Tutoring Tips Tuesday: Jonathan Miller


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!

Jonathan Miller, BS Biology 2020

As a snowboard instructor, I thoroughly enjoy and understand how to work with other people, especially teenagers. With this in mind, I was optimistic about my first day in the Writers’ Room. After a quick introduction by the teacher, it was straight to working on the students’ papers, for which they had to read a novel of their choosing and elaborate on some theme of it. I primarily worked with two members of the sophomore class: Maya* and Ryan*. Maya was very eager to learn what she could do to improve her already very well written draft. Watching her connect the dots on how to improve her paper was an incredible experience in and of itself. If I could liken it to being a snowboard instructor, it would be analogous to whenever one of my first-time snowboarders would link a turn for the very first time. Ryan, on the other hand, was a bit more like a first-time snowboarder whose parents put him in a lesson so they could go and do whatever they wanted. He wasn’t as enthusiastic about improving his paper as Maya was, making it a little more difficult to effectively tutor him. Almost ironically, he got a nosebleed during class, as if his body was physically rejecting my tutoring methods. Despite this, I did my best to remain enthusiastic and optimistic. I was able to help him work through the paper and I believe we made some good progress on it, even though he needed to be heavily coaxed to do so. Overall, I’d say my first taste of what tutoring in the Writers’ Room is like was a wonderfully positive experience and I can’t wait to get back to it, even if it means waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning.

*The students’ names have been changed.

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