Being a tutor can be a difficult job to do. At first, it seems easy especially when you know that you got an A on the class and you understand the materials well. However, passing that knowledge to others can be a hard task. I always have to adjust to different students as they have different learning styles. Some students are visual learners. Some are auditory learners. Also, some can be kinesthetic learners. Taking into account these differences in students is very important. Tutoring for politics, I thought that it was very crucial for me to explain the concepts verbally. However, after explaining the concepts over and over again to one of my student in an individual tutoring session, she seemed to not grasp the concept. I considered taking a different stance and took a pen and draw diagrams (to show the dynamics within the concepts, i.e. the different philosophies that guides the US Constitution). I drew a Venn diagram to show the differences between the different philosophies to show how they differ and interrelate at some points. This example is to show you that being able to read students and consider their abilities are the first steps in having a successful tutoring session.
Another important thing is to be able to push your students to read the materials. At the beginning of the quarter or the first time that you meet the student, impart a sense of responsibility. Discuss the role of each other as well (i.e. what is your role as a tutor and what is his/her role as a tutee). This helps you send the message that you are not there to teach them, but there to help them learn the materials. And there is a big difference. Perception of the roles should be the first thing in your agenda. Lastly, always know what is happening in lectures. As a subject tutor, we are not required to go to lectures to know what is happening (unlike MSI). Heed the professor’s advice occasionally. Always take into account not just the materials and what you (the tutor) and the student thinks, but also what the professor thinks. After all, they are the ones evaluating the student’s work. Congratulations again on your new position at UCSC Learning Support Services and good luck!