Connecting With Your Student
THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF
Remember hearing the story about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” as a kid? Do you remember what the message of the story is?
Ask almost any child, and they’ll correctly tell you that the message is “If you lie sometimes, people might not believe you when you tell the truth.” It’s a pretty complicated message for a child to learn, but when it’s wrapped up in a story about a young boy and a scary wolf, something special happens…
The child connects with the story.
CONNECTION IS KEY
And when a child feels connected to something, they’re MUCH more likely to pay attention to it, become interested in it, and understand it. Which is exactly why one of the most important things you should look for when choosing a tutor is their ability to connect with your student.
There are lots of really smart tutors out there with perfect SAT scores. But that doesn’t make them great teachers. The best predictor of success is that connection they have with your student.
WHAT CONNECTION DOES
Students typically struggle in the subjects they like the least. A tutor that knows how to connect with your student can get them interested and passionate about learning almost anything. And when your student is interested in the subject matter, they’re much more likely to learn. As a result, the tutor’s ability to connect amplifies the effectiveness of every session.
Sometimes connecting with a student is a complicated process that takes some real creativity on the tutor’s part. Other times, connecting with a student is as easy as couching a math problem in terms of yardage in a football game, or teaching reading comprehension using a book about horses.
Either way a great tutor always finds a way to bring boring material to life for their student.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL
Of course, that “ability to connect” is just one important factor in a much larger issue of whether that teacher is skilled in “the art and science of teaching.” What exactly is involved in the art and science of teaching?
We’ll cover that in our next post. Assuming that wolf doesn’t eat us.