10 Quotes Tutors Can Use to Inspire Their Students

By Danni White on September 26, 2017

Image via Pixabay

Being a tutor can be hard, but rewarding, work. Sometimes, with other responsibilities swirling around, it can feel as if energy is running low. That doesn’t make you a bad person; it makes you human. As a tutor myself, sometimes the feeling of one more paper or one more study session can be overwhelming, especially when you’re almost certain you’ve gone over the information the last five times with the same student.

Any way that you choose to look at it, tutoring is one of the best jobs you can have. You get to invest in one of your peers or in the lives of younger students. You may not get a host of thanks now, but one day in the future when the subject is easier for them, or when they’ve made a higher score because of your help, it will be worth it.

For the moments when you or your student is feeling down and needs a few seconds of a pep talk to feel inspired, the quotes below are for you.

1. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats

The point of teaching or tutoring is not to fill the student’s mind with a bunch of knowledge but to get him or her excited about learning and about the opportunities that are before them when they have learned something new.

2. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

It is important to know that when you tutor a child, you are preparing him or her for the life ahead of them. Everything you teach them is critical to the person they become.

3. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” — Albert Einstein

Perhaps you are tutoring or have tutored the student that just wants you to tell him the answers to every problem or practically write his paper for him. Resist the urge. Teaching is not giving answers; it is empowering students to find the answer. Explain, make the path simple, but not easy.

4. “There is no failure. Only feedback.” — Robert Allen

Once in tutoring in essay writing, a student wrote in the comments sections [paraphrased], ‘I really have been failing in my English class. I don’t think I’m cut out for this and don’t feel I will pass. I feel like a failure.’ A bad grade will do that to you. Help your student understand that there is no such thing as failure. There is only feedback and the opportunity to do better next time.

5. “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” — Plato

Tutor with the realization that the information and assistance you provide may just be the course that student takes to choose his college, his career, and his future life goals.

6. “A good teacher is like a candle — it consumes itself to light the way for others.” — Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

We often think of leaders as those people who run the country, or who run the church, or who run the school district. But actually, you are a leader too. Leadership isn’t determined by power or prestige. It is determined by what kind of difference you make in the lives of others.

7. “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” — Ignacio Nacho Estrada

Students are unique. They may go to the same school and be in the same grade as other students, but they do not think or learn alike. Be willing to change the way you teach sometimes so the student can learn in the best way for him.

8. “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” — Carl Jung

Students want to know that you care. If they know that you care, they may not always want to learn, but they are already in the best position to learn. For me, as it is for almost everyone, I don’t remember very well the teachers who simply taught. I remember those who cared about answering my questions that had nothing to do with the subject and who checked on me to make sure I was doing okay.

9. “Never discourage anyone … who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” — Plato

Some learn fast. Others learn slow. It doesn’t matter the speed; it only matters that they learn what they need to learn. Teach and be an encourager.

10. “There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.” — Charles F. Kettering

The goal of tutoring is to help the student understand the subject. If you can help with their understanding, they can pretty much learn anything.

Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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