In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your friend.
Solon 638 - 559 BCE
A tutor provides expertise, experience, and
They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers.
The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned.
Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning
Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy.
Seek out training to be a more effective tutor:
This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures
Clearly establish expectations for your learner
What are the expectations of the learner?
of the teacher? and of those close to the learner
(classmates, department, school, family, etc.)
Keep and follow a consistent set of rules
Write them down; post them; refer to them!
Rules are necessary, but must be mutually agreed upon with the learner.
They must be fair and enforced consistently.
Rules cut down on unnecessary struggles.
Have a clear idea of your own strengths and limitations,
and what skills or knowledge you can offer as a tutor.
One reward of tutoring is the opportunity to use and apply what you have learned
Know the learner
Discover his or her strengths and challenges in learning.
Under what circumstances does he or she learn best? poorly?
(Do not assume that everyone's learning styles or conditions are the same,
or similar to yours)
Make sure the learner knows it is safe to not succeed at first
Learning is a process that often involves unsuccessful attempts.
This is not failure since options are eliminated toward the correct solution.
Learning and problem solving require passing through a period of sorting through facts and options toward success.
The tutoring session:
Listen closely to work out the real problem
Check to see if the learner has prepared with some time and effort
and attempted the assignments
Assess the situation
Think in terms of realistic objectives; develop a "contract" of
Use questions to enhance problem solving
Demonstrate or model similar processes
Don't be afraid to reveal that you don't know something
You can refer the learner to more sources, including the teacher
You can take the opportunity to learn/problem-solve, and bring back answers,
and demonstrate that you are in a learning process as well
Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary
Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment
Summarize and review: Enable follow up
Keep records for future reference