My first experience with tutoring was during the junior year of high school. In Chemistry class I would help others and my teacher would encourage me to do so as well. I would help students with test corrections and classwork. Me helping others, in fact, helped me develop communicational skills and gain confidence about the material I had learned. Later during the year, I assisted chemistry teachers with symposiums for STAAR and the finals.
After graduation, I started tutoring privately. I've worked with mostly middle school and few high school students.
Currently I tutor for iEducateUSA, a non-profit organization that assigns tutors to elementary schools to provide extra help for the students. I've been tutoring fifth graders for the past year and it has been an exceptional experience. I hope to continue this journey for a very long time.
Q & A
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By showing the student how should they approach their material, and by helping them organize rather than to make them struggle by memorization.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By constantly showing the progress we've made, no matter how little it is, as long as it is in a positive direction.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is struggling, I, personally, would go over the material right before the concept, as usually it's a missing point that becomes an obstacle in the understanding of new material.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would work on the vocab and sentence building structure as a base.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Understanding: -Learning style -Learning pace -Learning confidence Temporarily ignoring: -Their mistakes -Amount of time they take -Weaknesses Focus on: -Organizing -Guiding the flow instead of forcing a flow -Base building
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Before tutoring on a specific subject, discuss the subject. -How much of this subject does the student actually know about? -Do they like anything about it? Talk as much as possible to clear any confusion about the subject.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
The most effective way is to practice and then do trial and error. In trial and error, for every mistake made you, as a tutor, make the student repeat the procedure twice in order to help them retain the information for a longer period of time.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By making the base as strong as possible. Once the base is solid, excess information is easily understood by the student, which would help the student build their confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By their ability to learn. Some students require attention all the time in order to keep them on track, be it with them being distracted or just simply to make sure that they are on the right track. This is opposed to others who would like the tutor to back off for a minute and let them figure it out for themselves. Depending on their learning style, multiple factors can play a role in increasing the student's knowledge and success.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Whenever I have to tutor a student, I try to let them take the lead into what they know and what they need to learn. From there on, I pace myself according to the student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
A notebook, three pens -- blue, black and red -- and a pencil.