Statement of Tutoring Philosophy
Tutoring is a unique process that is individualized and personal, yet grounded and informed. More specifically, I’ve come to believe that each student coming to the our tutoring center should be treated on a case by case basis—depending on the student’s personality, willingness to contribute, and paper topic, no two students should be approached exactly the same. This personalized attention sets tutors apart from teachers and professors because it allows each session to be more engaging and stimulating. However, I believe that an overarching goal to improve the student as a writer still needs to be maintained throughout all sessions. In order for this goal to be achieved successfully, I aim for each session to follow three main ideals:
Effective collaboration is essential for the student to get the most help in improving as a student. When the student feels comfortable to opening up and discussing his/her difficultis, I’ve found that the half hour is much more productive for both the tutor and tutee. In order to create an intellectually stimulating environment, I find that establishing a positive rapport from the moment the tutor meets the tutee is essential.
Simple gestures like giving a firm handshake, smiling, and enthusiasm really show the students that I enjoy helping them and that I am open to conversation. Throughout the session, I also make it a goal to ask many open-ended questions in an attempt to initiate interesting conversation so that the student has an opportunity to clarify his/her ideas. When they feel comfortable sharing that with me, it becomes a lot easier for me to give my interpretation.
For example, I make an effort to offer specific task responses by noting any specific skills that were particularly appealing or confusing. Rather than telling the student what to correct, these stimulating conversations are necessary to help the student think about the skill him/herself. This unique collaboration process is what really helps to make each tutorial personal, engaging, and worthwhile.
It is also important to make clear in the beginning of the session that tutoring is a process that typically requires multiple sessions. This is applicable whether we are working on Mathematics skills or language skills. Therefore, students should not walk in expecting solely to fix a few grammar errors. As a writing tutor or just a math tutor.
I believe in looking beyond minor errors and focusing more on the bigger picture. I am willing to help the student at any part of the process, ranging from generating ideas for solving a math problem or a paper topic to looking over a revised rough draft. The issues I hope to address include, but are not limited to, clarity of understanding, organization of argument, and strength of details and evidence.
In general, I plan on looking at the student as a whole by making sure that each all the parameters are touched and improved. Such as work ethic, enjoying homework, building a positive relationship.
My suggestions typically come with a consistency, patience, right tools and a through academic improvement.
Through collaborations that help the tutee throughout the tutoring process, I am available to offer assistance in generating ideas, organizing thoughts, and offering smart and worthy responses. Moreover, I am not here to fix homeworks and rewrite sentences because the student must maintain sole ownership of his/her work. To ensure this ownership, I usually resist even picking up a pen during the entire session. While I understand that certain students may require a more directive form of tutoring than others, being more directive does not mean making more marks on the paper. Rather, it may mean being more instructive and allowing the tutee to practice what was just learned.
Following these three ideals, it is my goal for every student I tutor to leave the session knowing more than just what to change on the specific task they bring in to me. Rather, I hope that the thought-provoking conversations will help students realize that they have the potential themselves to generate some truly interesting ideas. I want them to develop the ability to delve into future work/assignments at any stage of their academic process and apply what we had discussed at the tutoring session.
Mr. Sunil Das, MSc, MPhil,BEd, EdS (Columbus State University)