Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Tutor's Perspective

I am lucky to be able to work with students outside of school on a one to one basis.  Unfortunately in the classroom you don't have the opportunity as often as you would like to do as much individualized instruction. It is quite interesting to learn about how and what other grade levels and other schools teach.  The methods are all different.  As a tutor, I need to adapt to those methods to help the student make sense of the information from which they will be assessed.

I can only feel like I am making a difference when my students are feeling confident and successful.   Some days they are confident and surely there are days when their level of confidence and understanding makes it quite difficult to help further their understanding.

I think the greatest thing I have learned as a teacher is that each student is an individual and my teaching methods need to be different for each student in order for them to be successful.  It has taken a long time for this realization to set in.  How I approach each student needs to be slightly different in order to get the best out of them.  Working individually with students has allowed me to develop new techniques and tricks to help students.  Often I am able to take these "new leanings" and apply them in the classroom.  I can see more clearly where students have difficulty on a certain topic.

One week not long ago I had probably my most gratifying week as a Tutor.  Over the course of three days one student got an A on a re-test they previously failed.  One student whom I have worked with for years passed his private school entrance exam with flying colors, and my little Kindergartner had mastered her sight words for Kindergarten and no longer needed her mom to sit with us while we worked.

Each of these students along with all of the others have taught me so much more than I could ever teach them.  I am proud of them.  I am proud of all of my students.  I guess this is why I would not change my chosen career path.  You never stop learning.

Now, lets get back to school!