Tutor: Introduce Yourself

I’m Mike Bergin. After nearly 30 years in the business of education, I’ve learned a LOT about the noble art and craft of tutoring. I’m learning still. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

I wish someone had warned me about how addictive publishing newsletters can be. I seem to be adding a new one to my portfolio every other month–speaking of, check out my new Roots2Words Word of the Day Substack!

Anywho, since I’m apparently in the newsletter biz, newsletter industry tips find their way to my inbox. This brought me to Simon Owens’s Media Newsletter, where the insightful author shared a tip that I (and possibly you) really needed to hear: reintroduce yourself to your readers each time.

“Too many newsletter writers just assume that their readers already know who they are. They shouldn’t. In many cases, there might be a several-day gap between when someone initially signs up for a newsletter and when an issue actually lands in their inbox, and I can assure you that most people barely remember signing up in the first place.”

What does this advice have to do with tutoring? You might not be worried about unsubscribes per se, but the educational equivalent is worse. When your students forget who you are and why your instruction deserves more attention than, say, the inane advice of their ill-advised friends, they don’t learn as much. When students forget who you are and why they were exceedingly fortunate enough to book time with you in the first place, they might not learn at all–because they stop showing up.

Believe me, more of your students forget who you are than you think. At first, I couldn’t believe it myself; I would chat with some of our students at our practice tests and innocently ask which of our teachers they were working with. Some of these teens, even after numerous sessions, could barely muster personal details of their tutor, let alone a name. They do forget. That’s why the first page of our curriculum always includes a box with the heading, “Test preparation is a team sport! Who is helping you earn your highest scores?”  Ostensibly, students should fill in a tutor’s contact information here, but I just want them to write down their tutor’s name!

No matter how unforgettable you are, you may still benefit from more deliberate efforts to re-introduce yourself and your bona fides early and often.

Put your name on the board or in your remote platform window. Find opportunities to allude to your credentials, experience, and successes. Make sure your students know exactly who you are… how else, after all, can they refer their friends to their favorite tutor?

Speaking of introductions, how does the one I added at the beginning of this newsletter work for you? What would you change?

— Mike Bergin

Tutor Tips, Tools, and Thoughts

The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio
We all need more praise than criticism–especially me.

Reimagining student engagement as a continuum of learning behaviors
Most of these six forms of group learning engagement apply to tutoring as well.

All You Need to Know About the New, Shorter GRE
An ETS exec spills the tea on how they made the GRE almost two hours shorter without cutting any sections.

Scarborough’s Reading Rope
This model illustrates the interconnectedness and interdependence of all the components of effective reading.

Visualizing 1 Billion Square Feet of Empty Office Space
Looking for office space? Should be a buyer’s market, since so much is available.

Did you enjoy this issue of Tutor: The Newsletter? Get the next issue right in your inbox by subscribing below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest