Module 2: Five Steps to Being an Effective Tutor
Step 1: Know What is Expected of You
As a tutor, tutoring is the process of getting students to become independent through questioning. Tutoring should help students develop self-confidence and improve study skills. In addition, the tutoring session should provide students with an opportunity to speak up and ask questions, an opportunity sometimes unavailable or missed in a regular classroom situation.
Tutoring is a well-balanced question/information exchange in which both parties participate and, therefore, both benefit. Tutoring provides the practice and drill in specific course material needed by the student, while giving the tutor valuable review opportunities and the chance to develop and sharpen educational and communication skills.
Tutoring is not teaching. There are important differences between the role of the tutor and that of the classroom teacher. Approaches, relationships, and techniques are different. The tutor works in very close proximity with the student, usually one-on-one. The student may not be accustomed to the close contact and the interchange that occurs during a tutoring session. The tutor may have to consciously strive to develop a good rapport with the student within this environment.
Step 2: Setting Up the Tutoring Session
It is important to shape the tutoring environment. This can be difficult in a busy setting; however, if you follow these simple procedures, you will have a successful session.
- Prepare yourself for the tutoring session.
- Prepare a greeting and review expectations.
- Be prepared for potential problems.
Step 3: Meeting Your Student's Needs
Assess the student's understanding of the subject by asking questions. Determine the student's needs for her to succeed in the subject. Strategies will vary, but do remember to engage the student. Try not to lecture, and do attempt to use:
Step 4: The Ingredients of a Good Tutoring Session
The following are some of the necessary ingredients for a good session:
- Greet your student and give her your undivided attention.
- Have empathy with your student's problems.
- Be honest with your student.
- Set the agenda.
- Have a sense of humor.
- Have the ability to "lighten up" a situation.
- Have a good interaction with your student, a good give-and-take.
- Know your student's strengths and weaknesses.
- Work through your student's strengths to improve her weaknesses.
- Make your student feel good about herself and her accomplishments.
- Know when to stop a session.
- End the session on a positive note.
Step 5: Ending the Tutoring Session
Do not just say "good-bye" when the session is over. You should:
- Positively assess the work that was done during the session.
- Find a way to praise the student.
- Give assignments if appropriate.
- Re-schedule for another session.
- Do any necessary tutor paperwork.
- Always end the session with a positive comment.