What makes a good tutor?
We can all be really critical of the level of training that we see out there in the gyms and studios across the country.
Having a piece of paper or certificate with your name on it is sadly not always proof that you can do the job you were hired to do.
It obviously depends on the person …but a lot depends on how, when and where a person trained.
Additionally, who trained them is often critical to what the student takes away from the course.
Back in the early days of the fitness industry, a tutor was chosen because they were known to the person needing a tutor and very often their looks and fitness level were way up there on the list of qualities.
I can remember being trained in the year 2000 by a guy who had only been in the industry for six months…and although he did look the part …his ability to put across information was sadly lacking.
He was out of his depth trying to teach a roomful of instructors with an average history of 10 years teaching the public.
His reaction when asked questions to which he did not know the answer … was to make the person asking to feel a bit foolish… by being defensive.
Attack is the best form of defense and I have heard many stories over the years of trainee instructors being too shy to ask questions or clarify a point of confusion during a training course because experience had taught them to keep quiet.
Thankfully, nowadays tutors need to undergo training to ensure that they know more than simply how to change/train their own body.
There is a Level 3 Award which opens doors for fitness professionals who want to advance their career as a tutor.
The Award is E.A.T. (Education and Training) and replaces P.T.L.L.S. (Prepare to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector).
Having a thorough understanding of the theoretical component of your subject as well as the practical element, plus a minimum of three years’ active industry experience in that subject, is all you need to get started.
There is a skill to passing on theory and it is a completely different skill to sharing knowledge of physical activity.
I can’t be the only one who has been on a course where the tutor has switched on a projector, shown some slides and quite literally ‘taught the wall.’
In other words, they have rarely looked in the direction of the students and just read the exact same words that were part of the PowerPoint Presentation.
Gathering students in a room, pointing at a wall, talking without engaging the students or asking and answering questions is not teaching or tutoring.
In order for students to learn …information needs to be presented in such a way that evidence can show that learning took place.
Assessing the needs of the learners all the way through a course is essential. The assumption is often made that the assessment is the very last part of a course.
This is not true. A well-trained Assessor will never relax their assessment …it’s taking place throughout the duration of the course.
It is far too late to wait until the final Practical Observation or written paper to find out that the learners had not absorbed enough information.
Delivering a course after being trained and qualified as a Tutor /Assessor can be a very rewarding job.
There comes a stage in every fitness professionals career when they need to make a decision…to quit …or to find a new avenue for sharing their knowledge.
Attaining the Level 3 Award – E.A.T. is a natural progression from actively teaching your fitness subject to members of the public …to teaching learners.
If you would like to find out more send an email to our office firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you find out if this is the right move for you.
Interestingly, most people I talk to when I ask if they’ve ever thought of becoming a tutor will tell me they don’t think they know enough.
It may surprise you to know that initially you only need to be two steps ahead of the students you are teaching and while you are planning your lessons …you’ll be revising learning your subject far more than when you first came to study.
There is nothing sharpens your mind quite like knowing you’re going to be asked questions …but that is why you’ll be taught the best strategies to ensure you don’t make your student feel foolish!