own up to their mistakes and take responsibility. We know this already. In addition, private tutors must be teachable…

They must be willing to adapt and adopt new techniques into their teaching. Often, schoolteachers will have awesome ideas that ease the learning process – these should be replicated. Again, we should all be open to self-improvement…

Private Tutors Trait #10:


 “Share your life with others. You will have a joyful life.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

As we’ve said before, private tutors are role models. People to look up to. Here’s where college tutors have an advantage. They get to be the cool, friendly, and approachable teacher that the student looks forward to seeing every week…

To take full advantage of this, college tutors should share their own stories and let their students know that they aren’t in it alone. If countless weaker students have already been through the dreaded Leaving Cert, then they can do it too!

Private Tutors Trait #11:


“Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone’s potential.” ― Debra Ruh

Sometimes the student will need help during the week. This is a chance for private tutors to go above and beyond their port of call. Parents tend to appreciate the added effort. However, if this is abused, private tutors should gently let the student or parent know. They may need an extra lesson every week!

Private Tutors Mic Drop

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