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Tutoring Session Strategies & Expectations
Transcript of Tutoring Session Strategies & Expectations
Initial Tutoring Session
Pay close attention to the first session as it will set the tone for any other sessions that follow. How it goes will influence whether the student decides to return or not.
Background & Interests
In this module, we will go over strategies that will be helpful in making the most of the initial tutoring session and subsequent ones.
This module will also reinforce the importance of setting goals for each session.
Lastly, the module will emphasize the significance of going over mutual expectations so it's clear to the student what you will and won't do.
Once you have spent approximately five minutes getting to know your student, it is important to, now, set the expectations for the session.
Clarify the student’s goals for the tutoring session, and go over mutual expectations. Tell the student what you will and won’t do. Try to get the student to repeat what you say to them. Then switch roles and have them tell you what they will and won’t do, and then repeat that back to them.
Talk about the student's background and interest in the course- this gets the student actively motivated and helps the tutor assess the student’s motivation, preparation, etc.
Listening is your primary and essential function in this conversation. You should only ask leading questions to draw the student out or to keep them on tract.
Set a time limit for this conversation; the first five minutes is an ideal length of time.
What to expect in a tutoring session:
Tutors will help students do their own work. Tutors can assist students in answering questions regarding homework, reading assignments or lectures.
Tutors will assist students to discover their learning style, the most effective way for them to learn!
What not to expect in a tutoring session:
Tutors will not do a student's work. Tutors will help students determine the answers on their own by asking them questions.
Tutors are not going to teach the course material. Students must attend class, do assigned reading and take notes in class, in order to come prepared to see a tutor.
Other Things the Tutee should Understand
Proceed with Regular Session Tasks
Set goals and a schedule for the remainder of the session. Proceed with the strategies and things to keep in mind listed in the following slides.
Tutees should know that:
You are not a homework machine.
You are not a miracle worker.
If the tutee procrastinated throughout the semester, working and cramming with you the week before finals will not produce great results.
You will not know all the answers to every question all the time.
You are not an instructor.
Tutoring is a two-way street - one in which tutees should play a very active role.
Tutees are expected to be active participants and contributors in their sessions.
Tutees should bring all relevant materials, including textbook, the class syllabus, class notes, past papers, and past tests to tutoring sessions.
Tutees should come prepared by:
Trying homework problems
Things to Keep in Mind
You can’t cover everything. That’s why it’s important to make and stick to a schedule.
The goal of tutoring is to help the student become independent.
Patience: Efficiency at the expense of learning is not the goal.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues- facial expressions and body language. These can reveal comprehension, level of interest, confusion, anxiety, etc.
Remain open to new ways of doing things, and to strategies the student brings to the session. Your way of doing it is not the only way to do it. Explore new methods.
Be aware of the student’s thought process- don’t assume they know how to do it because they did it. Do your best to figure out how they’re thinking about it.
Throughout your tutoring relationship, you should get to know the student better. Encourage them to share their stories, their experiences, their needs and frustrations. Not only will this help to get to know them better, and be able to better serve them, it will also help them relax into each session, and will help the, feel like you are listening to them.
T/F It is important to review both the student’s and the tutor’s expectations before beginning the session.
T/F We want students to learn to do the work on their own.
Review key concepts
Encourage active learning- get the tutee to teach the concept to you.
Sit next to, not across from, the student.
Give Clues- help the student get where they need to go by suggesting some key concepts, giving clues and asking leading questions, instead of explaining it out to them.
Avoid yes/no questions- instead, ask content questions. For example, don’t ask “Do you understand?” say “Why don’t you explain to me what you understand from this…”
Avoid Lecturing-This discourages the student’s active involvement and prevents you from adequately assessing comprehension.
Use concrete examples for concrete topics.
Help students diagnose repeated mistakes and recognize how to correct them.
Use materials already at hand- it is much easier to take a problem or a question from the text or workbook than to create one off top of your head. It also avoids bringing up concepts that the tutee does not understand yet.
Be empathetic towards the students’ frustrations- You can give examples of how you struggles with these same challenges, or use body language to show your understanding.
Simplify, or break down a problem-enough so that it looks familiar or recognizable to the student.
Let the student hold the pen/pencil.
Use clues from the student’s learning style to help explain concepts. This is particularly important for students with learning disabilities.
Have the tutee take notes during he session- Have them write down all the steps involved in a process, before working the problems.