Professional and Personal Approaches to Teaching


There are two different approaches to tutoring: professional and personal. Depending on your personality you might choose one or deploy both of them simultaneously.

The professional approach

  • short small talk phase in the beginning, most likely just pleasantries like “How are you?”
  • teacher never asks personal questions and doesn’t want to know about the students week/weekend
  • teacher jumps straight into the lesson’s topic
  • teacher tells student before the start of the lesson what the lesson will be about and is determined to cover everything during the session time you have agreed upon
  • teacher corrects student with expertise and answers lesson-related questions efficiently
  • teacher asks at the end of the lesson if anything remained unclear and is very likely to assign a homework which related to the topic covered during the session

The personal approach

  • teacher is interested in the student and his/her life
  • teacher will refer to things the student said during the last session and will ask follow-up question
  • teacher will talk about herself
  • teacher is easy to talk to, student is not afraid to make mistakes
  • usually no homework is given
  • there is less focus on progress

Both of these methods have their pros and cons. It’s best if you can use both and adjust your teaching to student’s personality and current needs as it will allow you to retain your students longer.