Hello to all of my fellow Wyzant tutors,
I am Christina, a tutor specializing in K-12 Math out of the Metro Atlanta suburbs. I've been with Wyzant for a little over the month now. I am absolutely enjoying being a part of the Wyzant family and also my students' lives. Most of you would probably
agree. You would probably agree with me that this position comes with its many challenges. I want to give some insight into some of the challenges that we as tutor endure on a daily basis. Here's is my snippet:
I have a tutee, who is currently at risk of failing in Algebra. This student is not the most euthuastic student when it comes to Math in general. I completed a couple of sessions with this student and I am honestly at a lost. I really thought about giving
up tutoring this particular student. However, after reflecting on our last tutoring session, I have come up with the following solutions.
I am the reinforcer...
As a tutor who works mostly with children I can say that the chief issue I encounter with my students is that they are just not interested in the work that they struggle with. They wont care about a subject unless they are invested in it. So, here are
some things I do to help make it more engaging.
I like to use props. Especially with English students. Instead of writing a sentence I act out a sentence and make them identify the parts of speach that my sentence has. This also works with math if you use change to teach fractions.
I apply the work to them. I don't use made up word problems I use situations in my students lives to make word problems. This is why it is important to really get to know your students.
I talk to them. When a student doesn't want to focus and just wants to talk I listen until they say something that can be applied to the lesson. They love this because to them it seems like their idea, and therefore a good thing.
1) You can have fun and be silly, but still increase focus on the subject
When I taught piano lessons to a 5-year-old girl, I would start off by asking her to find the weirdest, funniest sound that she could find on the keyboard, and then ask her to play the song she had practiced for that week in that sound! She always would
laugh and make faces, but it made the repetition of practicing the same song over and over less monotonous and more fun! This would start our lessons off on a great note, and they would be more of a game or exploration of music than just a class.
2) Take a snack break
After about 30-45 minutes of studying the same subject, it can get tiring and hard to focus. Our brains need a break! Stopping 30 minutes into a tutoring session to have a quick snack or drink can really help to give your mind the rest it needs to be able
to refocus and start refreshed after the break!
3) Talk about your...
I am new to Wyzant but have been a part time tutor in a variety of subjects for 6 years. One of the most common subjects I help students in is English/Writing, and it is by far the most difficult. The challenge is not knowing how to write a great essay
given the prompt, but how to get the student to write the essay using his/her own voice, style and structure. I have gotten used to walking the razor's edge over the years, but the temptation to write parts of the essay for new writing tutors can be tremendous.
Particularly when spending minutes on word choice and sentence order, the prospect of doing some ghost-writing is undoubtedly alluring.
So how does one persevere through those silent, deep-thinking sessions? What I find motivating is the knowledge that my role as a tutor is not to tell the student what to do, but to give him/her an alternative set of tools that he/she does not get in a
classroom that will help them express...
(This is actually a modified version of an article I posted a while back -
Parents wait! Why a study skills tutor is what your child REALLY needs. But I think tutors should consider this idea of study skills even more than parents should.)
After a dozen years as a classroom teacher and private tutor, I know the routine well. Like clockwork, October and March bring new report cards and parents start to get nervous. “An F in chemistry? I’m afraid I can’t help you there; let’s find you a good chemistry
tutor.” This is the kind of dialog I imagine taking place in many households around this time. And chemistry is just an example –
insert subject here and the reaction is the same.
But that low letter grade on a report card can indicate many things – maybe the teacher is bonkers; maybe one major assignment was weighted too heavily; maybe the student can’t see the board and is afraid to say anything; maybe that particular class is a source
of social anxiety; etc...