Tutors Like to Help As much as tutors like helping people, they must learn when and howto provide help as well as what kind of help to provide.
What is Tutoring? Congratulations! You’ve been hired to tutor. You let someone know- a friend, family, a professor. Then comes a question: “What will you be doing?” Good question! What will you be doing?
Discussion Board Post Create a list of things that a tutor does while tutoring. From that list, create a one-sentence definition of tutoring.Respond to the posted questions on the BBdiscussion board and post your answers underTeaching v. Tutoring Exercise One.
Tutoring Definition Let’s consider this definition: Tutoring is responding to questions about lessons already taught.What does this definition tell us about what happens intutoring?• When does tutoring happen?• What does “responding” mean?Respond to the posted questions on the BB discussion boardand post your answers under Teaching v. Tutoring ExerciseTwo.
Tutoring Definition By responding to questions about lessons already taught, tutors understand that students, whom we call “tutees”, must attend class in order to receive tutoring. Responding to questions does not necessarily mean supplying “only” the answers. Most often, it means the tutor serves as one resource out of many, including: class notes, textbooks, syllabi, and instructors; to help the tutee discover information. In a tutorial, a tutor responds to questions by (re)directing the student to other resources so that the tutee learns how to answer his/her own questions.
Tutoring Definition Example Tutee: “How do you conjugate the verb ser?” Tutor: “Have you checked the irregular verbs section of your textbook’s appendix? Usually, you can find that kind of information there. Why don’t you check there now.” In this example, the tutor refers the tutee to another resource that he or she should have available. Doing this makes the tutee aware of the resource and provides additional information about the appendices that the tutee might not already have. By having the tutee look for the information, the tutor also helps the tutee to practice using another resource in addition to finding the answer to the tutee’s question. The more that the tutor does, the less likely that the tutee will learn.Look for information Practice using resources Support finding answer(s) Know the recipe fornext time
Tutoring vs. Teaching Responsibilities Tutors and instructors are not adversaries; tutors supplement the work that instructors do in the classroom by reinforcing what has been taught and letting students practice what they have learned.
Discussion Board Post • Create two lists. In one write the responsibilities that instructors have and in the other, write the responsibilities that tutors have.Respond to the posted questions on the BB discussionboard and post your answers under Teaching v.Tutoring Exercise Three.
Instructor Responsibilities Instructors • Introduce and teach material to students. • Provide feedback through assignments, quizzes, tests, and grades. • Establish lesson plans, subjects, and the order in which subjects are taught, creating learning objectives for the course. • Can assist students with homework, editing, and proofreading work that the instructors assign.
Tutor Responsibilities Tutors: • Respond to questions about lessons already taught. • Do not assign grades and therefore cannot predict grades or advise a student whether to stay in the class. • Use questioning, referral, and redirection to guide students toward successful ways of learning the material taught in class. • Help students learn how to learn rather than doing or assisting students with their homework, papers, or other assignments.
Tutor Responsibilities Tutors • Do not get involved in instructor-student matters. • Limit themselves to guiding the student, rather than doing the student’s work. • Maintain the highest academic standards, including adhering to the Student Code of Conduct, to avoid cheating and to protect the reputation of the Student Success Centers (SSC).
The Pressure to Do Homework As a tutor you represent the department’s tutoring program, it is vital that tutors adhere to established policies. The three situations that follow (doing homework, predicting grades, and making derogatory comments about faculty) can lead to termination. 1. Tutors cannot do homework, assignments, or take-home tests (including correcting returned tests); proofread; or edit. 2. Students wanting tutors to work on their homework is the most frequent problem that tutors encounter. While it sounds simplistic, the best way to deal with it is not to address it. If aMost tutee wants to work on his or her assignment, that is fine.Frequent Keep referring to sample or similar problems that you use to explain the concept and then have the tutee work on the actual problem.
The Pressure to Do Homework Instead of grading the completed work for the tutee, show him or her how to check it himself or herself. For example, you do not want to point out, “Here you added when you should have subtracted.” Instead, point out the type of problem: “A lot of times, people do the steps right but overlook the plus or minus signs, or multiply instead of dividing. Why don’t you check each step to be sure that you added or subtracted in the right places.” This not only keeps you from doing a tutee’s work, but it also helps him or her learn how to check work to be sure that it’s correct.
How to Avoid Predicting Grades 3. Tutors cannot predict grades. If a tutor’s guess at a gradedoes not correspond with the actual grade, especially if thetutor’s guess is higher, the tutee almost always will go to theinstructor with some version of “My tutor said…” At theleast, this causes tension and at times even anger becausegrades so clearly lie outside the tutoring realm. Only aninstructor has the right to determine a student’s grade in hisor her class; tutors never do.
How to Avoid Predicting Grades If a student wants your opinion such as, “Do you think I can get an A on the test?” or “I’ve failed every test. Do you think I should withdraw?”, you can try to be encouraging without giving an answer that you simply do not have: • “I don’t know. Have you spoken with the instructor?” (You also can refer students to their advisors). • “How do you think you’ll do? Do you feel as though you’ve prepared everything?” Sometimes, students just want encouragement. Instead of telling them that they’re ready, ask them if they think they’re ready. • “I can’t say because I don’t do the grading, but I hope that you do well.” You hope that they’ll do well. You don’t know, so don’t say, “I think you’ll do well”.
Discussions about Instructors Tutors may not make or agree with derogatory comments about an instructor. Usually, this happens for one of two reasons: 1. The student just got a bad grade for a test or assignment and is angry or frustrated. 2. The student’s learning preferences and the instructor’s teaching style conflict. You often can tell if this is the problem by the student’s comments, which often include talking about the instructor’s being boring; not letting students talk or do anything; or never using charts, graphs, pictures, or video. We’ll look at this more in the third unit.
Discussions about Instructors Sometimes, for whatever reason you have as a student, you might agree with a tutee. As an employee of the SSC, you still may not engage in negative discussion about faculty, even after you’ve clocked out (so, “I’ll tell you later” is not an option). Instead of agreeing with a tutee, acknowledge that he or she is frustrated and then focus on the material: “I’m sorry that you feel this way. Let’s see if it helps to work on what you’ve been studying.”
Discussions about Instructors You may be asked about which instructor to take for a course; as “near peers” (students with a bit more standing and perceived authority because of your tutoring positions), you will be seen by some tutees as unofficial advisors. If this happens, leave your opinion out, good, bad, or indifferent. Tell the tutee, if you know, what the class is like. Again, not whether you like the teaching style, but factual information about the class: • “She expects students to participate in class discussions.” • “He relies on 1-2 pop quizzes a week.” • “He lectures and leaves the last 10 minutes of class for questions.”
Tutoring Guidelines In tutoring, we can expect certain things to happen whether we’re the tutor or the tutee. Each tutoring session, regardless of its length, has a cycle: beginning, a middle, and an end. Most of a tutoring session will focus on the middle, the part in which the actual tutoring takes place, but the beginning and end also are important to a successful session as well as to the sessions that follow.
Discussion Board Post DB Post Four: List in order the steps that occur at the beginning of a student’s first session with a tutor.DB Post Five: Explain what to do in the following ending situations: You and the tutee finish the material that the tutee wanted to cover. Your shift ends but the tutee still needs help.Respond to the posted questions on the BB discussion board andpost your answers under Teaching v. Tutoring Exercises 4 & 5.
Beginning a Tutoring Session Say hello and introduce yourself. This means being attentive to what’s going on around you so that a tutee does not feel as though he or she is intruding, which is why you cannot use ear-bud devices or cell phones at work. Offer to shake hands. Adults in many societies do this when they first meet. This sets a professional tone, which can be especially important when working in someone’s home, which we do when we work in the residence halls, even though we’re in public areas and never tutor in a student’s room.
Beginning a Tutoring Session Please note: Not all cultures engage in handshaking. If someone doesn’t take your hand when you offer it, move past the moment without calling attention to it. If you belong to a culture that doesn’t engage in shaking hands and someone offers you his or her hand, explain that, briefly (for example, “I’m sorry, but I do not shake hands”), so that person knows you’re not being rude to him or her but it’s your personal preference.
Beginning a Tutoring Session Next, ask what the person wants to discuss. For example: • “What may I help you with today?” • “What are you studying?” Ask to see books, notes, and the syllabus as needed to begin the session. If pertinent, ask about how much time the tutee usually has to study for the course, if he or she goes to class, and if he or she has been keeping up. Usually, you ask this only after some kind of admission that the tutee does not know what is going on in the class or has not gone to class. This step takes very little time, usually less than a minute, but it acknowledges that you’re working with a person, not just a subject, and it lets you and the tutee decide what you need to focus on together during the session.
Middle of Tutoring Sessions This stage consists of the bulk of your tutoring. It’s where you and the tutee focus on the material, practicing it, using other resources so that the tutee can learn how to address material alone, and discussing it. If homework is involved, only the tutee does it. The tutor can model similar examples, going step-by-step through the examples, but only the tutee may do the homework, quiz, test, or any other work that he or she may bring in. We’ll be examining techniques that tutors use in the middle part of tutoring throughout training.
Ending a Tutoring Session You and the tutee have covered what you need to and it’s time to wrap up the session. Since tutoring is an ongoing process, including the following steps to conclude a session reinforces what the tutee has done and encourages him or her to return.
Ending a Tutoring Session Have the tutee explain or demonstrate again what you’ve worked on during the session. This step allows you one last check to be sure that you and the tutee covered everything correctly. Using the subject we instead of you allows the tutee to be less self- conscious if he or she is uncertain about something. Having the tutee, instead of you, review and explain what you two did during the session reinforces how much learning occurred and how useful tutoring is.
Ending a Tutoring Session Invite tutees back and also say good-bye. Seriously. We’ve actually had a few tutors just get up and leave. It’s imperative that you always acknowledge and respect the individuals you work with. It is not only common curiosity but also good customer service.
Ending Q & A What happens if your shift is over or the site is closing and the session is not over? Let the tutee know in advance if your shift will end before the session is over. Tell him or her how much time you have and who else is available who can take over for you then: “I’m here for another half hour. If we’re not finished, Suzie can work with you then.” Let the other tutor know as well. Do not assume that you can leave and the other tutor and the tutee will just figure out what is next. DO not put the tutee in the uncomfortable position of saying something like, “I think you’re supposed to help me now.”.
Ending a Tutoring Session If the site is closing, again, tell the tutee how much time is left. If too little time remains to get through everything, do as much as you can to set up the tutee’s studying for the rest of the evening, including where to look in the book or online. Let the tutee know the first available time that he or she can get help for the subject: “We’re open again tomorrow at 10” or “The Math Tutoring Center is open on Sunday afternoons.”
Discussion Board Post Create two lists, one of the expectations and goals of tutoring, and the other of the limitations of tutoring.Respond to the posted questions on the BB discussionboard and post your answers under Teaching v.Tutoring Exercise Six.
Tutoring Expectations and Goals Tutoring sessions: Have a structure that allows objectives to be approached systematically, from beginning through the middle to an end. Allow tutees to ask questions and receive multiple approaches to learning information. Provide students with study skills suited to a particular subject. Complement classroom instruction and skills. Give students the extra support they need outside the classroom to succeed in college.
Tutoring Limitations Tutors cannot replace the instructor by teaching, predicting grades, or correcting assignments. Students must do their own work (homework, papers, tests, etc.), which tutors can model with examples. Students have limited access to tutors; tutors are not available on an on-call basis.
End of Unit One Congrats! You have just completedTeaching V. Tutoring for CRLA Level 1 Tutor Training.Please proceed to The Socratic Method.