Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Things I've learned

Now that I've been working as a writing tutor for two weeks Ive had the chance to learn a lot of useful things in regards to my new job. For starters, I've learned that I need to adjust my teaching/tutoring style to accommodate the western approach to education. What I mean is Chinese students prefer to have a teacher spoon-feed the answers to them. Since the only tutoring I did, before I came to Weber State University, was in China, my reference to people as "westerners" means those human beings who were born and raised in the western hemisphere of the world.

The tutoring protocol at Weber State University is more along the lines of affording the tutee the opportunity to correct his or her own mistakes, without the absolute superintendence of an academically superior person pedantically force-feeding long-winded diatribe and established conventions down their throats. This approach towards education requires a greater level of patience. When analyzed from the standpoint of an individual that respects individuality, and personal creativity, this approach seems to, especially, benefit the tutee. The reason for this is obvious. By forcing a student to draw, more so, from their own intellectual capacities - rather than simply making them regurgitate information - you help to strengthen their own abilities, consequently empowering them to face future ch alleges. A tutor must build competency in the tutee, all the while respecting the need of the individual to freely express themselves.

Another thing I've learned in the past two weeks is that some tutors will naturally be suitable for certain types of students. A tutor who is talented at spotting verb/tense disagreements will be a good match for a student who struggles with that issue. Moreover, a tutor who is better at thought organization, and thesis refinement, will feel at home coaching someone who is having problems in that area. As we all get a chance to work with different people, we can observe each other and learn from each other. The best way to learn something is to do it, and to do it with others who can contribute to your personal knowledge base.


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