The Ten Commandments of Tutoring

1. Thou shalt always be punctual for lessons.

Save for the Acts of God aka natural disasters or unpredictable last

minute troubling personal circumstances, show up at the doorstep

of your student’s house on time. This is called basic courtesy.

2. Thou shalt always maintain a cheerful disposition during lessons.

After a tiring day at school, the last thing a student needs is to see

another unsmiling, stern face dishing out instructions at home. A

happy and fun environment creates an infectiously positive

atmosphere which greatly facilitates learning and constructive


3. Thou shalt be humble.

Look in the mirror each morning and tell yourself : I am not bloody

special. There are far too many educators who are definitely much

more brilliant and capable on this planet. Take 1 gram of vitamin

H (humility) a day to stay grounded.

4. Thou shalt admit when he is wrong.

To err is human; to defend oneself rigorously in front of a student

so as to prevent embarrassment (when you have clearly made a

mistake) is sheer stupidity. So just come clean and make the

necessary corrections in your teaching. Remember you will rot in

hell for misleading your charges. Ok it ain't that serious, but

hopefully you get the point.

5. Thou shalt keep abreast of changes in the educational curriculum and generational mind-sets.

Defying this rule will render your methods of instruction ineffective

(and obsolete) in no time. Surely you don’t want that?

6. Thou shalt know his limits.

“Batman has no limits.” – The Dark Knight (2008)

You are not the caped crusader, so there will be instances when

certain questions raised by them kid geniuses will be beyond you.

Honesty is the best policy; explain to them the upper boundaries

of your knowledge base have been breached. Don’t stop there

though. Offer to do some research and revert to them when

that magical Eureka moment comes to you. This is called going

the extra mile.

7. Thou shalt maintain records for all fee-related matters during the active teaching term.

Call it insurance if you wish; this must be done to avoid any

misunderstandings from escalating (which could possibly sour

relations). Note all dates, timings and durations of lessons

conducted in a log. Upon receipt of payment, check to ensure

you are given the right amount. Don’t be afraid to consult the

parent if you discover discrepancies (which put you at a

disadvantage financially). After all, you are making a living

and deserve to be paid accordingly if you have discharged

your teaching duties in a responsible manner.

8. Thou shalt stay healthy and fit.

Haul your ass to the gym to lift weights or get on the treadmill for

some cardiovascular exercise. Be physically active by playing sports.

A sickly teacher is never a good teacher because his/her state of

mind (as well as thought processes) will always reside in the less

than optimal band.

9. Thou shalt be fair.

In a group setting where you are coaching a few students

concurrently, never practice favouritism. Always devote

sufficient attention to each and every one; do not pamper

the smarter kids and neglect the weaker learners.

10. Thou shalt be presentable attire-wise.

You only wear sandals and a baggy Bugs Bunny shirt when going

to the beach or the local supermarket, not when you are going

to teach someone. Respect is a mutual thing, so show respect

to your student by dressing sensibly if you expect cordial treatment.

When in doubt with regards to choosing what to wear, you can

never go wrong with the “its hip to be square” formula .