Walking into a tutoring appointment having never met your tutee before can be a daunting task. I am constantly wondering what the tutee will want to work on, how the learn best, and how much work they have already done.
Last semester I worked with a student over the course of a couple of weeks. She initially came in with a paper for her English class that she was unsure of and needed a bit of help clarifying her thoughts. I read through the paper and was feeling a little stumped myself. I was finding that she had a lot of thoughts but they were all somewhat underdeveloped. I figured the best course of action would be to encourage her to focus on maybe one to two of her ideas and develop her thoughts. Luckily she was completely on board.
We took the rest of the time during our appointment to discuss some of the ideas she had the most thoughts for, and by the time our hour was up, she was determined to rewrite her paper and come back to me. She booked a second appointment with me right then and there, and the following week she came back with a fresh paper with a more focused topic.
The student came to me a total of three times for one paper, and her hard work definitely paid off. Each session the paper became better and better, and I saw the tutee feel more and more confident with each draft. That was what I found to be the most rewarding for me as the tutor, is that I could help instill that confidence in her and in her writing skills.
About a month after the student and I wrapped up our work on her paper, she booked another appointment with me. The whole time in between the two appointments I was constantly thinking about how she did on the paper in terms of grading. Learning center tutors don’t focus on getting the tutees good grades, rather we focus on enhancing their skills, but, man, was I really hoping she would get a great grade. She put so much effort into it, and I just wanted to see that effort pay off.
When we started our appointment, I asked how her last paper went. She cheerfully told me she got an A! This absolutely brightened my day and we eagerly looked over the comments her professor had left on her final copy. I could just see the pride she felt from getting a fantastic grade on a paper she wrote. This is still something I think about before I go into tutoring sessions, as this was the proudest moment of my tutoring experience.
Tutoring is not an easy task, and it definitely takes a bit of effort, time, and patience, but the success stories that come about from these sessions is what makes it worthwhile. Many tutors chose to become tutors because they enjoy helping others and assisting them in reaching their full potential. This is why I became a tutor, and instances like this are what keep me going even through the most difficult of times.