– Perseverance: A tutor’s role is to help the students they work with to master specific subject material. A tutor cannot learn the material for the student, and students must take responsibility for learning the material on their own.
Students need to commit to taking extra time to work on learning the material outside of the tutoring session. When students experience difficulties, they need to keep trying and stick with it.
- Punctuality: One easy way for students to get the most out of their tutoring sessions is to arrive on time. When students are punctual, they are able to spend the maximum amount of time with their tutors.
- Preparedness: Students should bring all the necessary materials (e.g., textbook, assignments, computer, calculator, paper, pens) to their tutoring sessions. This eliminates time wasted looking for things.
- Professionalism: It’s wonderful when a student and tutor have a good relationship. When students feel comfortable they are more likely to ask questions. Likewise, tutors who know more about their students’ interests can better tailor their teaching approach. However, both parties must always remember that their relationship is a professional one. Time is limited and shouldn’t be spent with unnecessary chatter or gossip.
- Engagement: Students need to engage and participate in the learning process. They will not gain the knowledge they need if they just sit there and let the tutor do all the talking and thinking. Students who pay attention, process what is being said, and ask questions whenever they need clarification can make their tutoring sessions more productive and beneficial.
Technology plays an important role during in-person and distance tutoring sessions
How technology benefits in-person tutoring sessions:
When meeting with a student tutor face-to-face, desktops, laptops, or tablets are instrumental to learning. Students can use these devices to show classroom notes, homework assignments, or completed essays. Students can also use these devices to jot down notes during tutoring sessions. Additionally, students can use other pieces of technology, like digital recorders or MP3 players, to record tutoring sessions for review later. Tutors can also benefit from using technology. Access to the internet allows tutors to easily find information and provide visual explanations and demonstrations to share with students.
How technology benefits distance tutoring sessions:
Technology provides multiple ways for facilitating and enhancing the distance tutoring experience. Cell phones, instant messaging, or emails help tutors and students set up appointments. Tutors can also conduct tutoring sessions over the telephone or via instant messaging. If tutors and students wish to simulate an in-person tutoring session, they can use video conferencing applications, like Skype or Apple FaceTime.
Tutors may be better able to monitor their students’ learning by observing facial expressions or gestures. Students may pay more attention knowing that tutors can see what they are doing. Additionally, this technology can help tutors to better explain material that’s more visual in nature or difficult to describe in words. For example, some scientific or mathematical explanations are best explained with diagrams. Lastly, if a student and tutor wish to discuss a student’s written work, then screen sharing programs, like the one available through Skype, may help since both parties can look at the same material at the same time.