By Sean Alexander

There are many benefits of tutoring that cannot be achieved in the classroom.  A classroom teacher simply does not have the ability to give every student the individual attention that a private tutor can.  A skilled tutor can quickly identify gaps in understanding and make the appropriate corrections to get your student back on track.


If you or your student is putting time into their class but not seeing results, private one on one tutoring is a great solution.  A tutor can provide a roadmap to attack problems, which will make your solo time more efficient.  To be clear, tutoring is not a substitute for putting time in on your own.  It’s a tool to make the time you choose to put in ultra-effective.  This is the true benefit of tutoring.

What is tutoring?

Tutoring is supplemental academic support for individuals needing additional instruction outside the classroom. A benefit of tutoring is the tutor can meet the student at exactly their level of understanding, whatever that may be.  Tutoring occurs in small groups or one-on-one sessions, depending on the student’s needs and the tutor’s availability. A tutor can meet either in-person or virtually, offering help in a wide range of subjects and topics including:

  • Homework Help
  • English or second languages
  • Math
  • Reading
  • SAT/ACT Prep
  • Science, including specific subjects like biology, chemistry, or physics
  • Study Skills
  • Writing

The Benefits of one on one Tutoring

One of the benefits of one to one tutoring is an experienced tutor can adapt to the student's way of learning, whatever that may be. Some students are visual learners, while others prefer written steps to follow.  It's the tutor's job to identify what works best for the student and present the material in that way.  An individualized approach allows students to adopt effective learning and study habits they will use at all levels of their academic progress. The following are the main benefits of one-on-one tutoring:

    One-On-One Attention

    Student receiving the benefits of tutoringOne of the important benefits of one-to one tutoring is the student may feel comfortable learning at their own pace without the pressure of teacher expectations and classroom competition. Complex concepts and processes are explained at the individual student’s level for a broader comprehension and application of the material.

    Often the student will not want to be called out in class because they are embarrassed about their level of understanding.  This is a deep social fear that can be traced back to early human history when rejection by the group meant certain death.  Students that are highly capable will often "hide" from the teacher and their peers so they are not exposed in front of the class.  Think of the outfielder that prays the ball won't get hit towards him.  When a student is in flight or fight mode they experience significant anxiety and can't learn anything.

    One of the benefits of tutoring is creating a safe and comfortable learning environment for the student.  It is essential for the learning process that the student feels safe to make mistakes.  For some students, this safety is best achieved in a one on one tutoring session.


    Fewer Distractions

    A girl listening to music with no distractionsThe classroom can be a distracting place.  Learning is not every student's top priority.  The ones not there to learn can make it challenging for those who are.  From the class clown to your current crush, there are a lot of factors in the classroom that are not related to learning.  A major benefit of one to one tutoring is that it removes all of these distracting factors.  Many students learn much better when the environment is simplified to just one other person.

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    Improves Academic Performance and Retention

    Another benefit of tutoring is the tutor can demonstrate best practices for taking exams and problem-solving.  Many students don't know the best way to study and waste time using ineffective methods.  For example, many math students will prepare for an exam by reading the chapter.  Just reading the chapter will have very little impact on performance.  The only effective way to study math is to grind through as many problems as possible.  Many students don't know this, and a skilled tutor can clarify this for them.

    Does your student struggle with retention?  Guess what?  It's not because they have a bad memory as most people believe!  Retention is proportional to your depth of understanding.  A student having a hard time retaining information from day to day is using memory, not logic.  For example, if someone rattled off a random string of 10 numbers would you remember them?  Probably not, because there is no relationship between the numbers.  How about this set of numbers:

    1          1          2          3          5          8          13          21          34..............

    Do you see the pattern?  This is the famous Fibonacci sequence (which we're obsessed with).  The current number in the sequence is obtained by adding the prior two (kudos if you figured it out)!   Guess what, you're never going to forget this now.  Once you see the deeper connection, retention is no longer an issue.  One massive benefit of tutoring is that your tutor can demonstrate the deeper logic behind anything from literature to math problems, thus solving your student's retention issue.

    Changes in Attitude Towards Learning

    Students with learning disabilities and those that find STEM subjects especially challenging may find they struggle to enjoy school and learning in general.  Another benefit of one to one tutoring on specific STEM subjects like math or physics is building confidence to understand, learn, and keep up with classwork.

    Not liking a subject really means the student doesn't understand the subject.  Every time the student has the light bulb "ah-ha" moment, they switch to liking the subject on a dime.  One of the primary benefits of having a tutor is that they can give the student the all-important "ah-ha" moment.  You would not believe the profound effect this will have on student enjoyment and engagement.

    Improves Self Esteem and Self Confidence

    The most important benefit of tutoring is building confidence.  Too much emphasis is put on "natural ability".  Certainly there are born geniuses, but almost always the real issue is self-confidence.  Often the task of the tutor is to help the student get out of their own way.  Many students have developed defense mechanisms over the years so as not to be exposed for what they don't understand.  The job of the tutor is to put the student at ease and lower their defenses.  Once this happens, the mind can absorb knowledge efficiently.  The task of building confidence is best achieved by following these steps:

    • Create a safe environment built on trust.
    • Show the student how to approach the assignment with best practices.
    • Achieve the "ah-ha" moment.
    • Have the student practice their newfound knowledge on their own.
    • Prepare well for the next quiz or exam and get an improved score.
    • Give lots and lots of praise.
    • Build momentum by introducing progressively more challenging assignments.This process will greatly increase the student's confidence, which will have profound benefits ranging from improved grades to overall engagement and enjoyment. This newfound confidence will greatly improve the learning experience.

    Facilitates Good Study Habits

    You become your habits.  Studying is a habit that must be learned and worked into your daily routine.  A tutor can help the student prioritize their time.  One great technique is to create a study calendar.  That way the student has a daily regimen to follow and be accountable for.

    One benefit of tutoring is the tutor can evaluate the effort put in by the student each week.  Did the student attempt their homework before the tutoring session?  If the student is just starting their homework during the tutoring hour, they are not using their time wisely.  The student should attempt all of their homework to the best of their ability BEFORE the tutoring lesson.  That way the tutor can identify the problem areas quickly and efficiently.

    Encourages Students to Ask Questions

    Many students raise their hands in class to ask a question.Some students are intimidated to raise their hands and ask questions in front of a  class.   One of the benefits of tutoring services is that they can eliminate the stress of being the center of attention. Even the most reserved students feel comfortable asking a private tutor the questions they were afraid to ask in class. Being engaged and asking questions about class material shows personal investment and critical thinking that is vital to success in subjects such as math and science.

    Helps Students Become Independent Learners

    Another one of the benefits of tutoring is the tutor will teach the student how to fish, so to speak.  There is such thing as becoming addicted to your tutor, meaning the student relies too heavily on the tutor for answers.  You can tell a beginner tutor from a pro based on how often they answer the student's questions.  If you answer every question the student asks, they won't develop the confidence to work independently on their own.  A professional tutor will answer questions when appropriate, but also know when not to give answers so the student can solve their own problems.  This is what creates independent learners and is a major benefit of tutoring.

    Provides Future Opportunities

    Schooling is designed to set students up for the next phase of life, either in education or future careers. The benefits of tutoring go well beyond passing a class or understanding a specific topic.  A tutor may help a student prepare for college entrance exams.  There are benefits of tutoring in college as well.  A college tutor can demonstrate effective study habits for university and the study skills needed for the next academic level.

    Does My Child Need a Tutor?

    The stress of school can have a negative impact on student performance. Children are often unable to articulate the problems they are having in school.  Tackling these challenges is one of the benefits of having a tutor.

    The most obvious sign a child requires tutoring is poor grades or test scores. You may also discuss your child’s performance and supplemental teaching needs at a parent-teacher conference. However, there are subtler ways to tell when a student needs additional support or assistance.

    Signs that indicate your child may need a tutor include:

    • Slipping grades and scores.
    • Having trouble getting started.
    • Turning in poorly executed or incomplete assignments.
    • Changes in personality.
    • Diminished self-esteem;
    • Lack of motivation or interest in learning.
    • Spends a lot of time studying, but does not get results on homework and test.

    There are many benefits of tutoring, from managing workload to developing proper study habits. Taking advantage of one-on-one tutoring could mean the difference in you or your child’s academic success now and in the future. A tutor teaches lessons that stay with students throughout their educational journey and into their professional careers.


    • Sean Alexander

      COMMAND PILOT, OWNER Sean has been a professional educator for 15 years and has taught math, physics, and astronomy at all levels.  His experience ranges from working at a high school for severe learning differences to teaching advanced physics at Stanford.  After completing his graduate work in theoretical physics Sean founded Alexander Tutoring, with the mission of revealing the deep connections between math and nature to as many students as possible. 

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