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!
Jeremy McDavid, BS Biology 2020
One tip I would add would be to make a connection before you begin working with someone. It doesn’t have to be something big, just a simple common ground on which you can understand each other. I tend to try to ask students’ interests in sports and activities in an attempt to find something we have in common. If their isn’t anything that stands out as a connection, tutoring is still very doable but slightly more difficult, which is why when there are groups of students I tend to gravitate towards individuals I think I will have things in common with.
I find the ‘ask questions’ tip to be extremely helpful. Using this piece of advice has been a game changer from previous tutoring experiences. In the past I always felt like I was feeding students little bits of the work they were doing in order to get them to make larger strides. By questioning I can point out to the student where they need to focus and can direct the question so they are forced to look at it in a different light in order to have a higher level of understanding.