When Tutoring, Bring Creativity to the Table!

The word "tutoring" brings to mind a cartoon picture: an old lady with white hair sitting at a table drowning in big books and papers, tapping her ruler and demanding her student to pay attention!  This "tutor" is every kid's nightmare.  She is making school look like a trip to Disney World!
I can assure you that I am not that old lady.  I am fun!  I am funny!  And I am, in a way, just like a kid; I can relate to what they are going through, and when they meet me, they make a new friend.  Age goes out the window in the respect that, I make learning fun and the student then starts having fun while they are studying.  I have done everything you can think of to help students learn.  I will make up a dance and song if needed.  What is important to me is the passion behind what we learn.  If I can find something the student is passionate about, then I can relate this passion to any academic subject that they need assistance with. 
During the initial session, I like to ask my students a number of questions regarding what they like and what they enjoy in school. This is a great way for me to not only find out their unique learning style (audio/visual/hands-on, etc.) but also lets me know a little about what they hold a great personal interest in.  For example, my son loves music and the history of a song/artist.  When we are studying for a test, I will break up the sections by playing music and talking about pop culture music facts.  This keeps him awake and entertained, and a lot of times we can relate the song to whatever we are trying to study... usually we can even create a mnemonic from this, so it is impossible to forget (even YEARS after the test has been passed! Some are just too funny). 
It is great to always have fun.  This sounds too simple and too corny, I know.  But it is the truth!  Bust out some playdough or some colored pencils while you are studying (even highschoolers!) and you can really begin using more than one of the traditional physical senses (think: taking notes in a quiet room).  In order to make test info or a boring topic come to life, a dose of colorful whimsy must be injected!  And the beauty of this comes from the student: wherever their unique interests lie is what the setting calls for.  I just happen to be the person who can provide the materials, the atmosphere, the animation, and the mentoring and coaching in order to achieve SUCCESS! 


Carolyn T.

Effective Tutor Specializing in English/Lit and Test Prep Skills

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