Ten things your tutor would like you to know

I know that for some, starting to work with a tutor seems a little foreign. I thought I would post some expectations:

10. Don't be paranoid. When I first start working with a student, I ask questions to get a better idea of how to individualize the lessons. That is part of the beauty of working one-on-one with a tutor. It's not "one size fits all". I will usually ask what the student's goals are for the particular subject. I also like to know more of my students' personalities - what are their hobbies and interests and values. This all goes into preparing unique lessons.

9. I will challenge you. I want you to do most of the work in a tutor session, with only as much guidance as necessary and helpful. I will ask questions that may not have an easy answer. I will quiz you. If you get 100% correct, I'll quiz you a little tougher.

8. Knowing where you've come from is helpful to me. When I ask you about your previous tutoring experience, or your experience in school on the subject or in general, please answer truthfully because it does matter. Don't be embarrassed to let me know that you can't stand your math teacher, or that you've taken the LSAT twice and never scored above 140. This information helps me to know how you learn.

7. I know things. Really. Most tutors I know just really like to share their knowledge and strategies. If I make a suggestion, try it. IT MAY HELP! It may not. But if you enter a working relationship with a tutor assuming that nothing new will help then nothing new will help.

6. Tutoring can be expensive. I get it. But did you know that a lot of tutors have sliding scale fees? I work with people around payment. So before you decide you aren't going to get a tutor because you can't afford it, reach out and ask.

5. I will assign some homework, and I will ask about it at the next tutoring session. It won't be a lot, but I do these things because it matters. Tutor sessions are times for learning and honing concepts and strategies, but true breakthroughs come when the student is working alone with the material. I know you may think that spending a certain number of hours with a tutor will be all you need, but homework really is important.

4. You are not broken. I will not treat you like a thing that needs to be fixed. All students have things they are strong in and things that they need more practice with. How one learns and how one should practice are unique - see #10.

3. Not all tutors work in students' homes. I will, but if I do, I expect the student to be ready for a tutor session. This includes having our study materials - books, pencil, calculator, etc. - handy as well as having a clear area for working. Please finish your meals, your status updates, your pet duties, your housework, etc. outside of the tutor sessions. In the case of students who are minors, I prefer that an adult family member or guardian is also at home.

2. If we're not clicking personality-wise, don't be afraid to speak up. There may be a change we can make, or I can refer you to someone that may be a better match.

1. Please show up. If you can't make it, just call and re-schedule. It's not a problem, and I won't assign extra homework. Promise!


Other than tutoring primarily writing and reading, freelance editing is one of my income streams. This blog post confirms for me how similar the two pursuits are. Thank you.
Thanks Deborah, hope it was helpful.
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