What advice could I possibly give you that has not yet been covered by others? Sure enough, you have read the obvious and expected by now: tutoring strategies, student behavior, time management, etc. I, however, will share with you something less typical and obvious, something more personal. I will ask you to examine your outlook on tutoring and how you carry yourself during your time with your tutees. I am a firm believer that if you are passionate about something, you are more likely to enjoy what that is you are doing. With that mentality, I ask you to greatly consider why it is you tutor – surely it is not merely a job: the hourly pay-rate may be good, but the hours can greatly fluctuate. Rather, I am fairly certain you tutor because you genuinely want to help others.
I am a very shy individual, can be very inarticulate, and occasionally stutter; in elementary school I took speech classes to address my speech impediment. I remember being easily flustered for struggling so much to vocally express myself. However, writing always came very easily to me; writing served as the medium to express myself. Since then, with the help of others, I believe my speech has improved and I no longer see it as a major roadblock for me. It is in this experience that my passion for teaching emerged: as others used their talents to help me, I also hoped to use my writing skills to help others.
Being a writing tutor is more than just a job: it allows me to exercise my desire for teaching and to assist others, like I was once helped. Rather than viewing your tutees as mere customers, I hope you become more vested in their well-being. Seeking for help can be a very humbling experience for some students, especially for writing, which may be considered very elementary by some. Be as understanding as possible by placing yourself in their situations and imagining an instance in which you needed assistance. I hope you develop that more intimate relationship with your tutees so heavily stressed in your training. Create this intimate relationship by conversing with your tutees as you would with anyone of your own friends: ask them how their week has been; ask what plans they may have for the weekend; if they approach you with their headphones on, ask what music they are into. In time, this approach will bear fruits: you will find communication to improve between both of you, and, who knows, you may make a few friends along the way.