A must-have quality for a tutor, and how to get it

This event rocked the Singaporean eduscape in the past week.

I can sympathize with the teacher because when I first started teaching I was hot tempered and short on patience.

Whilst it is easy to just let go and ‘fire away’ at the students, the outcome is far more damaging. Potentially antagonizing students and disrupting their learning. I have had to learn this the hard way. I too lost control of the class once earlier in my teaching career. Whatever one says in the fit of anger can be very damaging. And our biology is not helping because the rational side of the brain is not given a chance for input. I got complained about and it caused me much misery. There was not a day subsequently, that I wished I hadn’t vent my anger like that.

These days whenever I am teetering on the edge of losing my cool, I always think about my student’s plight. How is it like being them. How do they feel. Why are they in this situation…

Once I understand them, it’s hard to lose temper on them. And it motivates me to keep getting better at my craft.

On the other hand, if I do need to chastise my students, it is not done in a fit of anger but calmly and always explaining what is in it for them and how they can come out of it a better person. That way, students begin to understand that I am picking on the deed, not the person. And that I have their well-being at heart. And that I am not doing it for myself.

A career in education is a journey. We learn a lot about ourselves, just as our students. Sometimes, I think we benefit much more than the students, because in order to do good for and by our students, we have to become better versions of ourselves first. COMMENT.



  • On March 08, 2017