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I believe there are many skills and attributes that are necessary to be an outstanding tutor. Some of the most important qualities include passion, leadership, and content knowledge. Tutors accommodate the academic, social, and emotional needs of all of their students. An effective tutor engages all students into each lesson so they feel like they are part of the classroom community helping them become more active in the learning process. An outstanding tutor is also very knowledgeable about the content being presented. It is important that tutors teach a lesson dynamically in order to cater to all students' diverse learning styles.

An outstanding tutor is also a good listener. Students seek a tutor's guidance on a variety of issues and so it is important that the teacher demonstrates leadership skills while helping students be successful in working together. An outstanding tutor is a role model to all students thus must always handle each situation in an appropriate way so that students can learn from those situations as apply them to their everyday life. Lastly, an outstanding tutor has the ability to influence students not only at school but within the community as well.

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Alison’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Kansas - Bachelors, English


Reading, painting, cooking, animal lover and advocate, traveling

Tutoring Subjects

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe the fundamental goal of teaching is to foster learning. Learning takes place in many different circumstances and contexts. Although everyone is capable of learning, a student's desire to learn is vital to mastering new concepts and skills. Humans have multiple learning styles: some learn best in lecture atmospheres, some are motivated by discussion, and others absorb best when they read and reflect on what they have read. The classroom setting can encourage or inhibit learning depending on the dominant learning style of each student. Accommodating different learning styles creates an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Students take many of their learning habits from the instructor. If the instructor doesn't show interest in the subject and a passion for learning, students are less likely to put forth the effort to learn in that class. An instructor must convince students of his or her knowledge and expertise before they will show a willingness to learn.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a first session, I would want to do some get-to-know-you activities so that we can become familiar with each other. I think it is also important to assess the student's prior knowledge about the subject so I know the student's ability level and can determine which skills need work. I would also talk to the student (or parent) about what they hope to accomplish with the tutoring sessions.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Strategies I have found successful include getting to know the student on a personal level so they know I care about them and want to help them succeed.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would help a student get excited about a subject they are struggling in by finding a way to relate it to things they are interested in. For example, if a student does not like reading, I help them find books on topics they are interested in.

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