High school students struggling in a subject may turn to tutors for help. Tutors should guide students through their problem areas, offering positive feedback to improve their confidence and prepare them for success in the classroom and beyond. With a set schedule and clearly defined goals, tutors can help high school students boost their grades.
Build a relationship with the student. Rather than jumping into your first tutoring session headfirst and telling the student what she's doing wrong, get to know her. Ask her to explain the concepts that confuse her. Be understanding and help her overcome any anxiety about her course work or the tutoring session.
Set goals. Identify what homework assignments the student needs help with and create a plan to tackle those tasks. Improving the student's organizational skills will allow him to keep track of assignment due dates and boost his time management skills, according to the Cambridge School Volunteers organization.
Review what you discussed at your previous tutoring session. Since many high school courses build on concepts throughout the year, it's important to reinforce the most recent session's lesson and relate it to the current session. Start each tutoring session by briefly reviewing previously learned concepts.
Go slowly. Explain difficult concepts step by step, making sure the student understands each step before moving forward. The University of Wisconsin recommends giving students time to process new information. For example, if physics equations confuse the student, work through each item in the equation before putting the items together.
Identify how the student learns best. Some students are visual learners, while others learn better by listening, according to the University of Wisconsin. For example, if a visual learner is struggling in her world history class, use a whiteboard or piece of poster board to create a timeline of important events. A listener might do better if you talk about the historical events.
Check for understanding. When you're teaching a concept, such as a principle of geometry, open the lines of communication. The University of Idaho College of Education recommends asking the student to explain the concept back to you. Do not move forward until you're certain the student has grasped the concept.
Give positive feedback. High school students might be ashamed that they need tutoring help, and positive feedback can improve their confidence and push them to learn. Give specific positive feedback, as the University of Wisconsin suggests. For example, if a student is struggling with his writing and the thesis for his book report is strong, tell him, "Your thesis does a great job of letting the reader know what to expect in your paper."
- If you don't know the answer to a question, be honest. The University of Wisconsin suggests that you refer the student to a place where she can find the answer and tell her you'll follow up in the next tutoring session.
- Books image by explicitly from Fotolia.com