Online tutoring is a quickly growing industry as more tutors begin to realise the benefits of tutoring over the internet. In the United States alone, online tutoring is a $100 million market. This is because today’s youth has grown up with digital technology and they realise and embrace the many advantages it offers.
However, every profession comes with its own unique set of challenges and potential roadblocks and online tutoring is no exception. Understanding what some of these challenges are will help you be better prepared to face and overcome them.
Listed below are five common challenges faced by online tutors and the best way to handle them:
Video conferencing software has come a long way in the past couple years but technical issues do still happen. An unreliable internet connection or lack of access to necessary equipment is an online tutor’s worst nightmare.
The best way to handle this is to have a technology backup plan. Make sure that your browser is up to date and that you have given the necessary permission to access your microphone and camera.
Lack of connection with the student
Online tutors do face a bigger hurdle when it comes to forming personal connections to their students. It is harder to build the same kind of relationship with your students through Skype then it would be if they were sitting right next to you.
There are tools you can use to make the online tutoring experience more personal. An interactive whiteboard allows tutors to easily collaborate with their students, online forums allows for instant communication, and high-quality audio and video will enhance your conversations.
A student who doesn’t want to do the work
It is challenging to work with a student who does not want to do the necessary work. Often students will come to you because their parents are making them see a tutor, not because they are motivated to improve their own grades.
As a tutor, you obviously want to help all of your students but it is important to keep in mind that you can’t make someone want to work with you. Keep in close contact with the parents and work with them on ways to find incentives for your student.
Dealing with high-pressure parents can be challenging for any tutor. This will really affect your student because they will tend to focus on getting a “perfect” grade rather than understanding the new concepts being taught. Plus, children who experience a high level of pressure from their parents tend to approach tutoring session with a lot of anxiety.
It is important to teach your students to stop thinking in black-and-white terms. Ultimately, the process of learning is just one big experiment. Sometimes, getting the wrong answer is just as valuable as finding the right answer because you learn a better way of doing things.
Ultimately, the most important thing is for your student to feel supported and encouraged. Be sure to always keep it positive and gently suggest to the parents ways they can help their child at home. That way the parent will feel more in control and the student will slowly gain their confidence back.