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!
Annie Lin- BA Journalism, 2019
I think that Benjamin’s blog post addressed three really good points that can definitely apply to students like us who have just begun service. We often don’t realise the importance of the small things we can do to help. I feel that simply listening to what the students have to say is essential in tutoring because not only does it show them that you care, which could possibly make them feel more comfortable sharing ideas with you, paying attention to their ideas can help you grasp a better understanding of their writing. This will make it easier for us to help them and throw in a couple of our ideas when needed.
In the two tutoring sessions I have attended so far, I find that if it’s necessary for me to propose ideas, to help start the brainstorming process or to move the thought process along if they get stuck, it’s effective to present my idea in the form of a question. Meaning that I will ask them what they think about an idea and whether they think it can relate to the task at hand. This provokes their responses because they can then express their opinion of the idea.
I think an important point Benjamin brings up is that if we suggest an edit, we should make sure they fully understand what the issue with it was and why the edit was necessary. This ensures that “if it comes up again, they can fix it.” I think this is a good balance between minimalist tutoring and direct tutoring as we can teach them the literary knowledge we have and give them the opportunity to make edits themselves.