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Teaching Strategies for Tutors to Advance Student Learning

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

One of the things that makes tutoring so successful is the one-to-one relationship between the tutor and the student. Since tutors only need to focus on one person, they can experiment with a variety of teaching methods. As many new tutors and teachers moonlight as private tutors to make extra money, the tips in this article will prove extremely helpful.

The following tips will help you offer expert tutoring to students at all levels.

Assessment through Games

Games are a great way to gauge student comprehension of what you are teaching as well as providing the opportunity to apply what they have learned, an educational aspect that is often overlooked in classrooms today.

There are now a wide range of online games available for everything from children's math to science for older students. Interactive games allow for simple student tests that are extremely valuable for determining a student's academic level.

The Pause Procedure

The initial purpose of this technique was to encourage college and university lecturers to pause their lectures after 15 minutes so that students could digest what they had already heard. With these two-to-three-minute breaks, students were able to integrate new material rather than forge ahead without really grasping what they had read.

During tutoring sessions, try including pauses to ensure the student understands what you just explained. Keeping them engaged will prevent them from tuning out or losing interest.

Ask them to summarize what you just presented and ask any questions they may have during that speaking pause. During a group tutorial, ask students to give each other explanations of what they just learned. Alternatively, you may ask students to do a short test or solve a problem during pauses.


The lack of opportunities for students to think is one of the most obvious shortcomings of standardized teaching. Curricula are designed based on the faulty assumption that children have no knowledge base of their own.

Nowadays, cooperative learning - also known as think-pair-share - is gaining traction. This technique can be especially useful when tutoring a small group.

Providing students with information is the first step in the think-pair-share method. You may ask them to read a short text or listen to a short lecture. Instruct students to reflect on one question and write down their answer. Their response should then be discussed with the student they are paired with. Lastly, each pair must provide one answer. Following that, the group may engage in a discussion/debate.

As an alternative, you can bypass the individual reflection by pairing students off immediately and having them formulate their answers together.

Change Your Setting

The main concern of a long-term tutor is keeping boredom at bay and build students’ confidence. To address these issues, think about holding lessons in a different location instead of always teaching at home. History, biology, or art tutors might hold lessons at museums or, if the weather is nice, outside in the garden or in the park.

Tutoring outside to advance learning using an A2 landscape Wedge whitebord in Gloucestershire.
Child using an A2 Landscape Folding Wedge Whiteboard outside in the garden.

All students are familiar with dry-wipe whiteboards, and since Wedge Dry-Wipe Whiteboards are portable, you can provide your tutoring services anywhere.  Familiar things make us feel safe, by combining a well-known resource with a safe learning environment you will help your students to feel at ease, build their confidence and improve the intended learning outcomes.   

Introduce Humour

The use of humour has been shown to increase the level of engagement and interest among students. Many learning podcasts can be quite humorous, and there are many riddles to keep learning interesting.

Foster Independence

It is also important for tutors to train their students to be independent learners. Critical thinking is the buzzword in every school, college, and university today, as it encourages students to explore subjects in a deeper, more analytical way.

The cultivation of critical thinking goes beyond fostering self-responsibility, creativity, and profound thinking. It enhances students' self-confidence by helping them feel that their opinion is worthwhile.

The result is a unique relationship between tutor and student that fosters a mentoring approach, making students feel cared for and supported.

Encourage Creativity

No matter what kind of tutor you are, encouraging your students' creative impulses is crucial. Regardless of what you discover about your students' creativity, you should incorporate some helpful aspects into your tutor sessions. Lessons are more engaging when they are creative. 

We hope you have found the teaching strategies outlined in this blog post useful. If you have any effective teaching strategies you would like to share, please do get in touch as we would love to hear from you.

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