The ideal Tutoring relationship is one to one, over an extended period. If the student is motivated for success then a great deal can be achieved. Motivation is far more important than cognitive ability.
My approach to Tutoring is to meet the student where they are, rather than where they are told they should be. As a Coach this means that I use the close one to one relationship to listen and watch the student to establish what they know, how they think, and how they feel about a subject and themselves. Together we determine the direction of travel; agreeing what they would like to achieve and how best to get there.
The curriculum they are working on sets a road map, but we agree the most appropriate method of travel.
For many students the best support a Tutor can provide is gap spotting. Through no fault of their own it is common for students to have missed or not understood a key building block in some subjects. If these gaps are not spotted and bridged it can lead to ongoing difficulties keeping up and feelings of inadequacy and disconnection. A good Tutor links what they cover with what is being taught in the student’s school, so that they feel stronger and happier each day.
Ideally, a Tutoring relationship starts early and lasts long term. This allows the student to settle into this extra teaching relationship, feel comfortable, and get the most from it. I adapt my Tutoring style and approach to meet the student where they are. There is no point in pushing too hard in the wrong direction. My long and broad teaching experience means that I have a great range of techniques and styles to draw from.
I am very successful in Tutoring for exam success, but I prefer to build a longer term relationship through which the students thinking and learning can be developed. I believe that ultimately learning should be allowed to become free from fear. A love of learning and a deep curiosity is ultimately far more valuable to a person than a simple exam qualification.
I prefer to Tutor face to face on a weekly basis, but I have also Tutored successfully over Skype. I have found that a motivated student that is able to structure their time well is at no disadvantage for not being in a regular school. The use of a remote Tutor is an excellent way to keep learning on track while tacking advantage of life enhancing travel opportunities. I have Tutored people across multiple time zones who have achieved the highest marks in their GCSEs.