How to be a Remarkable Tutor


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How to be a Remarkable Tutor

  1. 1.  Training Manual for remarkable tutors and mentors
  2. 2. First, what is IgnitionTutoring?
  3. 3. Our mission <ul><li>Give students a spark.  Light the fire of learning.  Create relentless learners. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How we accomplish our mission <ul><li>1.  Recruit remarkable people (you) to be tutors. </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Train those people so they can become even better. </li></ul><ul><li>3.  Connect these remarkable tutors to students. </li></ul>
  5. 5. But most importantly... <ul><li>4.  We relentlessly improve ourselves. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Relentless improvement... <ul><li>Relentless improvement is the main idea we teach our students.  It's the most surefire way to succeed in life, and we think it's a great way to build a company. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Tutoring for Ignition introduction, inspiration, best practices
  8. 8. Confidence <ul><li>Confidence is job #1 for you.  You must be confident and breed confidence in your students. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why? <ul><li>Because without confidence, students give up.  They stop learning.  Psychologists call it &quot;learned helplessness.&quot; </li></ul>
  10. 10. How to Build Confidence? <ul><li>Teach them something!  We'll show you how.  You'll be amazed at the confidence students get when they learn something they thought was hard. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Last word on Confidence <ul><li>It's the best part of the job.  When a Mom tells you her kid is more confident now because of ROCKS!  Teaching math skills is great, but creating confidence can change lives. </li></ul>
  12. 12. And now, the curriculum  
  13. 13. The 3 Pillars <ul><li>1.  Mindset </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Neuroscience </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Ignition </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Importance of Mindset <ul><li>Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck found out there are two kinds of mindsets... </li></ul>
  15. 15. 1.  Growth Mindset <ul><li>-You believe you can improve every aspect of your life, intelligence included.   </li></ul><ul><li>-Failures are just valuable learning experiences.   </li></ul><ul><li>-You like challenges because you know challenge is how you get better. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2. Fixed Mindset <ul><li>-You believe in innate talent.  Everyone is born with some amount of intelligence, and you can't change it.   </li></ul><ul><li>-Mistakes and failures are proof of your ineptitude.   </li></ul><ul><li>-Challenges are no fun, they just show you what you're not good at. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Quiz:  Which mindset should we teach to students?
  18. 18. The Neuroscience of Learning
  19. 19. What happens in your brain when you learn? <ul><li>Your brain changes constantly.  When you learn something, you change how the neurons in your brain connect to one another. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Building pathways <ul><li>The more you practice something (baseball, violin, math), the more connections your brain forms.  The easier it gets. </li></ul>
  21. 21. And there's no limit <ul><li>As your brain forms new connections, you get smarter.  And science hasn't yet found a limit to how much smarter you can get.  Even if everyone else was born smarter than you, if you work hard, you can end up on top. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Mindset + Neuroscience <ul><li>Those concepts are the backbone of what we do at Ignition.  Research evidence is with us on this.  If we can teach students to adopt a growth mindset, and teach them a little about how their brain works, they WILL get smarter. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Third Element:  Ignition <ul><li>Ignition is a spark.  It's motivation.  Where does it come from?  </li></ul>
  24. 24. Ignition (cont.)     <ul><li>It comes from having a vision of where you could be if you work hard.  Your role as a tutor is to provide that Ignition for your students.  </li></ul>
  25. 25. Ignition (cont.) <ul><li>So you have to be a great role model.  You have to make learning cool and exciting.  Students will see your passion and think &quot;I could be like that someday.&quot;  That's Ignition. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Theoretical to Practical <ul><li>So there you have the theory behind Ignition.  </li></ul><ul><li>Let's see how to make it happen in the real world... </li></ul>
  27. 27. Practical Strategies or best practices
  28. 28. Practical Strategies Table of Contents <ul><ul><li>The McNugget Theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How Not to Encourage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't Talk so Much </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be Patient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charisma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clint Eastwood it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Dumbest Question </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. The McNugget Theory  
  30. 30. 1.  The McNugget Theory <ul><li>You should teach in little knowledge nuggets.  Nuggets go down smooth.  They're easy to digest.  </li></ul>
  31. 31. McNuggets... <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>3x   +   7    =   10 </li></ul><ul><li>Where would you start on that if you didn't know a student's background? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Solving    3x + 7 = 10  (cont.) <ul><li>You could go through it step by step.  But a great tutor would check for understanding first by serving up a little nugget.  Maybe... </li></ul><ul><li>x + 7 = 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Or.. </li></ul><ul><li>3x = 9 </li></ul>
  33. 33. Solving    3x + 7 = 10  (cont.) <ul><li>See what happened there?  We broke it up into discrete steps.  If you're not sure where a student is already in their math ability, break up the problem!  </li></ul>
  34. 34. More cool stuff on McNuggets <ul><li>When you break a problem into teensy, tiny, nugget-sized pieces, anyone can get it.  Anyone can learn the one-step to solve  x + 7  = 10.   </li></ul>
  35. 35. Why Nuggets work <ul><li>When scientists measure IQ, they're measuring something called &quot;working memory&quot;.  It's basically how much information you can hold in your brain at once.  People with super high IQs don't need nuggets.  They can get it all at once. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Why Nuggets work (cont.) <ul><li>But for the rest of us, learning more than one thing at a time is hard.  Nuggets make learning easy, because they allow us to focus on one thing at a time. </li></ul>
  37. 37. More on Nuggets <ul><li>Notice how these slides don't have too many words on them?  Why is that? </li></ul>
  38. 38. Putting nuggets together <ul><li>Once you get a student to master the individual steps, putting them all together won't be too tough.  Using this method, you can quickly get a student solving hard problems. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Nugget Quiz <ul><li>3(2x -3) + 4x  = 2x + 5 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Pop quiz:  what are all the nuggets a student would need to know to solve that problem? </li></ul>
  40. 40. Praise  
  41. 41. 2.  How NOT to Encourage <ul><li>Encouragement is a HUGE part of this job.  You really need to be able to get very enthusiastic about your students' success.  And you need to SHOW it! </li></ul>
  42. 42. Two ways to praise <ul><li>1.  Great job!  You are the smartest student I've ever seen! </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Great job!  You're the hardest working student I've ever seen! </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Think about it.  Which one is better? </li></ul>
  43. 43. Two ways to praise (cont.) <ul><li>You must never, EVER utter anything like statement #1.  </li></ul><ul><li>Why?  Because you're praising them for something they already have (intelligence).  And that's bad.... </li></ul>
  44. 44. Two ways to praise (cont.) <ul><li>Because now your student sees how happy you get when they are shown to be smart.  They'll spend all the effort now trying to appear smart. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning, they won't ask questions, or try anything they don't already know.  Because they want to look smart. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Two ways to praise (cont.) <ul><li>Praising hard work is how we do it.  It sends a message that it's OK not to understand at first, as long as you work hard. </li></ul><ul><li>Praise this way, and your students will reward you by thinking hard and learning more than you can imagine. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Silence Can Be Virtuous so....
  47. 47. 3.  Don't Talk so Damn Much <ul><li>Talking too much is easy to do.  But it bores students to death. </li></ul>
  48. 48. It's a conversation, not a lecture <ul><li>You need to keep your students involved.  So don't try to teach so much as to ask questions. </li></ul><ul><li>After all, if you're talking all the time you have no idea what the student knows or doesn't know. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Because if you're talking... <ul><li>all the time, how do you know if the student gets it?  </li></ul>
  50. 50. The best way to be completely useless <ul><li>Is to talk the whole time without checking for understanding.  You could teach a student for 60 minutes and they might learn NOTHING.  Why?  Because they didn't understand the first concept you mentioned, and everything else built on that.  Don't make this mistake! </li></ul>
  51. 51. BAD Example... <ul><li>Student:  I don't know how to do this one:  3*(4 + 3) </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Ah, well you could either do the distributive property, or add up what's in the parentheses.... </li></ul>
  52. 52. 2 problems with that way <ul><li>1.  You're talking too much. </li></ul><ul><li>2.  You used a big word (&quot;distributive property&quot;), and you don't know yet if they know what it means. </li></ul><ul><li>Start simpler... </li></ul>
  53. 53. GOOD Example.. <ul><li>Student:  I don't know how to do this one:  3*(4 + 3) </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Well, is there any piece of that problem you could use to get started on? </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  I guess I know 4 + 3 equals 7. </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Ha, you see!  Now what? </li></ul><ul><li>See how much better that is? </li></ul>
  54. 54. Patience. Also a Virtue  
  55. 55. 4.  Be Patient <ul><li>Sometimes friends hear me tutoring a student and will later say &quot;Wow, Chris, you are so patient.&quot; </li></ul>
  56. 56.   <ul><li>FALSE. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Patience isn't required <ul><li>I'm the most impatient person I know.  So how could people hear me tutor and say I'm patient? </li></ul>
  58. 58. Realizing the goal <ul><li>Here's how I did it:  I remembered my goal.  My goal wasn't to &quot;get through the material in 20 minutes&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>My goal was to be the best teacher I could be for this student.  </li></ul>
  59. 59. The search <ul><li>So I started looking at tutoring as a search for the best way to connect with this student.  Then I didn't have to be patient, because if he didn't get it, I just felt like that was part of the search. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Try something else <ul><li>So I would go over a concept.  And he wouldn't get it.  So I would try it again, a different way.  I'd check for understanding.  Closer, but no cigar.  Try again, and again.... </li></ul>
  61. 61. Remember... <ul><li>When you work with students who are hard to teach, you  get better at teaching.  The toughest students are the best training. </li></ul>
  62. 62. Charisma  
  63. 63. 5.  Importance of Charisma <ul><li>Enthusiasm!  Enthusiasm!  Enthusiasm!  You've gotta have it.  Cultivate it.  Love your work.  </li></ul>
  64. 64. Why it's important <ul><li>Because in a lot of cases, your students will already be bored with school.  Your job is to make it fun and interesting.  The easiest way is to just be excited and let your excitement catch on.  Even if you look like a dork. </li></ul>
  65. 65. Charisma in praise <ul><li>We mentioned it earlier, but it's worth repeating:  you need to enthusiastically praise your students for the hard work.  Like get excited when you see them working hard. Jump up and down and shout if you have to!!!  Do not try to be cool. </li></ul>
  66. 66. Clint Eastwood  
  67. 67. 6.  The Clint Eastwood <ul><li>Clint Eastwood stares quietly, with intense focus.  Demonstrate the Clint Eastwood stare to your students and let them know that's how they should look when they're thinking about a problem. </li></ul>
  68. 68. When to use it <ul><li>Teach a student the Clint Eastwood look once.  Then use it as a trigger. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Ok, so if we add those two, what do we get? </li></ul><ul><li>Student (guessing):  7!  24!  12! </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Clint Eastwood it for me. </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  (thinks quietly for 5 seconds, then..)  It's 8. </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Right! </li></ul>
  69. 69. Use it when your student won't think <ul><li>Again, it's a trigger.  Most students are capable of way more than they think.  When you say &quot;Clint Eastwood&quot; you're saying &quot;THINK!&quot;  It's a fun tool to get kids to think, and it works. </li></ul>
  70. 70. Dumb Questions  
  71. 71. 7.  The Dumbest Question <ul><li>For students, there are no dumb questions.  For the tutor, there is one REALLY dumb question.  Never ask it.  It's... </li></ul>
  72. 72. Do you get it?
  73. 73. Why can't we ask that? <ul><li>Because a lot of the time, the student will say &quot;Yes, I get it&quot;.  But what they really mean is &quot;What the hell are you talking about?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Instead.... </li></ul>
  74. 74. Have them show you <ul><li>Tutor:  Do you want to try one on your own now, or should I go over that again? </li></ul><ul><li>Student: Uh, go over it again. </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor:  Ok, this time, stop me where it doesn't make sense, ok? </li></ul><ul><li>Student: Ok. </li></ul>
  75. 75. See what happened there? <ul><li>Our student can't lie and say he gets it because he knows you're going to make him prove it.  </li></ul>
  76. 76. Also... <ul><li>He can avoid embarrassment because he doesn't have to say &quot;no, I don't get it&quot;.   </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Show me that again&quot; is much more palatable to the ego. </li></ul>
  77. 77. Fighter Pilot Math  
  78. 78. Question... <ul><li>  How do fighter pilots avoid &quot;careless&quot; errors? </li></ul>
  79. 79. Answer: <ul><li>Checklists! </li></ul>
  80. 80. Checklists are good <ul><li>When students make a lot of careless mistakes, checklists are invaluable.  </li></ul>
  81. 81. Work together... <ul><li>to come up with your own checklists for the student.  Checklists make it impossible to forget a step.  That's why pilots use them.  They're insurance against stupid mistakes. </li></ul>
  82. 82. Example checklist... <ul><li>From a student I worked with yesterday. </li></ul><ul><li>1.  When you see &quot; - (x + 5)&quot;, change the minus to a plus, and change all the signs in parentheses </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Take a breath!  Don't take any steps until you think about why.   </li></ul><ul><li>3.  Write down EVERY step.  There's no prize for doing it in your head. </li></ul><ul><li>4.  Done?  Now check every step.  (it's easy cuz you wrote them all down) </li></ul>
  83. 83. Now follow-through <ul><li>Make sure they USE the checklist in follow-up sessions.  You've just added +100 points on their math SAT score.  </li></ul>
  84. 84. Almost the end...     <ul><li>Have you learned anything else in your work?  Send ideas to </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>
  85. 85. The END  
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