How to have an excellent tutor-student relationship for success in a private tuition career in Singapore

Published on 4 January 2023 by Edu Aid | For Parents | For Students | For Tutors | Tuition

home tutor woman teaching young female student

Teaching private tuition in Singapore is a lucrative career. For the past few years, there has been a growing demand for private tutors in Singapore, driven by COVID-19’s disruption of face-to-face schooling and the rise of home-based learning.

Many parents discover the many benefits of home tuition, including having learning objectives tailored to their child’s learning needs and direct access to a home tutor who can clarify their children’s questions, ensuring their academic performance stays on track.

Although the private tuition industry in Singapore is flourishing, it’s also a competitive market. And for a good reason: successful home tutors know how to tap into each student’s potential and accelerate their learning to achieve good academic performance. Parents are willing to pay top dollar for home tutors with a proven track record.

What is the secret to being a successful home tutor in Singapore? Building a good relationship with your student is key. Not all students are enthusiastic about entering your lesson for the first time. Some of them might feel resentful, restless, or even fearful. This is because you are a stranger to them and do not have any relationship with them (yet).

Here are three important factors a home tutor should take note of to build positive relationships with their students.

  1. Trust

To help students learn, a home tutor will need to construct a space and secure climate conducive to students’ learning. It is essential to foster a trusting relationship with the students. Students need to know that you care about them as individuals and are committed to helping them succeed academically.

Students should be able to ask questions, clarify misconceptions, make mistakes or express any concerns or doubts about their learning with their home tutors. Remember that mistakes and questions are opportunities for learning. If you are overly critical of your student’s mistakes during the private tuition sessions, they may become defensive and unwilling to expose their lack of knowledge.

When giving students feedback, avoid using an accusatory tone of blame by not using the word “you”. Instead, use “I” focused sentences. For example, say something like: “I am concerned that you were not paying attention when I was teaching. Now we need to go through the steps again.” This will help you share your feelings and action steps with the student.

  1. Positive Mindset

As a home tutor in Singapore, giving private tuition is about building human connections. Think about your time in school—did you best listen and learn from teachers with whom you had a connection and positive relationships?

To achieve this, home tutors must put themselves in a positive frame of mind and remind themselves that all students are coachable and can improve if given the proper guidance and support. Believe that you are the engine to initiate positive change in a child’s educational path.

Recognise the effort put in by the student and celebrate improvements as small wins instead of focusing only on the result. View mistakes as helpful errors in learning instead of a reflection of the student’s incompetence or personality, for example, acknowledging that it was “a careless mistake” instead of “a careless student”. Be less judgmental and more encouraging.

Home tutors with positive mindsets are less likely to develop conflicts with their students, preserving the good relationship between them.


Credibility measures how much students believe they can learn from you and that you can be counted on to help achieve their academic goals through your private tuition sessions. Students need to have confidence and faith in your ability to teach them effectively.

Establish credibility by knowing the subject matter well and articulating the lesson materials clearly to your students. It’s important to be fully prepared before tutoring sessions, such as understanding the material and being familiar with the explanation of concepts.

Excellent home tutors in Singapore deliver teaching instructions that are coherent, flowing logically and organised – explaining the basic concept before moving on to more complex ones. They are also good at pacing their lessons, so students can digest the material presented and have time to ask questions.

Students in secondary schools or junior colleges in Singapore can discern whether a home tutor is well-prepared or simply wasting their time. They are also able to spot inaccuracies in teaching materials. Remember, excellent tutors respect every minute of the student’s time.

Being credible shows your students that you are an expert in your subject and can teach well. This is crucial for building a successful tutor-student relationship.


To succeed as a private tutor in Singapore, you need more than just academic qualifications. Home tutors in Singapore who can charge a premium rate with a booked-out schedule spend time cultivating good teacher-student relationships. They understand this is the key to motivating students to learn and perform better.

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