The Importance of Specialising in Subjects

We as Top Of the Class tutors are required to be specialised, knowledgeable tutors whom teach in an effective way. The truth is, if you only know a little bit from this subject and a little bit from another subject, you don’t have the skills to teach in an effective way.

When the parents of the students make the decision to get a tutor, they expect to be getting a person whom is able to help their son or daughter in a critical and knowledgeable way.

Ultimately, the goal for any student or their parents is improvement, growth and progress in their work. If tutors aren’t even confident teaching the course content, then how is it expected that students will improve?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you can’t teach a variety of subjects, but what I am saying is that you have to be confident and specialised to teach these subjects.

How does one become a specialist in their subject/s?

I’d like to give you 5 simple methods on becoming more familiar, confident and specialised with any subject that you teach.

  1. Read, highlight and summarise the course content and curriculum of the year level and subjects you teach. Being familiar with the study design will ensure you are able to pick up on any areas that you may need to research further, or even practice.
  2. After undertaking the job of studying the curriculum, begin finding materials, resources and activities that relate to the course content. Doing this will get you more familiar and confident with the type of questions and content you will be teaching your students.
  3. If you are finding that you, yourself, as the tutor lacks knowledge in a certain area, begin researching this topic via the internet and in texts books. It may even be appropriate to speak with another tutor whom teaches the same topic, or even a qualified teacher.
  4. In order to keep yourself up to date and not forgetting important information (as this can happen over a long period of time when not practicing), allow yourself to take time every so often to revise and revisit the work. For me, I like to revise my Italian grammar rules, complete grammar exercises and activities to ensure I don’t become rusty with the language or forget.
  5. This may not always be possible, but try and enrol into a course subject at university in which teaches similar topics to the subject you teach as a tutor. There may also be free training sessions at your local library or other activities that you can involve yourself into as a way to refresh and consolidate your knowledge. You’ll be surprised how much is actually offered within the community, so check it out!

Ultimately, specialisation  and knowledge is vital within tutoring. It’s sad to say, but there are so many tutors, even teachers, that fail to help their students succeed because of a lack of knowledge. It’s common to learn something but then forget, let alone never been taught something that’s on the curriculum. Time changes and education is always being updated and altered. This is why it’s critical to become specialised in your field of study. Follow the 4 step approach to ensure you remain a knowledgeable, specialised tutor.

For more great practical hints and tips that will improve your tutoring, check out the Tutor Blog at our Home Tutor Sydney website.

About Stuart Adams

Stuart Adams is the founder and Managing Director of TOTC. He is a former School Teacher and Careers Advisor as well as a qualified Dietitian and Psychotherapist. His Psychotherapist Sydney website has loads of free learning resources covering all areas of mental health.

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