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Some Suggestions for Tutoring

1. Start wherever the student is. Set objectives, then work toward them.

2. Do not do the actual work for the student! Help him think for himself and to do his own work. He may reveal misunderstandings or weaknesses while working, which indicate need for further work.

3. Be sure that the student understands the underlying ideas or principles of the subject being tutored. Memorization or exercises done without understanding is often the source of academic difficulties.

4. If one method or approach isn’t working, try others. Be creative and innovative.

5. A tutor isn’t a teacher; your job is to help students.

6. Make use of the student’s interests whenever possible.

7. Center your attention and efforts on the student and avoid talking about yourself too much.

8. Drop the authoritative teacher role. Be an interested human being.

9. Ask questions that can’t be answered with “yes” or “no”.

10. Don’t interrupt when the student is talking. This communicates that what he has to say is not important. However, if he digresses from the subject, focus him back onto the subject.

11. Give him silence to think. Don’t jump in with the answer to your own question before he has had a chance to think about the answer.

12. Be alert to non-verbal as well as verbal clues that you aren’t “getting thru” to the student.

13. Be aware that the student you are tutoring probably doesn’t share the liking you have for your subject. This may affect his work in the subject.

14. Always come to the sessions prepared. Think about the content that is being covered in the subject you are tutoring. What might students find difficult? What examples will clear up the difficulties?

15. Don’t forget the benefits of positive reinforcement.

16. Ask questions or give directions that allow the student to do the task with minimal assistance.

17. Small steps taken one at a time are more effective than a giant intellectual leap. (See page 2- “Analysis of Tutoring Techniques”)

18. Review what has been accomplished at the end of the session to impress upon the student important ideas and facts.

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