First of all I would like to congratulate you on your position. Teaching for LSS is the most rewarding aspect of my college career. My experience with LSS began when I was hired as a Drop-in Math tutor. Of all the positions, this is one of the most challenging. As a drop-in tutor you must be confident enough in your abilities to help students of all levels of mathematics within one day. If you were hired for this position, it means that the staff felt assured that you can deliver, so do not stress about it. This position is very unpredictable which is a positive thing in my opinion, and you get to interact with a variety of students.
I have also worked as the subject tutor for Math 02 and Math 03. As a subject tutor, you meet with your students (up to four) for one hour per week. They usually come in with homework questions prepared to ask you, and if they do not, encourage them to do so. From my experience, all the students that decide to attend tutoring are more than willing to put in the hard work, they just require a little more time to understand a topic. As a math tutor it is better to teach concepts rather a bunch of formulas. It is important to realize that these students want to learn; they want to comprehend the material. Remain patient with them and encourage them to ask questions along the way so that they can get the most out of an exercise.
Currently I work as the MSI tutor for Math 19B (Integral Calculus). Working as an MSI tutor is different in that I get to attend the lecture along with my students, and I hold three sessions a week with up to twelve students in each session. This position has its set of challenges, however it is in my opinion the easiest of all three because I have an insight on what the students are experiencing in class. With the other positions, you do not know how the professor taught a certain topic, but as the MSI tutor, you get to see first-hand the professor’s approach and the topics they want emphasized for the exams. Using this first-hand account, you can plan out your study sessions according to the class lectures. Through my experience, MSI students, unlike LSS students, do not come in with homework questions prepared, and since you get to meet with these students three days a week, it gives you the opportunity to pick and choose problem sets that you feel will be most advantageous to the learning of the lesson. If you are interested in becoming an educator, being an MSI tutor is the perfect position for you. You have your own classroom and get to run your own lesson plans.
Amongst all these experiences, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to be open with your students. Make sure you listen to their concerns and really go the extra mile to be attentive to their needs. Patience is key when you are a tutor. You must treat every question with the utmost importance, and do not hesitate to reiterate a point more than once for a student if need be. Our goal as a peer tutors is not only to assist students in the specific subject they need help in, but also to help their academic careers cumulatively. Offer study tips and tricks that work for you, and always try to relate to the students by sharing the obstacles you had to face when you learned the material for the first time.
Once again, congratulations on landing the most rewarding job on this campus. I wish you all the best with your experiences. Do not stress or be nervous, you would not have been hired if you were not qualified. Remember that every student is capable of learning any subject; some just need good tutors like you to break it down for them. I hope you enjoy working for LSS as much as I have.