Monday, December 10, 2012

A Tutor's Role

As the semester comes to an end, I realize I have gained a lot of tutoring insight, and in hindsight I would have benefited if I had known what I know now from the beginning of the semester.  In general, the most significant knowledge I have acquired during the semester is understanding how to approach a student during a tutoring session.  Before I experienced an actual tutoring session, for some reason, I assumed a tutor's job was to basically teach or edit students' papers.  By learning how to ask pointed questions and encouraging tutees to figure out the answers to their mistakes, I now have a better understanding of what a tutor's role is.
Also, I would of benefited in the the beginning if I had brushed-up on my grammar.  A few years have passed since I have been in school, and when I was in school the majority of my classes were in political science.  Generally, political science professors, from my experience, do not dock points for grammatical errors.  But if a student handed in a paper with a series or a pattern of grammatical errors, they definitely would.  By taking Dr. Roger's class, tutoring, and teaching workshops, I have become more conscientious about my own writing, and I now take more time to make sure my writing is grammatically correct.  Also, the tutoring techniques we have studied throughout the semester have proven to be personally beneficial.
If I would have known at the beginning of the semester that a tutor's role is to help a student identify and correct mistakes in their own writing, I definitely would have been more affective earlier in the semester.  Also, by becoming more familiar with the writing process in general, I have become more aware of the various techniques students use when they write.  Did anybody see the Manny Pacquiao boxing match this weekend? Wow, Juan Manual Marquez caught him and put him to sleep with two seconds remaining in the sixth round.  It all started with a flash knockdown when Marquez landed an overhand right in the fourth round.  But Manny was able to regain his composure and answered back by landing a straight left hand in the fifth round, which buckled Marquez forcing his glove to hit the canvas.  Manny continued to put on the pressure, and he became over aggressive, which led right into Marquez's counter-punching boxing style.  Just when everyone in the arena thought Manny was closing the show, Marquez countered Manny with a perfect right hand, putting the Philippine phenomenon out cold.
The most significant piece of knowledge I wish I would have known at the beginning of the semester is understanding the tutor's role and realizing the importance of listening and asking questions.  If I were in a position to give a future tutor advise, I would encourage he or she to become familiar with how tutoring differs from teaching.


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