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Bound to Happen

It was bound to happen. After hundred of hours of successful tutoring sessions with students reporting improved test results and positive learning experiences, I met my first dissatisfied student.

This was not a student exactly…rather a professional preparing for a licensure exam required for his job. He had already taken the exam and failed, resulting in a suspension of his work until the exam was passed. The exam involved options strategies, which can be downright vexing in complexity. The pressure to succeed was palpable.

Unfortunately, my teaching style was not to his liking. I prefer to work with students through a chain of thought, coaching them on how to sort out the superfluous from the relevant and building a problem solving skill set. I use exercises or cases in an exploratory fashion. Simply going through an exercise is a learning experience. My view is that this builds comprehension, which in the long-run provides a stronger foundation for accumulating skill sets as well as passing exams.

He wanted a quick formula, a fast one-size-fits all equation that could be universally applied to all every options question. I had none to offer. The student terminated the session saying he did not think it was going to work for him. I appreciated his candor even if it took another fifteen minutes to end the session. Somehow it was hard for him to stand up and walk away.

Every student should think long and hard about how they learn best. Using that insight can save valuable time when assignment or test deadlines are looming. If a tutor is engaged and their style is not working or the student lacks rapport with a tutor, it is best to cut a study session short and find an alternative approach.