Ah, summer. It's almost here! Once the end-of-school bell rings, most students are ready to be done with any form of schoolwork until August. But summer is a very valuable tutoring time, and I'd like to advocate for summer tutoring.
Seeing a tutor in the summer is a great opportunity for those students who passed their current level of French (or another subject) with a low grade and/or are not feeling confident of success in the next level. A tutor can help review the material, catch the student up, and help him/her get ready for the next level. A tutor may even be able to work ahead to give the student a running start once school starts again.
Summer tutoring is a great opportunity for AP/IB students (even lower-level IB students) to keep their skills fresh during the long summer break. Often, there is summer homework to be done, and a tutor can help with that. Even more valuable is the speaking & listening...
Once you've decided that you'd like to pursue private tutoring, how do you choose a tutor? Of course you want a tutor who is qualified to help you in your needed subject area. Here are some factors to consider:
1. How does your student feel before and after the lesson? While not every student will look forward to a tutoring session, a good tutor should make the student feel good about the time they spent together. Students should leave a lesson feeling more confident in their abilities, more comfortable with the material, and knowing/understanding more than before the lesson began. I like to end my tutoring sessions with a learning game. It's fun, non-threatening, and a great review of the material we've worked on.
2. Is the tutor's teaching style compatible with your student's learning style? This could be the reason you are looking for a tutor: your student has a teacher whose preferred teaching style might not mesh with the way your student learns. If the tutor you choose...
There are many different paths that lead people to work with a tutor. Sometimes, positive factors bring the need for tutoring: We just booked a trip to Paris and need to learn some French before we go! Other times, the decision to search for a private tutor results from seeing a person struggle with a subject and requiring some extra help. There is no shame in either circumstance. A good tutor can help you reach your academic and personal goals. Although we would love for all teachers to be able to give one-on-one instruction to each of their students, the reality of our educational system makes this, in most cases, very unlikely. Teachers bear the burden of increased class sizes, extra non-teaching responsibilities, and, in some cases, combined classes (levels 3 & 4 of a world language in a class together). Unfortunately, this means that students end up sacrificing as well. This is where a tutor can step in and give the student the personal attention and individualized instruction...