What to Expect (And Not Expect) from Tutoring

During my seven years at The Tutoring Place, I’ve worked with hundreds of students. I also have experience interacting with my own private clients over the past ten years. Finding the right tutor for your student can be a time­consuming task in itself. Make sure your student and the tutor start off on the right foot. I recommend keeping these three things in mind when bringing in private tutor help, especially during the initial phase of tutoring.

1. Do expect students to gain a better understanding of the material in tutoring sessions. Don’t expect information retention without additional practice.

Regular tutoring sessions should help the student understand the material better (how to solve certain math problems, and chemistry problems, or perhaps how to write a well organized paper). Learning and practice need to continue outside of the classroom and tutoring sessions. I like to use the following analogy. One can expect to gain muscle mass and strength, and to be a better overall athlete, if he/she works out on a regular basis. The same concept applies to additional practice/studying and grades. There seems to be a common misperception that by attending class and tutoring sessions only, students will get better grades. That’s not the case. I see this a lot as students transition from 9th to 10th grade. In 10th grade, subject difficulty often increases dramatically–especially if students are in Pre-­AP or AP classes. Tutors generally love learning, and are usually more than willing to recommend other resources to continue the learning process. I usually recommend resources that have helped me personally in the past.

2. Do expect regular, scheduled (or semi-­regular) tutoring to affect the student’s grades in a positive way. Don’t expect an immediate change in the student’s overall grade.

There should be a positive trend in the student’s quiz, homework, and exam grades. It may take some time to get the student’s overall grade in a better state, depending on how far the student is into the grading period and the student’s grade situation.

3. Do expect the tutor to make modifications during tutoring sessions that are necessary to make sure the student gains a better understanding of the material. Don’t expect the tutor to be able to do that without communicating the student’s current situation and goals.

Following are some basic scenarios tutors tend to see.

1) Some students have a very busy calendar (cheerleading, volleyball, football, wrestling, you name it), and they want to stay on top of their studies and maintain good grades.

2) Some students are maintaining average grades and would like help boosting those grades to a higher grade.

3) Some students need help getting out of a failing or near-­failing situation.

My general tutoring/teaching approach remains essentially the same across the board, and adjustments are made based on the student’s situation. Learning Differences should be made known to the tutor as well, as adjustments can be made for those during the tutoring session.