Many of the community needs in Boston center around the city’s youth and the desire for additional academic support. As such, a significant number of service-learning students are engaged in service that involves tutoring at after or in-school programs throughout the city. Building resources for our students to use so that they can serve confidently is an important aspect of our program.
S-LTA Katie Elliot asked her First-Year Writing students to respond to Street Team member Ben Sanders’s tutoring pro-tips. Each Tuesday, we’ll post their responses here!
Yaa Kyeremateng- BS Behavioral Neurscience, 2020
Another tip that I may add is to allow the student to think and formulate their questions. Don’t just bombard them with questions. They may not know exactly what they want to ask the tutor right away, but after you ask them the questions to help them think, wait. Wait for them to go over their questions in their hands and really think about the answers or questions they have for the tutor. Give them that time, and don’t overwhelm them.
My first week of service was both eventful and also uneventful in a way. My first day, we were not needed since there wasn’t a class scheduled for that time shift. The first person I went up to ask what they were working on was working on a Spanish paper. As a person whose only Spanish course was taken in middle school, I was obviously no help to him, and quickly left him to his paper. Most of the students in the writer’s room around that time had a handle on what they were doing and didn’t really need our help. Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Sometimes the students don’t need our help.
My second day was with the editorial board, I did a lot more tutoring at this shift, than I did at my first shift. We worked with the students to figure out what would be the themes that their papers would be filed under. The subjects that they’re working with were very hardcore and mature.
After both of my shifts, I left the school very drained and tired. Tutoring is hard work, and took a lot of energy out of me. I tried to remember all the tips that have been drilled into us from the beginning, and I hope I was helpful to the students. I am always fearful that I will give them the wrong advice and ruin their papers. Hopefully I don’t.