Saturday, November 24, 2012


Reluctant students are a little difficult to deal with and there is not a whole lot you can do. If the student is determined not to learn or participate, there is nothing in the world anyone can do to change it. When this is the case, it is the job of the tutor to do everything in their power to make the session as productive as possible.

Some things that I usually try is being their friend. Getting excited and having enthusiasm about the things you are doing becomes very contagious. I try this method in hopes that it will rub off on them and they will actually process what I'm trying to teach them.

In the event that this does not work, I would recommend trying to give the students suggestions. If the student doesn't like what you have to say, or take the suggestions made, write them down on the brown sheet so that in case the student has a change in heart later, they are able to find the suggestions that you made for them. I don't know how often this helps, but this way the student will have a frame of reference in how to go about revising their paper.

I haven't really had any experiences like this yet. Usually I get pretty engaged students who want to be in the writing center. The only student that was borderline reluctant seemed to take my suggestions but was still convinced that he was an amazing writer. We ended up talking more a long the lines of the ideas of his paper, so the discussion was semi-productive if anything.

I think this topic comes down to one main thing: Learning is the student's job, while it is the Tutor's job to make it as easy to learn as possible. The information must be presented in an appealing fashion and it is the tutee's job to internalize it. Sometimes at the end of the day, the student outright refuses internalize the information handed to them and there is just nothing you can do about it. In these cases, it is advised to end the session early and maybe have them reschedule at a later date.

All in all, as a tutor, do your best to want to be there, and hopefully your enthusiasm will wear off on the tutee so that they will choose to be engaged in the session.


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