Being a tutor involves much more than just preparing students for tests and exams. Over my tutoring career, I’ve grown to appreciate that mentoring and counseling goes hand in hand with tutoring. One of my favourite aspects of tutoring is that it allows me to form meaningful relationships with students and their families. I value the opportunities that I get to give advice and provide feedback. Debriefing students and their parents at the end of a tutoring session on the progress that has been made and next steps for improvement is something that I always strive to do. I also often provide advice on course selection and information about university programs.
For tutoring to result in noticeable improvement, everyone has to be on the same page. The tutee has to put in the necessary effort during and after sessions, while parents or guardians need to monitor that the tutee is completing the work assigned by the tutor. Supporting students and building up their confidence is an important aspect of being a tutor. I’m invested in the success of all of my students, and I’m as happy as they are when the seeds of their effort yield a fruitful result. I have high expectations of all my students and let them know if I’m not pleased with their level of commitment. I take it upon myself to not only impart knowledge but also help my students build character and a strong work ethic.
The last thing I want is for a student that I tutor to grow dependent on me. My goal is for every student that I tutor to develop into an independent learner: a learner who directs and assesses his or her own learning. I’m preparing students for university, where they’ll no longer have a teacher to direct them but, instead, will have to track their own progress and learn to manage their time and direct their own learning. I often share my university experiences: how I learned to manage my time and what study techniques I found most effective.
The last year of high school can be a very stressful and emotional time for students. Students need all the support that they can get. It’s especially important for students to not lose confidence if the results they receive early on in the year are not as promising as they expected. Grade 12 is progressively more challenging than grade 11, and some students need to get used to the added difficulty and learn to overcome adversity. I help students improve their belief in themselves by sharing the experiences that I’ve had with other students. I’ve seen so many students start off not doing well and then improve over the course of the year.