When tutors are working one on one with a student, it is apparent when a student isn’t learning and has an “I can’t” attitude. Let’s explore the top 3 strategies tutors can utilizes during one on one sessions to motivate students.
Teachers spend a lot of time practicing their craft and attending professional developments to make the biggest impact in their classrooms. We know how some lessons work and some don’t. Some students want to learn and some resist.
Top 3 strategies to motivate students
Fixed Mindset versus Growth Mindset
Most educators are familiar with Carol Dweck’s research on the theory of learning types. Her work centers on the belief that we can all achieve our potential, but we must develop and foster strategies to do so. When working one on one with students, especially younger learners, who are lacking motivation and expressing apathy or outright disinterest, there is often something else entirely going on. They may believe themselves to be incapable of succeeding and fearful of trying and failing. As a tutor, focus on encouraging their growth mindset as a motivational technique.
- Praise students for their effort and hard work OVER their ability.
- “I can see how your writing has improved by working on structure and editing!”
- “Your hard work has really paid off by practicing your timetables!”
- “You read that whole page by yourself without my help, great job working on your sight words!”
- Model growth mindset for your student.
- Ask for feedback on how YOU are doing as a tutor. Value their opinion on the work you are putting in for them.
- Share an example of a time you worked hard through something that challenged you but ultimately succeeded. Even best to share a time you failed and learned from that experience!
Building Connections for Success
Connecting with your student allows you to know where they are coming from. Some students are motivated by positive reinforcement, some by a final reward or big pay-off, and others are even simply just motivated by the fear of failure. Whatever it is that “makes them tick”, get to know them and find out what they want to see happen. Here are some great tips to motivate your students:
- Positive feedback is a motivational technique that reinforces the student’s belief that she can succeed in and outside of the classroom and tutoring sessions. This will translate into other activities as well!
- Assign tasks that a student can and will complete successfully. Up the challenge factor with each task. Chart their growth and progress for them to clearly see.
- Show your enthusiasm in their progress so they know you are invested in them and their work.
Encourage Active Participation
Passivity breeds inactivity. When students are actively involved in doing, making, creating, writing and solving their OWN work and problems they learn much more effectively. Never just give students the answers or tell them the solution. This motivational strategy asks them what they think! Encourage them to make a leap and then go from there. Here is a basic framework of motivation strategies for private tutors to guide their students:
- Present thought- provoking questions.
- Encourage students to apply what they have learned thus far.
- Develop their curiosity.
Courtney is an MTT tutor, academic coach, and blog contributor for MTTES. If you check out our FB and Instagram pages, you might see her giving a storytime with her son Jack through the company’s Facebook Live service. Courtney’s love of the English language, learning, and creative writing inspired her to contribute relevant content to teachers, tutors, parents, and homeschoolers seeking support across an array of trending topics. She and her teacher husband have two small children and reside in Baltimore, MD with their dog Lottie May.