Dealing with difficult situations

This page focuses on some of the difficulties that you might face in your role as a Personal Tutor.

Unexpected questions

Occasionally you will be asked a question that you are not prepared for or do not have the knowledge needed to help that student. Don't panic. Take the time to unpack the question, making sure you really understand what they are asking. You may need time to get the information they need, in which case, arrange a follow up meeting. 

Students who are demanding of your time

If a student demands a lot of your time this could signal an underlying problem that needs to be explored. Try to get to the heart of that issue so that you can work through a solution or direct them to someone better able to help them. You do need to be firm with your students and make clear what they can reasonably expect from you.

Students who are upset or crying

The best way you can help students who are upset is to provide them with a private space, be friendly and listen to them. It is often a good idea to arrange a follow up meeting soon after to check that they are ok and so they know someone cares. At this meeting you should further discuss what it is that has upset them. 

Support for personal tutors

If a situation becomes too much, make sure you are familiar with those who are there to support you in your role as a personal tutor.

Support for Personal Tutors

UCL has a network of departmental and institutional colleagues in place to support personal tutors and look after the well being of students. More information can be found here.

Page last modified on 07 aug 13 14:49