Congrats on getting a super fun tutor position. I’m not just saying that, either. I’m sure you’ve taken this class before with Tracy Larrabee and she is just a hoot. Well now you get to relive those fun moments by helping out students who may not understand binary, IP addresses, or the TCP/IP stack right away.
I’m sure you know that most people take this class for a GE or as a requirement for the Economics major. That means that you will be dealing with a lot of people who don’t want to go to lecture, who won’t put effort into studying, and who will expect you to teach them everything. Although it’s not within your job description (or your powers as a human being) to make these people care or be self-driven, you can help them to focus in on the most important skills and concepts in the class.
Make sure from the beginning that they are comfortable with binary. If they aren’t it’s going to bite them in the ass over and over again. Make sure you continually remind them of the 5 layers of the TCP/IP stack and whenever you work on a lab or study for a quiz that you point out what layer of the stack that concept is operating on. Make sure that they know what an IP address is, what a MAC address is, and how those are different.
Tracy always uploads her slides with notes onto Ubiquitous Presenter, so check those out when you are preparing for a session. In addition to some funny memes she always indicates what’s going to be on the quiz, so pay special attention those slides. Most of the concepts are best taught visually, so it would be a good idea to tutor in a room that has a chalkboard/whiteboard so you can draw things out. Also, be sure to check out the class website frequently for information about what the class will be going over in lecture, labs, quiz dates, and other helpful information in the class forum.
As I mentioned earlier, you are going to be working with a lot of people who are not Computer Engineering/Computer Science majors. Though this definitely enhances the probability of sessions being frustrating, try to use this as an opportunity to make sessions fun. Pretend a computer is a scared princess up in a tower that is too afraid to share her IP address or MAC address with everyone out in the big bad network kingdom, so she never discloses these numbers to anyone outside her subnetwork. Pretend that encapsulation/decapsulation is like a post office constantly putting a new postmark on a package. Remind them how cool they’ll look at parties now that they now how to do binary and hexidecimal!
Have fun with this position and don’t get stressed out if you don’t have answers for everything.