Tutees to Learn
Know the subject matter well, and recognize the difficulty level of problems and
Build rapport with your students, pay attention to their needs, and be empathetic.
Try to draw as much out of your students as possible. Make them active in the
learning process. Asking questions is the best technique.
Begin by working at a level of difficulty where the tutee is comfortable, then
challenge the tutee by systematically increasing the difficulty of the material you
Convey expectations in a polite and unobtrusive manner. Avoid being blunt;
instead give hints or ask questions.
Ask tutees to reflect on their progress by asking them to explain, summarize, or
write down what they have learned. This reinforces their new knowledge and
Motivate your students, not just to work hard, but also to feel challenged,
empowered, and curious about their learning.
(The acronym “INSPIRE” summarizes the characteristics and strategies of expert tutors.
It is taken from “Scaffolding Techniques of Expert Human Tutors”, by Lepper, Drake,
and O’Donnell, Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books, 1998.) 55