The Difference Between Tutoring and Coaching

For many years I owned and operated my own tutoring center. My students struggled with certain troublesome subject areas that they could not master. Through many techniques and many trials, I would often get my students to at least pass the class. Even with my own education in teaching and years of teaching experience, I found it took me awhile to figure out the best way to teach my students. In time, after my masters degree with an emphasis in Learning Styles, I realized why it took so long to help my students succeed. To begin with, I did not understand their learning style or their disposition traits that affect their approach to learning. I also learned that I wasn’t addressing my students global skills such as note taking, active reading and their study strategies and their anxiety around learning. I was mostly focusing on their particular trouble in understanding a specific subject matter. My approach to helping them was similar to how I would approach the subject from my own style of learning. This method worked well when I had a student who learned like me.

There is a clear difference between tutoring a student and coaching a student. In coaching we look at the whole person and help them to prepare effectively for optimal learning based on how they learn. We address how a student has trouble starting work, is disorganized, overwhelmed or can’t keep focused across most or all subjects. In tutoring, a tutor is focused on reteaching the subject matter until the student “gets” it to good enough. In Executive Functioning Coaching, students learn skills to be more effective in all subjects, in work, and in life.